How Did The Idea For The ‘Writing Into Meaning’ Group Come About

I think that it would be fair to say that there was no one moment when the ‘bright idea’ for this group sprang to light: rather a series of suggestions, a lot of scratching of chins, and, a general mulling over of possibilities.  This was suffused with a generous dollop of encouragement from colleagues in the School of Education and Social Work, especially all those involved in supporting doctoral researchers and meeting their needs. Tamsin and I are especially grateful to Janet Boddy for her time and wise words in helping us formulate what we ‘thought we were about’ at an earlier point in the summer.  Certainly her contribution has secured the status of the ‘Writing Into Meaning’ doctoral space, under the auspices of CIRCY (Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth) for this term.  We will all need to review what happens thereafter.

Certainly, having been part of a more informal group (coming together with PhD researchers sharing collective readings and writings of ideas of ‘vulnerability’ as connected to aspects of our research), had ignited my eagerness for writing further in a doctoral space.  Tamsin and I have now spend several delightful hours together in the last week, thinking in more depth about our hopes for the group and sharing ideas of how it might operate, based on our knowledges and slightly different experiences to date.  We’ve talked over and around one another, gesticulated wildly and scribbled furiously, all by way of generating and sharing our imagined possibilities and inviting another colleague, Emily, to be involved. I’ve also met with Elsie, CIRCY’s Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant who has set up this WordPress and encouraged me in taking some ownership of it.  She has been endlessly patient.

We’re all clear that our vision for the group is less Boot Camp and more Supportive, Enabling, Encouraging, Collective and Reflexive Engagement (SEECRE). However, we are serious about the writing.  To this end, we do ask all participants for ongoing commitment to the group which means both to the facilitated sessions, and to the peer supported sessions in between.  We will write during each facilitated session, we will propose a reading and provide suggestions for the peer supported sessions.  These in turn will feed into what we do next in the facilitated group the following week.

We want to all be in a position to celebrate our writing output by the time of our last session on December 14th when we will share food and review and evaluate the first term.  We are delighted that so many of you have told us that you will be joining us, and Emily, Tamsin and I will take seriously our roles in helping you to write.

Rebecca Webb (with Tamsin Hinton-Smith, Elsie Whittington and Emily Danvers)



4 thoughts on “How Did The Idea For The ‘Writing Into Meaning’ Group Come About

  1. Rina says:

    Am so excited Rebbeca. It’s as if this course was designed just for me as I am literally attempting to translate my data analysis into text and begin writing my Findings chapters


  2. Tracey says:

    Just want to say a big thank you to Rebecca and Tamsin. I felt really stimulated by the group last week and it was just lovely to be with so many PHD researchers in the same room. As someone who tends to hide up in my PHD cave most of the time it was a joy to share the struggles with others and let myself out into the light. Have to say that I have written more this week and had a couple of breakthroughs as it all felt a bit more spacious in my head somehow afterwards. Wondered about what happens when you let your creativity out of its cage. Really looking forward to more….


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