PhD Journal Entry 8: Pen(sive) Writing

Today, Natasha and I are leaving Australia for a holiday to the United States for just under a month. We’ve had this in mind for years and it’s fantastic that it’s finally happening.

Before the end of 2019, I was a little nervous about how I should approach reading for my studies while away. My primary supervisor, Kate, told me to stop worrying—as usual—suggesting that I take a complete break from research and enjoy the holiday.

Instead of formal research, she suggested that I keep a handwritten journal of our travels, noting any interesting cultural differences, social observations and experiences with media/technology. I haven’t kept a handwritten diary for years, with the recent exception of my podcasting journal, which Kate also suggested. Aside from being a nice way to remember our holiday, it should be a helpful way to collect and refine my thoughts about America as a centre for cultural production and digital communication, linking to my research focus on niche tech podcasting.

I’m looking forward to the experience of detaching more from digital technology on this trip, other than additions to this site and photo uploads to my blog Feld Notes. It’s a habit that I’m going to have to try to establish more this year: relying more on handwriting to slow down my thinking. Writing with a pen may take more time but it has its advantages.

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