Bear with me readers, I am new to this.

Why would anyone want to read my blog? I am sure this is the thought that goes through everyone’s mind when even contemplating the idea of putting your research out on the big wide world of the web. What if people mock my research? What if my research isn’t good enough for a blog? What if my blog makes me come across as a narcissist? What if no one reads my blog? And the questions persist. I hear my PhD group discuss the commonly felt imposter syndrome and squirm in my seat. Why are you doing this research? I ask myself. Because I want to bring to the forefront socially engaged book art projects, generate new ideas alongside peers and become part of a keen group of individuals using art for social change. I want to share what I am doing to get feedback and reactions from a wider public, and perhaps the best way to do that is to get it out on a blog. Of course, I would be dishonest to say it is entirely devoid of selfish reasons – such as the visualisation of research progress and the exploration of writing. But, perhaps these elements are more connected than I originally thought. What better way to test an idea, than to share it to another person? To invite a response. We shall see.

So how is this blog structured? I would like to say that I have in mind a coherent structure – that old familiar term ‘start at the beginning’, but I don’t. My colleague Su (another PhD student at MMU) told me that her writing process is messy, like that of the creative process – and this messiness is unrestricting and can allow her to pull out strands and links that may not have been visible to her if she followed a structured approach. I think I will borrow this method of Su’s and see my blog as an organic entity, developing around my reading, conversations and interactions as they occur, but constantly moving towards creating a reading method for socially engaged book art. Perhaps this is a starting point? All I ask is that you please bear with me readers, tread softly, because I am new to this.

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