However, after repeatedly putting it off, I have decided to begin blogging this summer for a number of interconnected reasons that I thought I might as well share at the outset.
The initial impetus behind my desire to blog—beyond having a more flexible platform than twitter via which to share my thoughts with the world—has to do with trying to rediscover something that I feel like I’ve lost over the course of graduate school: my voice. No doubt due to the generic constraints of writing in academia and the incredibly counter-productive writing habits that coursework and comprehensive exams promoted, I have found myself profoundly alienated from my own writing. And as I’ve struggled through my dissertation this past year and a half, that sense of alienation has remained and I have found myself perpetually unable to “get in the groove.”
But this summer I have decided to take a few different approaches to change that. In relation to my dissertation, I am currently participating in the summer session of the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity’s Dissertation Success Program in an attempt to get in the groove of daily dissertation writing (still early in the process). But I have also decided to start this blog as both another way of regularly stretching my writing muscles (continuing that metaphor, in relation to my dissertation writing I am imaging my blogging as a form of cross-training) as well as a space in which I might attempt to re-discover my distinct voice and in the process share my thoughts on various things ranging from the politics of academia to popular culture and current events.
Finally, I should note that the title of this blog comes from one of my favorite moments in the second season of The Wire that I though was particularly pertinent to my desire to use this space to develop my voice. In that moment, a newcomer to a plainclothes homicide unit is told that she now needs to develop a "style" of some sort rather than rely on the pre-made style of a uniform, and that she might do well to choose something that offsets “Detective Moreland's pinstriped, lawyerly affectations and the brash, tweedy impertinence of Detective Freamon.” That phrase “tweedy impertinence” stuck with me as it seemed to perfectly described my in-person persona that is currently missing from my writing—a mix of “tweedy” academic leaning with an almost instinctive “impertinence” that I like to think makes me an effective and insightful critic, if one whose insights can admittedly come off as a bit brash.
Anyways, this is the start of what I hope will be a productive endeavor for me this summer and beyond. And for my readers, hopefully the blog will push you to think about things or in ways that you might not have otherwise, in the process prompting some chuckles and at least a little outrage (in my book, if no one is vociferously disagreeing with you, then you are clearly doing something wrong).