We are the Write Lab.
Jaya Gajparia, The Rebel Academic
I’m Jaya from London. My happiest place is lost deep in thought pottering around the house or scribbling words on one of my many notebooks.
I have a PhD in social science. I try to break the rules and push the boundaries in my practice as an educator.
I often feel like an outsider in the ivory tower, but I think more than ever before the ivory towers need people like me, disrupters. I want to get vulnerable and transparent about performance anxiety and unhealthy academic competition, none of which makes researchers productive on projects we care about.
I find that I am thinking about writing all the time, but as a working parent, at times I find it difficult to create the right sort of head space conducive to doing research. So, with my friend Rebecca, we co-founded The Write LAB. a growing community to support and encourage academics who, like me sometimes struggle to begin a new project or bring to completion unfinished work.
Rebecca Megson-Smith, Writer and Writing Coach
I’m Rebecca, a writer, writing coach, feminist, theatre-making mum of two, living and loving in Bristol.
Books and writing have always been my world, my refuge, my true home in many senses. I believe we are made up of stories, we are natural storytellers: I believe stories change the world and that our stories matter.
Your story matters. The one you tell yourself and the ones you don’t always feel you can give voice, time, expression to.
Every writer I know struggles to find the time to write. Including myself, which is funny as I spend most of my working day (and night) writing. The world is extraordinarily persuasive that our time is better spent in other activities and pursuits – often in service to others.
I believe writing as a form of storytelling, has for the longest time been the stronghold of white, (post)colonial, patriarchy. There is a degree of privilege and entitlement in taking up the space required to write. It takes confidence, self-belief, resilience. It takes a largesse of thought about the social structure we inhabit to be comfortable with the risk that this might all be for nothing, that these particular words may not find their mark, possibly ever, potentially not within the tiny corners of time we assign them. The scarcity thinking inherent in a capitalist, post-colonial, patriarchal world then is a powerful current against which we must swim as writers who do not belong to all or any of those power structures.
The good news is – we do not have to do this alone. Jaya and I founded The Write LAB.as a means of offering a different visions, closer perhaps to the origins of storytelling. We offer the idea of writing as a community activity, as well as a solitary one. We offer the notion that together we are stronger. We offer the cushion of belief in you, in your writing – that you cannot always muster for yourself. We know your story matters and we want to be alongside you as you bring it into the light.