“Research is what i’m doing when I don’t know what i’m doing”

3 Jun

During the past few months of this course I’ve developed a real appreciation for the need to develop ideas from my normal scrappy scribbled notes approach through to a fully thought out, well documented thought process complete with researched ideas and end design. Finally.

I’m very much a ‘let’s see what happens’ kind of person. When I’m on air – I plan to a degree but never seem to stick with my original idea and instead always seem to be going off course and ad-libbing, which can (and has) lead to things not quite being good enough.  I’m like it in my personal life too – I can never decide on anything until right at the last moment – whether it’s shopping for clothes, booking a holiday or simply ordering off a menu I am the most last minute decision maker ever.

I can see now why one idea and running with it, simply won’t work. It can’t work like this and especially not in a creative environment. I now feel like I have the skills and full appreciation for this way of working, this development style and of course understand the importance of research.

Researching, both correctly and creatively requires inspiration and constant dedication. I like these quotes as they seem to ring true with me;

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.” -Wernher von Braun

Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and get re-inspired about your work and nothing is better than going back and asking ‘Why am I doing this’ – simple but it seems to work.

I do understand the need to work out, scribble, discuss and breakdown each idea and pick at it to see how and why it will work.

This is perhaps why the course hasn’t been an easy feat for me, I’ve found it challenging, frustrating and excruciatingly tedious at times (more about that later) but now I’m almost at the end I feel like I actually have set out what I wanted to achieve with this course. Perhaps the element of research and written work has reminded me of all the reasons why I hated school and only just scraped through G.C.S.E’s and A-Levels. It’s been a huge leap from FD to BA too, like upgrading from swimming 5m with armbands on to swimming the channel. That’s what it felt like to begin with and I’m pretty sure I’m not on my own.

I’m really starting to feel proud of the work I’m creating and even utilising my website as a platform to talk about myself and my work and I’ve even started uploading audio I’ve been working on and listing it as ‘public’. Not something I’d ever do!

Despite appearances I’m not as sure-footed as I seem.

I want to succeed both academically and professionally but my focus has always been on making this course work for me in a constructive way. I’ve made no secret of the fact I don’t see gaining a degree changing too much for me, which some may then question my motives for starting in the first place – yes and a question I ask myself – regularly.

Put simply, the media industry is competitive, fiercely so and for every radio presenter or producer there are quite literally hundreds more knocking on the door looking for work.

I have found working in the industry alongside studying full time difficult mostly due to the fact that I feel like I missed opportunities outside of the college that otherwise I may have been able to capitalise on. It took me until February or March to really put those things on hold to give my full attention to the course.

Another challenge has been adapting this course to my specialism – Radio. It’s a very generic course, written well and developed for a media student but first and foremost it’s a visual course. I essentially talk on the radio – bringing my professional experience in line with this has been, well – a challenge.

I’ve learnt to research ideas and not just the subject of choice but also the how’s and whys of what I’m doing from the content through to the style of delivery, audio and of course that ever present visual element.

I’ve been looking through the handbook and reading through this final assignment and trying to breakdown each part in order to further understand exactly how all the written work can be glued together.

I guess this is just me getting a few things off my chest and starting to develop some ideas for my critical evaluation.

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