Creative Expressions. Thoughtful Ideas.
Welcome. I am Petra Brown. I have a PhD in philosophy. I also love to explore and express my ideas passionately and creatively into the world. This blog is the place where my inner artist and writer meets with the trained philosopher and academic, to see where a partnership between the heart and the head might take me. On this blog, I try to bring together my exploratory creative expressions with the best of what my education in the University has taught me – the capacity to reflect and to be thoughtful in my thinking and writing.
I have always loved ideas. When I was younger, I learned through imaginative, explorative and creative expressions of my ideas. This was true at school, and it remains true to how I am as a life-long learner. However, once I started studying at university, I discovered that my imagination, creativity, and self-expression did not align with the conventions of academic culture.
I increasingly felt that my way of writing did not conform to academic norms and expectations. I trained myself to more objective, more critical, more rational, and more argumentative. I soon learned that I could either conform to the conventions and norms of the institution, or I would simply find myself excluded from the world of ideas that has always deeply fascinated me.
It was not easy to adapt, but eventually my hard work was rewarded with a scholarship to continue my studies. Throughout my PhD, I loved the opportunity to learn and to explore ideas. But I found the process of academic writing and the production of the thesis increasingly stultifying. By the time I published my thesis as a book, I had grown to hate the process of writing and my own writing. What were once wonderful, fascinating ideas seemed to be like so many straight-jacketed bodies that once skipped and danced lightly through my mind, now trapped in 184 pages of text.
So more recently, I have decided that it is time to intentionally nurture that creative, expressive, inspired spark of myself that I think (I hope!) is still there. And it is not objectivity, logic, or even rationality that will get me there. It is to tap into a part of myself that is deeply subjective, intuitive and imaginative – and that right now seems to me the most reasonable and rational thing in the world.
My various playgrounds in this venture are largely social media platforms linked below. These are where I sow the seeds that will help me to recover my writing voice, and with this my own unique way of being in the world. The seeds come in many forms, and they are liberally and consequently wastefully scattered. But I am optimistic that in this messy sowing, something will grow over time.
Because I’m engaging in play, my blog posts are not perfect or polished. I can promise you that everything that appears on this website has been created with the utmost care and thought, because that’s how I operate. And I do provide sources and references (I am an academic after all), to give credit to ideas that are not my own, or so you can follow up any ideas for yourself. But if you are looking for something with more academic or authoritative tone, please see ‘my published works’.
I deeply appreciate meaningful human connections. I love hearing the stories of others. I welcome curiosity, questions, and even suggestions all given in the spirit of co-creation. So if you do post or comment where there is a space for it, either anywhere on this site, or via my social media sites below, I will take note. But it may take me a little while to respond, depending on where the muse has taken me.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I hope that what you encounter on my blog gives you food for thought, and encourages you to reflect on your own life journey and your place in the world. And most important of all, my hope is that it encourages you to reconnect with your own unique, creative, and expressive heart.