It occurs to me there are parallels between how we build trust and how a relationship develops between the writer and reader. Much of the literature I am drawn to stresses that trust is a process, of taking the first step, of risk and of developing a stake in the other person’s interests. Each party need to identify with the other in some way or another, including the credibility of each other, of being moved emotionally with any gift or expectation of trust or the straightforward logic of the process. And it should be similar with literature – an exchange, albeit one divided by time between ‘nib-to-paper’ through to ‘paper-to-eye’.
But often it isn’t. The conventions of academic writing seem to dull all but those logical senses. When I read papers crafted towards the academic game I’m left unmoved. I am particularly critical of those that base most of their argument on what other people have said on trust and shy away from discussing actual experience, their own or others. If we don’t build effective bridges between the reader and the author how can we affect people’s practice and how they think of their practice?