41 
socially constructed, and dialogic lens. The participants, mentioned in the “Introduction,”
agreed to collaborate because of their generosity of spirit but also because they knew that
freelance is often a devalued work narrative and one that deserves more scrutiny because it
is single-handedly challenging what is traditionally considered a “real job.” These seasoned
freelancers not only have years of experience successfully improvising in media, but also
have valuable lessons and insight to share in the entrepreneurial realm.
Our previous relationship, built on trust and familiarity with their work, allowed for a freer
dialogue to emerge coupled with the fact that they were less guarded because they knew
that they were allowed to edit and approve their transcripts along with the appreciative
reflections because their name was going to be attached to the project.
There are research practitioners that would argue that this familiarity would discredit the
collection process and I disagree. What I found is that a different story emerged and it was
quite intimate, compelling, and revealing because of our friendship. The participants felt no
need to self-censor because approval safeguards were in place that allowed them to have
control of their transcript and appreciative reflections (see Analysis section in Methodology).
Discovering Another Kind of Academic Voice 
As a latecomer to academic research, the tedious task of reading academic articles often
required copious amounts of coffee and a cast-iron stomach for translating some of the
obtuse academic jargon. I found a role model in Laurel Richardson, a masterful qualitative
researcher and storyteller, after reading her comment on stodgy academic writing:
Countless numbers of texts had I abandoned half read, half scanned. I would order
a new book with great anticipation the topic was one I was interested in, the
author was someone I wanted to read only to find the text boring. (Richardson &
St. Pierre, 2005, 959)
As a storyteller and weaver of many different viewpoints, my adviser and academic
program encouraged “a form of writing that any literate audience can understand. Is the
dissertation readable, informative, and possibly even enjoyable to readers for both lay and
scholarly audiences alike?” (Taos/Tilburg Ph.D. Program Criteria for Excellence). It was a
relief to find a program where I did not feel that I was committing academic treason by
inserting the relational self or weaving commentary across disciplines or employing a
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