When Things Collide: Wayfinding in Professional Writers' Early Career Development
Keywords:wayfinding, professional writing, writing through the lifespan, post-college writing, writing transfer, metageneric connections
In this article, we explore how the concept of wayfinding allows us an opportunity to map post-collegiate writers’ complex and recursive movement in and out of different territories, realms, spaces, and spheres of writing ecologies. Focusing specifically on accounts from seven alumni who participated in focus group interviews during 2018-19, we offer stories of writers’ navigating the transition from college to workforce. Using wayfinding as our theoretical lens, we pay attention to the ways in which these writers articulate their increasing understanding of these domains -- college and post-college -- as far from separate. Such examples show us how alumni “find their way,” and introduce three emergent themes in our ongoing analysis of wayfinding. Our participants describe their ongoing and developing journeys as writers: (1) encountering the unexpected, (2) navigating career plans and paths, and (3) seeing beyond the boundaries of writing contexts. In each case, we narrate how wayfinding helps us illuminate the complex dynamics at play as these writers’ continue to explore how writing is meaningful in their lives and across multiple contexts.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Carl Whithaus, Jonathan Alexander, Karen Lunsford
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