The last time I did academic research (mid- to late-1990s), there was no Internet as we know it today. The idea of wading into research to help "underpin my practice in a more vigorous way" resonates as something entirely necessary, while leaving me slightly overwhelmed.
Nonetheless, we begin. Our first task was gently assigned: create one A4 snapshot of your current practice, list a few keywords, add a short description.
Placing this small stake in the ground is a way to begin. An accurate reflection of how I think about my work now, at Point A.
Already in our second week of class, I'm reassured and encouraged by another student's question about how to give context to deeply personal work. The answer is simple and one I do intuitively: create context by looking at other artists who use personal narrative in their work. What questions are they asking? What is their process?
If I can keep returning to what I know - and use this new scaffolding we're learning as a way to organize, deepen and broaden my perspective - this now feels doable. One step at a time.