Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Reflective Colleague Assessment Tool

Many years ago, I started working on a reflective self-assessment tool designed to explore male friendships. Today, a client and I were discussion the importance of relationships in her life, and I thought of that work I had started many years ago. After taking a quick look at an old brainstorming document, I realized this might be a valuable aid toward helping academic assess the quality of their colleague relationships. I present this to you as a crude, undeveloped, certainly untested instrument that you may wish to consider as an exercise. It is a reflective tool, designed to help you consider who supports you, and who you support. Use the scale subjectively, and only as means of initial assessment and tracking, should you wish to engage in some work based upon your reflections.

Reflective Colleague Assessment

1)      List all the colleagues you currently have in your life.
2)      List the colleagues who are important to you, but are not currently part of your life.
3)      Rank the colleagues according to the categories listed below.
4)      Note which colleagues you will like to move from one category to another.
5)      Brainstorm what you might need to do to move a colleague to another category.
6)      What actions can you take to make this happen?
7)      What barriers and blocks might get in your way (internal and external)?
8)      What actions will you now committee to doing?
9)      Spend some time reflecting on this process.


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Monday, December 4, 2017

Deconstructing Writing Myths

I hear and read many people explore their writing and their writing processes. Some of the ideas that people hold are helpful and true, and facilitate productive writing. Yet, so much of what scholars and writers believe about writing is based upon myths and passed-down lore and idioms that do not serve us well.

When I am with a client, it is part of my job to nudge them to explore their erroneous beliefs about writing (and themselves as writers and scholars). However, when I encounter such ideas on social media? Sometimes I engage, and sometimes, I need to bite my tongue (or, fingers, more accurately).

But this blog, is my space- I don't need to self-censure (at least not a great deal!!). Check back for posts deconstructing some of the writing and publishing myths that people live and perform. I have explored some in the past, but perhaps never this intentionally. Be prepared to have some of your cherished ideas challenged!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Challenge: One Task, Ten Minutes

For today's challenge, I want you to pick one task and "attack" it for ten minutes. By task, I want you to be as specific as possible. For example, "write 100 words on X in the introduction section of X article" or " write about x finding in the discussion section of my primary article, X number of words for that section."

The more specific "marching orders" we give ourselves, the less likely we are to get stuck during our writing blocks.

Its an important tool, one of many, of course, toward writing productivity. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rich's Knees, Writing, and Life

I have made so many wonderful connections over the years through my blog.  I now like to keep you all updated on my "personal life."

Since I started my blog in 2012, I have been through a whole lot of life! Recovering from my now ex-wife's disability. Buying what I call my forever home. Sabbatical. Divorce. My turning 50! My "baby moving" out. My new lover and her children moving in. The start of my own MFA journey.  My coaching practice becoming an increasingly important part of my life and identity. My slipping slowly, and then not so slowly, into disability. I don't walk well anymore- I have to use a cane when I stand for any length of time.

So, now? A new phase of my adventure! I am getting two new knees! On January 5th, I will undergo a double knee replacement. Getting to this point has been emotional, scary, painful. But now, I am ready!! I am ready to walk well again. I am ready to explore the world again. I am ready for High Intensity Interval Training again, cycling, hiking.  I want to dance in Ibiza! I want to scale a volcano again. I just want my body to feel like mine, again. I am so very, very ready. Keep me in your thoughts during those couple of weeks after. But.....I'll Be Back 

And if you need me, if I can help, reach out! I might need that, emotionally, more than you do :)

Monday, November 27, 2017

End of Term Reflection

Too often, when scholars look back upon their academic terms, they only reflect upon their goals. It is more important to explore and deconstruct your processes; optimizing your working habits and tools is what will help you meet your long term goals. Here are a few questions to ask yourself.

1) Is my writing ritual working for me?
2) What thoughts and beliefs continue to impede my work?
3) Am I wasting time on tasks that do not fulfill me and don't help me?
4) What changes do I need to make?
5) Who can help me make these changes?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cool Podcasts on Writing

Writingexcuses.com has really great podcasts on writing. While the content is mostly for creative writers, there are some valuable recordings that can be inspiring and helpful to scholars.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Writing, With A View

I am at a wonderful coffeehouse in a small town about an hour from Tacoma. My view is a small, calm bay overlooking hills, dotted with trees holding onto the last shades of fall. I am working on an essay. I will stop now to do some grading. I breath, look out over the water. Life is good.