Friday, December 21, 2012

No end of the world!

Well, it is well into 21st in Thailand, and still no end of the world. Guess we can't use that one as an excuse to not write!

Spent the day writing a book review for a journal edited by colleagues here- I forgot how much fun they can be. Writing books reviews are great ways to think through issues I have not considered for a while.

500 words down, and lets see if I can get the last 500 before the world ends!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


One of the words that I use frequently about the writing process is "messy." Writing is messy process, more often than not. We do not get to have our ideas easily actualize themselves into an article. It is hard work, with progress and problems, delights and depressions- it is messy. One of the hardest things for those new to academic writing is the messiness, or at least a willingness to allow for it, to take chances, to let go of an easy and orderly path. In many ways, this is normal, as new authors do not have the track record needed in order to feel trust in themselves, faith in the process. Expect that the process will not be smooth, linear, or easy, and you will not set yourself up for too-high expectations.

Learn to become ok with the messiness of the process- it is inevitable.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thank you, Srinakharinwirot University, School of Economics and Public Policy

Yesterday, I conducted a 3 hour workshop on writing and publishing for faculty and doctoral students at this university in Bangkok. I was so warmly received, so welcomed, and so deeply engaged, that I wanted to say thank you here. Each of you who participated reminded me deeply why I love this work.

I wanted to send a special thanks to Dean Renu and Associate Dean Caren for their warmth and caring. I hope this begins the start of a productive collaboration. Dr. Caren  especially has been a wonderful and engaging partner, setting up my visit and my work with the faculty and doctoral students.

Kab Kun Krap

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Cafe writing, Bangkok

I am writing from a cafe in Bangkok. Well, I am actually writing from a cafe in Bangkok that is attached to a Subway sandwich shop- one of the many fascinating examples of the complexities and torments of globalization. Here, just off Sukhumvit, one of the longest and most populous streets in the world, you will find a diversity of humanity like few other places.

And what does this have to do with writing?

A few things.

First, write everywhere.

Second, writing in new places pushes my writing in ways I cannot anticipate. I am almost "gifted" ideas and new and perspectives, in spit of extreme jet lag.

I love writing when I travel- it is truly when I am most creative, and most productive.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Back from Philadelphia last night. On the plane, I was able to do some taking stock, of my writing projects, things started and not completed, things yet to be started.

It felt good, five hours to check in, take stock of my writing agenda, and see where things are. I am coming out of one of the busiest period of my life-I am looking forward to some unstructured time to think, think and write beyond the little bit I have done each day.

Tomorrow, off to Thailand- a conference, research, and then to work with my co-author on the new writing book. Our task, read it out loud together, see if anything needs to be added, and begin to query publishers.

And in this space, more time, slightly less structured than my daily life, slightly less full. I pledge to myself to recommit to a few articles in progress, and enjoy some unstructured time without the daily rhythms of family and faculty life.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Call for papers

Reading calls for papers is a good way to stimulate creative thinking on potential articles. Check out this great list from the American Criminological Society, even if this is not your area of interest.

Do a search for calls for papers in your own field as well!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Edit, last sentence first

If you edit your paper starting with the last sentence, and then move backward through your paper, you will catch a lot of errors (if they exist!) that you would not have otherwise caught. This seems to trick the brain into moving from content to grammar and sentence structure.

Try it!

Monday, December 3, 2012

First Draft Done!

My coauthor and I have completed the first draft of our new manuscript,

Writing and Publishing in English: A Guide for English as Second Language and international Scholars. We are excited about it. Of course, the work is far from over. We still need to work our way through a second draft, making sure to identity and improve any problematic areas. Now, we begin the process of looking for a publisher. We have our query letter, a sample chapter, and a short list of top choices. Wish us luck!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

On joy and pleasure: More on not liking to write.....

When I hear people say that writing is not fun, or that they do not like to write, I am reminded of the difference between pleasure and joy. Pleasure is an experience that is more related to the moment, to that which provides immediate gratification. Joy, on the other hand, is not an experience of immediate gratification, but is more about an overall experience of satisfaction. Yes, at times writing does not be great pleasure, but it usually brings deep joy when we push through the difficult time.

Try to not give in to frustrations. Allow yourself to feel them, and push forward. Very little of great meaning in life is easy.