Monday, May 13, 2013

The steps that people want to skip

Step is  not the correct word, but domain. When I do workshops on writing academic articles, many of my participants want to skip over an exploration of their psychosocial barriers and and method of writing production and go right to the information about journal articles. Try as I might, some people just don't wish to see how they get in their own way, and wish to focus on the "technology," if you will, of the journal article.

What I have seen over the year  is that not looking at how you get in your own way, through perfectionism, procrastination, fear, anxiety, and other such issues I have explored here, is the downfall of many academics. When they get stuck and don't write, they either blame external factors that seem to have very little to do with their lack of productivity, or they sink into total self deprecation and blame.

Neither positions is helpful. What is needed is a honest, non-judgmental self evaluation of the issues at hand.

Sadly, some don't seem to want to do the self exploration needed to really thrive as scholars. How much I push the issue depend on the degree I am willing to engage in conflict.

In my coaching practice, that is one thing. With participants of workshops, it is a very different story.

Hopefully, some of you have made some of the changes you need through having read this blog, and having worked on some of the issues that you have explored.


  1. You've helped me a lot to look at myself and recognize those issues. Believe me: your blog is very important to me and helps me so much. Thank you!

  2. This domain is very important. It took me ten years to recognize how much my "issues" stop me from being productive. Happily, I can say now that I am an academic writer. Investing in academic coaching was a key turning point for me. Blogs like yours are very important, too. I can see how confronting this topic in a workshop with many participants could be very challenging.

  3. my recurring issue seems to be getting past the hurdle that i have something to say that is worth contributing to my field. and that "issue" has contributed to a lot of procrastination and all those other nasty little emotional reactions you mentioned. now, i determine what i am wanting the audience to know and posting that on my computer to remind myself as i construct the more technical aspects of a paper. reading your blog helps me too - but now back to writing.