Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Summer, Quarter System

The University of Washington adopts the quarter system, so today marks the start of my summer. Actually, last week should have been the start, but I spent a week in a training on online and distance education.

So, now that summer is here, it is time to assess my writing projects. Here are a few questions I am using to guide my reflection today; perhaps they may be of help.

1) What articles to I have partially done that I should attend to?

2) What have I really been wanting to write about but have not?

3) What writing tasks have I been avoiding?

4) What are potential win/win collaborations that I can work on?

5) What would be the markets of a successful summer, in terms of my scholarship?

Time for some journaling.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Sometimes we don't get to have total clarity when we are writing. I like to encourage people to develop good structures that help carry them forward, that make the process of writing academic work smoother, more "predictable." I worry, sometimes, that perhaps I am setting people up if I don't warn them about the gap between this ideal and what can happen in the messy world of writing. You see, that is just it, writing can be a messy process. At times, we have to allow for that messiness, for that chaos, and write our way out of it. Tough work, and for those brave enough to write.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Joy and an Honor

Sometimes, I am just astonished at how lucky I am to be able to do the work that I do. I am spending the weekend working with a group of doctoral students on writing. We are talking about dissertations, research, writing productivity, the psychosocial barriers to writing, ect. Now, they are doing an hour of writing on their dissertation topic, working through a model I provided them on the different modes or phases of academic writing. I sit with them in silence, or rather, in a space of silence that is interrupted only by the hitting of computer keys. I watch their faces, bet the two giant labrators on the floor; how lucky I am.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Old books" for inspiration

Today I picked up a very old and dear copy of a book that was very important to me years ago; The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon." I forget, sometimes, to go back to my roots, to read the works of those who were most inspiring to me. Today, Fanon makes me want to write, to write big ideas, to not worry about impact factors and such, but just to write the truth, or at least my truth. In the end, this is why we write, to make an impact, to write our truths.