Monday, September 19, 2016

A Reflective Challenge on Goal Setting

It is widely assumed that you should have clear goals for each semester (or quarter), as well as clear weekly outcomes goals. Is this true? How well do outcome goals help? 

Today, I want you to consider the impact that semester plans and goals have had on your work and life. Do fifteen minutes of reflective writing about how goals have helped or hindered your work and life.

Here are some questions if you need some prompts. Have your goals been helpful? Do they make you more productive, or do they lead to guilt and shame that keep you stuck? Do you have a clear sense of how long tasks really take? What would it be like if you just worked on your processes, and let go of outcome goal setting?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Technical problems, judgements, and lack of production....

I just realized that my blog's spell check is misfunctionoing. When did this start? How many posts with spelling errors (more than my typical one or two :)).

Two people pointed this out to me; one a good freind; he provide the facts and that was that.

The other was a couple of days ago (I did not put two and two together until just now). A reader from twitter chided me for a blog on writing with spelling errors. Clearlly, I could not possibility have published much, with such deficits, and had nothing to say about writing.

A quick peek at her CV showed a bunch of years and not many publications. I don't mean to come across as smug here; my hunch is, however, that there is a relationship between her micro management and judgment (applied to self, I would guess), and her lack of productivity.

Does this type of perfectionism apply to you? Any lessons here for your work?

I am going to keep having fun here, and just let it rip!

At some point, I guess I have some reading to do of old blog posts. Until then, I guess we will have to consider content and forgive me (or not) for a few spelling errors :). For journal articles and books, I will rely on editors and proof readers for (near) perfection. I am not going to let this slow me down. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Practical Tips for Writing Your Dissertation: Online Workshop!

This winter I am conducing an online dissertation writing workshop sponsored by the wonderful Taos Institute! The program is open to Taos doctoral students and doctoral students from any university in the world.

 Last winter, we had participants across five continents from many different academic and professional disinclines . The registration link is not up yet, but I wanted to let folks know so they could contact me in case they are interested. I expect this to fill up! The price is approximate $550 for Taos students, and $650 for other doctoral students or scholars (it might be a bit less).  It is appropriate for doctoral students candidates from all fields. Whether you are working on your proposal or are struggling with writing up your final sections, you will learn tools that will help you throughout your academic career. Please email me with questions or to let me know of your interest!

I will post the registration link here when it is created, within a week or so. Below you will find additional information about the workshop.

January 15th – March 10th – 8 weeks. 

Workshop Title - Practical Tips for Writing Your Dissertation

with Rich Furman, PhD

Where: Online, virtual, both synchronous and asynchronous. 

This online workshop is designed for doctoral students to help them develop the skills needed to successfully complete a high quality dissertation. It begins with an exploration of the nature of dissertations, including an analysis of the traditional dissertation architecture and the nature of each section. It examines the nature of quality in scholarly writing, helping developing scholars engage in an examination and critique of each other’s writing. Participants will practice methods of writing productivity, using each technique to push their agenda writing forward. Finally, the workshop helps doctoral students understand the psychosocial barriers that inhibit scholars, perhaps the most important and unique aspect of this workshop.

This online workshop will be a combination of readings, videos, writing, learning partner dialogues, and online conversations. There will also be a live conference call each week. Participants should be available for the live conference calls, and have up to 6 hours a week available for the assignments and weekly dialogue partner conversations. 

Module 1- Introduction, Deconstructing the Dissertation
Module 2-The Architecture/Sections of the Dissertation
Module 3- Quality Writing and the Dissertation
Module 4Methods of Writing Productivity, Part 1
Module 5 - Methods of Writing Productivity, Part 2
Module 6 – The Psychosocial Barriers to Writing a Dissertation, Part 1
Module 7 – The Psychosocial Barriers to Writing and Dissertation, Part 2
Module 8 – Putting It All Together

To register:

For questions email Rich Furman

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Writing Challenge: Skim an Article, Write

Pick a section of your article that needs some literature added to it. Find an article. Set your timer for three minutes. Skim until timer goes off. Return to artcle. Write. Repeat.

It works.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Decisions decisions

I have a tough decision to make. Practical Tips for Publishing Scholarly Articles is now ready for a revision. The problem is, I really want to totally rewrite the book. I mean, from the ground up, start over, and pretty much double its size. I have learned a lot about writing and publishing from my coaching practice over the last several years, and have a lot more I want to share!

So, what I really want to do is not a revision: its a new book. Do I do a quick revision of Practical Tips and then begin writing on a new book after? Do I just start the new book now?

The problem is complicated by my old publisher, Lyceum Books, having been sold to Oxford University Press. If a buyout was going to happen, this was the perfect one. I published my first book with Oxford last year, and had been working on another when the buyout happened. So, now 7 of my books current books (I think??) are now with Oxford; its cool, but the landscape has changed. 

Now, when I say complicated, the complexity comes not from any intrusiveness from the publisher. In fact, it is just the opposite. They are open to my going in either direction. The complexity comes from my own thinking about it, and my daily back and forth ruminations.

So, what to do, what to do.

If any of you have read Practical Tips before, and have an opinion, do let me know!

Friday, September 2, 2016

The problem about the problem

I had a recent conversation with an increinbly smart, highly accomplished scholar who is a in a bit of a writing rut(undertatment). Not only is she stuck, but she is ashamed about being stuck. This secondary response, the feeling about the problem, is often the first thing needs to be worked on prior to (or at the same time) resolving the identified problem.

This is often why simply reading a book on writing productivity or following simple, clear advice does not work. The ideas may be valid, but other "stuff" is stopping you from implementing the good ideas. The self judgments that can arise from this can become an endless loop of shame, guilt and remorse, if not reslolved.

If you have one of these "prolbems about the problem," and are not able to resolve it on your own, you own it to yourself to find a way of working through it with some support or help.

Therapist or coach? Here is a post to help you decide.