Sunday, January 29, 2017

Scholars Impacted by Ban, Free Coaching

Scholars who have been impacted by the ban, all my services, coaching and writing support, are free for you right now. I am here, as much as I can help, as many people as I can help, I am here.

I not only help scholars, doctoral students and faculty, with writing and publishing, but am skilled at helping people resolve the emotional and psychosocial barrier that get in their way. If you are feeling demoralized, panicked, depressed over this. I am here.  Just tell me that you have been greatly harmed, emotionally or otherwise by this, and I will work with you for free for now. Period. Please email me.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Support for Scholars Impacted by "The Ban and The Wall"

Dear community,

I have decided that I am going to offer some group webinars/virtual support groups for scholars who have been emotionally, physically, spiritually, and otherwise deeply impacted by Trump's executive orders related to immigration and refugees. These will of course be free of charge. I will facilitate these and will rely on coaching, group support, and whatever else is needed to help folks. The details will be forthcoming, but the first one will be this Wednesday, Feb 1, at 11:30 Pacific Time.

Flying by the seat of my pants here; more details later, but I feel called to act NOW.

Please email me if you wish to participate.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

No, you own it to me

Goodwill Hunting is one of my favorite movies. I have used a few different scenes from it for my Introduction to Masculinities and Men and Masculinities and Criminal Justice courses. This morning, I woke up thinking about one of my favorite scenes, one that I have never thought of using in a course, or as an exemplar for anything. However, today that scene has a great deal of currency.

I also spent a good deal of time this morning lamenting that I am not going to any of the marches or protests. I have spend more than a night or two in jail protesting Apartheid, the "secret" war in Nicaragua, death squads in El Salvador (by military personnel trained in the US), and the last two wars in the middle east. I have marched, I have protested, I have put my butt on the line.

Why am I writing this? I am saying this not to impress you, but to assuage my guilt. My arthritis is just too advanced to stand or walk for any length of time without being in a ton of pain. I can cycle for hours, but I don't think I could even run a block or two. Sigh.

So, I write. I will continue to write about the criminalization of immigration and transnational social work-these are the two topics I write about out of my commitment toward social change. They are important issues today, IMHO.

But today, I am going to focus on an autoethnography I am working on. It has nothing to do with social change or justice. It is for me. I get to write today because I owe it to humanity to actualize my sense of who I wish to be in the world. I get to write with my lovely dogs in my lap, and my fantastic girlfriend in the other chair. I get to feel love, and frankly, I ##((^$ing owe it to humanity to love today, to express the best parts of who I am.

Yes, I owe it to humanity, and will continue to own it to humanity, to write, to teach, to be of service with my coaching. And you know what? 95% of those conversations, of those actions, will have nothing to do with Trump and the current sociopolitical movements. Those #($*(#(#s do not get that to impact me there. They do not get to have that part of me; they are not permitted into that space. Never.

And your work? That which you love? You not only own it to yourself, but guess what, you own to "me".

Yes, you own it to "me", the universal "me," to continue the work that you do. To express the best parts of who you are, of what you wish to be and actualize in this world. You owe it to me to continue to do what matters to you, the passions and research you have cultivated over many, many years. You owe "me" the best of who you are.

I am not saying you can't be troubled or deeply saddened about what is going on in the world. I am not saying you can't be stuck. What I am suggesting is that self care, self actualization, and personal growth are going to be a key part of what we will be called upon to do. When it seems futile and hopeless to engage in work that is seemingly so disconnected from what is happening in the the country today, just remember that what you do is part of creating what is happening in the world. You are the embodiment of the world, and we need you to write, writing joyfully, write with love, but damn it, don't stop for anyone else.

Friday, January 20, 2017

List Ten Motivations

Here is an exercises. I want you to list ten years why you should write. I don't mean the big reasons, not the end game, but ten things that can push you to write today. See what you come up with.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Motivation: Use of structure

Too often, when scholars and writers think of motivation they neglect to consider the importance of structure, ritual, and consistency. The advantage of a structural/environmental approach to motivation is that it accounts for the ebbs in flows of our internal motivation. That is, our desire to engage in behaviors we wish will often shift and change. When we have structures in place that ritualize our behavior, our cognitive and emotional energies can lag somewhat behind.

Consider developing a plan that integrates the following areas of writing/scholarly productivity. Develop these structures and inoculate yourself against motivational lulls. Click on each issue to see a previous post I have written.

Calendar use/time
A process approach

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Motivation: Lessons for Business Applied to Us

Ok. First post on motivation, as promised. Except, I am not going to do the work for you today (I am tired!). Watch this Ted Talk video by Dan Pink. He explores issues of motivation as they apply to business. I am asking you to think of the implications for higher education, and for yourself as a scholar/writer.  If you are willing, do a five minute freewrite reflecting upon the video.

What does this mean for your writing? How can you implement one insight you gleaned?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Motivation Self Reflection

Over the next few posts, I am going to explore various conceptions of motivation and how they inform academic (and other) writers. To start, consider the following questions for yourself.

1) What currently motivates you to write?

2) What feelings, behaviors and context are demotivating?

3) Think of a time when you were particularly motivated to write? What event/feeling/belief/behavior(s) lead to this motivation?

4) What might be your blindspots regarding your motivation? In other words, carefully reflect upon what you wrote and see if all of them ring true, or if perhaps you may be perpetuating some internalized myths or beliefs that do not serve you well. This is hard to do, but developing this type of insight is an important step toward "self coaching".

Friday, January 6, 2017


In the next few posts, I will be exploring conceptions of motivation, and interrogate the implications of these ideas for academic life, writing, and for the coaching of academics.  Tune in if you are wishing to improve your motivation, or help others do so.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Challenge: One Action, Today

Your challenge for the day is simple. Think of one action you can take to improve your writing processes and practices. Make it a small change. See if you can practice it, even if for only a couple of minutes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Living in The Important, But Not Urgent

The book, 7 Habits for Highly Effective People was one of the most influential self help/leadership books of all time. Like many good books of its type, many of the lessons are not revolutionary, but are well-packaged distillations of truths that have been known for a long time (this is not meant as a dig, FYI) They also successfully demonstrate how to apply these lessons to important contexts and domains. That is, perhaps, one of the key functions of therapy and coaching as well, as an aside.

The most important lesson (IMHO) from that book lies in Covey's Time Management Quadrants. The US Government's Geological Survey Office of Office of Employee and Organizational Development, of all places, presents a great discussion of the tool and a couple of good ways of using it, should you like a more in-depth exploration.

For now, this simple depiction is enough to help me make my point.

Stephen Covey's Four Quadrants | the late stephen covey s time matri

Covey explored how our sense of urgency about tasks, regardless of their level of importance, tends to get our attention, unless we are intentional about doing otherwise. This becomes especially true as people are constantly connected to emails and texts; the immediacy of these medium pull people toward responding.

To keep it simple, I am proposing this: start every day with writing that is not urgent, but important. (and this really is not my idea, as it has been explored by many, but I, as I suggested, am repackaging and recontextualizing good ideas!)

In other words, do the writing for which there is no time crunch first. The things that are urgent will get done, or at least we are more likely to do them. However, by focusing on that which is important but not urgent first, we make movement on long-term writing projects and goals, thereby helping us feel less anxious and stressed.

Live as much as you can in the important and not urgent. See what that does to your productivity, and your long term sense of accomplishment.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

6th Calendar Year of My Blog, Write, Publish, Thrive!

Happy New Year! With the start of 2017, Write, Publish, Thrive is now in its 6th calendar year. As someone who values showing up each day,  year after year, and trusting that such actions will lead to good things, I am feeling really grateful.  How lucky that writing is such a central part of my life. How fortunate to be engaged with amazing scholars on their journeys toward thriving.

I want to wish my readers a healthy, productive 2017.