Monday, December 18, 2017

Want to, have to?

Consider a piece of scholarship that you want to work on, not one that you have to work on. What would it mean to work on this now, in a manner that does not increase your stress, but instead feels life-enhancing?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Everyone Has an Opinion, But....

Every once in a while, I have to stop following someone on twitter. It does not happen often and is never for posts about political opinions or disciplinary differences that I do not care for, or other such disagreements. I try to allow space for such the diversity of ideas.

Yet, when I read scholars pontificating about writing or writing productivity, in an authoritative tone seeming to imply expertise about such, and when they clearly have written very little,  I just have to disengage.

There is a huge recycling of myths about the scholarly writing process that I find a wee bit offensive. Also, when someone tries to position themslves an expert on psychosocial barriers that blocks scholars in their writing, but they really have not worked through such things themselves, and are not trained in helping people change, I just lose patience.

I do not mean to sound snippy or snide, or like a know-it-all.  For twenty years, I have viewed myself as student of what it means to write and publish- I still have much to learn.  Heck, that is why I am studying for an MFA in Nonfiction at the age of fifty-two!

However, I have learned a few things from my years of writing and publishing, and from working intensively with other scholars as a mentor or coach.Yet, I am also not one to "suffer fools lightly." As such, it is best for me to just "step off" at times.

The lesson here, to the degree that I have one, is watch the advice you are taking.  Make sure you critically evaluate where advice comes from, and the impact that preforming  such advice has had on scholars, over time. Over a long period of time. The goal is to develop sustainable practices.

And this post I end, with....


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Reflective Colleague Assessment Tool

Many years ago, I started working on a reflective self-assessment tool designed to explore male friendships. Today, a client and I were discussion the importance of relationships in her life, and I thought of that work I had started many years ago. After taking a quick look at an old brainstorming document, I realized this might be a valuable aid toward helping academic assess the quality of their colleague relationships. I present this to you as a crude, undeveloped, certainly untested instrument that you may wish to consider as an exercise. It is a reflective tool, designed to help you consider who supports you, and who you support. Use the scale subjectively, and only as means of initial assessment and tracking, should you wish to engage in some work based upon your reflections.

Reflective Colleague Assessment

1)      List all the colleagues you currently have in your life.
2)      List the colleagues who are important to you, but are not currently part of your life.
3)      Rank the colleagues according to the categories listed below.
4)      Note which colleagues you will like to move from one category to another.
5)      Brainstorm what you might need to do to move a colleague to another category.
6)      What actions can you take to make this happen?
7)      What barriers and blocks might get in your way (internal and external)?
8)      What actions will you now committee to doing?
9)      Spend some time reflecting on this process.


Below Average


Monday, December 4, 2017

Deconstructing Writing Myths

I hear and read many people explore their writing and their writing processes. Some of the ideas that people hold are helpful and true, and facilitate productive writing. Yet, so much of what scholars and writers believe about writing is based upon myths and passed-down lore and idioms that do not serve us well.

When I am with a client, it is part of my job to nudge them to explore their erroneous beliefs about writing (and themselves as writers and scholars). However, when I encounter such ideas on social media? Sometimes I engage, and sometimes, I need to bite my tongue (or, fingers, more accurately).

But this blog, is my space- I don't need to self-censure (at least not a great deal!!). Check back for posts deconstructing some of the writing and publishing myths that people live and perform. I have explored some in the past, but perhaps never this intentionally. Be prepared to have some of your cherished ideas challenged!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Challenge: One Task, Ten Minutes

For today's challenge, I want you to pick one task and "attack" it for ten minutes. By task, I want you to be as specific as possible. For example, "write 100 words on X in the introduction section of X article" or " write about x finding in the discussion section of my primary article, X number of words for that section."

The more specific "marching orders" we give ourselves, the less likely we are to get stuck during our writing blocks.

Its an important tool, one of many, of course, toward writing productivity.