Monday, November 26, 2018

Winter Break Coaching Packets (Three only)

I will have some free time over the winter break (Yay!!!), and so will offer time-bounded coaching packages for those who are interested (and, before my rates go up on January 1).

Four sessions for five-hundred dollars, to be used between December 12 and January 25th.

Email me if you are interested.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Well, You Know: On Practices That Do Not Serve Us

It might sound like this......Do things your way, don't listen to others. Don't listen to what others say about the writing process, do it your way!

I have read "encouragement" and "validation" like this a few times lately on Twitter. Ironically, each writer seems to have been struggling with their own writing practices and productivity, although are very, very confident in their methods. A certain line from Shakespeare--something about protesting to much-- comes to mind.

Some of these methods are tried and true "academic lore"-- practices and principles I have seen hinder scholars over the years--that they keep practicing and performing, over and over, in spite of not getting the results they wish for. Or, they have their own methods that they insist will work for them, if only they had more time. Time, alas, that mythical unicorn.

Of course, we need to all find methods that work for us. We are all, individuals, we are all, different--just ask this fellow!

However, in my roles as therapist and coach, I have frequently listened to scholars express their preference for practices that do not serve them. Perhaps their methods once did help them, perhaps not so much.  The practices don't work, but they defend tooth and nail.

Change is hard. Letting go of old ways of being is hard.  Having to deconstruct your way of working is threatening.

When reading social media, I try hard to smack my fingers when I am tempted to give advice regarding the practices of others--unless I am clearly invited. Unsolicited advice and opinions are often unwelcome.

But here, I often critique practices I find troubling, of course, without directly challenging anyone. And if you are a coaching client, well, you know--we will explore your practices. If they truly work for you, we will improve them, refine them, maximize them, connect them to the writing you deeply wish to do.

But if they are not working--well, you know :).

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Yes, I Know, Writing is Hard, But...

Some of you may have read a series of posts I wrote, all with the title "Writing is Not Hard." I hope you read enough of them and not just the titles! If you did not, you might be wondering why I am discounting your writing difficulties. I could even see how such a message, taken out of context, could be seen as being dismissive of the challenges that writing presents.

Writing does, of course, present many technical challenge. I am 3/4 of the way through an MFA in creative nonfiction (yes, I have a PhD already and no, I did not give my my tenure!!)-a bucket list dream, my MFA. I have spent countless hours working on my essays. There are times when I have spent an hour or more on a sentence- that is  challenging, for sure.

But academic writing is not creative writing- no matter what anyone tells you, spending an hour word-smithing a sentence in an academic article or dissertation is not a wise use of time.

Not only that, but even challenging writing does not have to be painful. The point of my series of posts was simply this: most of what makes writing feel hard are the problematic beliefs and discourses that we have internalized. The subjective experience of writing is extremely hard when you have both technical challenges that you have not overcome and cognitions that make you feel anxious or down.

So, how do you make writing feel easier? Improve your technical writing skills, your methods of productivity, and work on your "stuff."

Now that is hard work, but oh, the possibilities!! 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Check In

Sorry I have not been blogging. All is good with me. This has been a busy quarter.  I am happy and well, and my knees continue to feel stronger and better!

What am I up to?

A teaching schedule that basically takes up two full days ( I hate starting at 11am!).

Normal fall committee ramp us.

The finishing touches on an edited book (Healthcare Social Work: A Global Perspective, Oxford U Press)

Tons of wonderful clients (get on the waiting list, if you dare!!). Far more pro bono coaching that I have done before- nothing like a xenophobic despot to create more work for all of us.

Just now completing the first draft of my thesis for  my MFA in Creative Nonfiction (five months early, I know, I know, I am freak). Oh, how close I am to crossing off this bucket list item!

(random side note: will I really ever use, Rich Furman, MFA, MSW, PhD?? I can tell you one thing, I will use MFA often!!!)

December begins the start of a far more "normal" period, and will be freed up a good deal. Expect blogging to pick up :)