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 :).

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