Imagine spending a dedicated period setting yourself up to write. For some, that might be clearing their desk, for others, making a clear spot on the desk and for some it could be organizing folders on their computer’s desk-top. Organizing your physical or digital space is just one of the tools we promote for our CareFull Scholars daily writing practice. However, one “clearing” is even more important and more foundational than creating physical or digital space for your writing. That is creating a clearing in your own mind.
Starting with the dissertation, we are trained to write because we have to get something done. Moving into a tenure track position solidifies that view as the push for publication and grant proposals become a constant pressure associated with writing. Consequently, writing may not be associated with words like “spacious,” “peaceful,” or “fulfiling” As one author put it. “It feels good to have written but not to write. “
This is one way to do it. However there is another way and it has to do with WHY. Even if you are still recovering from PhD-PTSD, it is possible to NOT have the remainder of your career having to write under pressure but instead write because your story, your perspective and your research questions are vital and important.
Seriously, your unique path has brought you through some things. Because of how you were trained, you know some things. Your personal story is full of resilience and determination and tenacity so you have something to say about research and about teaching. You have a purpose in this life and right now it has to do with producing scholarship. Once it become clear in your mind about your WHY, then it becomes easier to make writing a priority.
So, go ahead, let’s use writing to begin to change our relationship with writing.
Today, I invite you to spend your 15 minutes asking yourself “WHY doI need to write?” And once you get an answer, ask yourself, “Why do I need that….” And once you get the next answer ask again “Why do I need that….” and if you keep on doing this you will get to the answer that can’t go any further.
When you get there, you will discover something. I hope you share it in the comments.