Writing as metaphor: discovering a writing process that works for you
Facilitator: Michelle Boyd
Do you often draw a blank when thinking about how much time you need to take a project from conception to completion?
Do you often underestimate the amount of time it takes you to produce an article manuscript or book chapter?
Do you consistently miss deadlines because of your inability to correctly gauge what work must be done and how long it will take?
Very few scholars have a clear sense of their own writing process--that is, what steps they take in order to move from a muddy idea to a clearly communicated, complex argument. In part because we are so (rightly) concerned with productivity and output, we very rarely stop to consider how we move our writing projects from conception to completion. Nor do we think through how our particular process might impact how we organize and manage our writing time. Because we pay so little attention to writing process, we often grossly underestimate the amount of time we need for a project; we feel anxious and unsatisfied, even when we have made significant progress in our writing; and we lose our initial enthusiasm for our ideas. This workshop introduces the writing metaphor and other techniques for clarifying scholars' individual writing process. It will teach participants to:
- identify the phases of a writing project;
- understand their writing process in each of these phases, and
- structure their time in ways that respect their natural process
At the end of this workshop, participants will better understand how to design a writing routine and schedule that fits their particular writing process.
Michelle Boyd is the Director of InkWell Academic Writing Retreats, a coaching and retreat center for scholars. Despite being a tormented writer, she has received many honors for her research including, most recently, a Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association. She teaches at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where she cofounded and coaches the WriteOut! Dissertation Writing Retreat.