I wanted to share a recent writing experience. I had been writing daily, but not writing my journal articles from my dissertation. I didn’t know why I was reluctant, so my writing task that day was to explore the reluctancy. I entitled my paper “A Reluctance to Write”.
Before I even began, I turned off the spell check and grammar check in Word. I cannot tell you what a difference this made for me. I no longer stopped my thinking when the red or green line popped up even though I tried to ignore the lines in the past. It truly made my writing go much smoother and I could feel the shift in my brain.
Then I explored three areas surrounding my reluctance. First was my reasons for not writing (this was the whining section). In the second section, I explored my motivation for writing the articles. This was interesting and revealing. My primary motivating force was in fact an anti-motivator (applying for a professorship). When I was able to identify the true motivators, I felt more enthusiastic about engaging in the task of completing the articles. In the final section, I asked myself what I needed to move forward with writing the articles. I set three very specific goals (including engaging in Diane Sieg’s 30 Days to Grace intentional practice and giving my overbearing gremlin a job) to help me succeed.
The process was very fruitful. I wanted to share this with you because I used so much of what I’ve learned from you – not only in the 30 Days class, but so many other classes. Everything you teach is connected to and complements each other. Thank you, Meggin.
Lisa Evans, Ed.D.
I just had to write (yes, this phrasing is deliberate). Wow, what an incredibly productive period I’ve had during the last 24 hours. I wasn’t even trying to write an article a day. My goal was to get back to writing every day–just 30 minutes. I’m a still reforming binge writer. I had been writing every day in brief daily sessions during the summer, but my writing time (along with motivation) seemed to evaporate when the heat of the semester kicked in. I was in serious need of some motivation and that is exactly what your teleseminar provided!
I ended up having not one but two writing sessions today. This morning before my tea, shower, or meditation, I came upstairs and set the timer for 30 minutes and worked on a piece for a peer-reviewed journal. The draft is due to my co-author in 3 weeks, so to have begun working on the piece “early” feels liberating. Later when I was making a very late breakfast a slew of ideas for 5 tips articles came pouring out. Thankfully, I keep pen and paper in the kitchen, so I jotted down idea after idea while trying not to burn the eggs. I barely finished eating before coming back upstairs to start working on one of them. I crafted an 1,150 word article in under an hour. Even if the writing is rough and I feel out of practice, I feel great because I’m actually writing. So you’ll see I just had to write both in practice and to you to say, thank you for all that you do.
~Dominique Chlup, Ed.D. | Texas A & M University
“I’ve been up, before 6 a.m. writing, for 30 minutes, for seven days. That in and of itself is exciting for me. But I am most proud of today, the eighth day. Today I slept late. I woke up groggy, despite eight hours of sleep. I didn’t feel like writing anything. I had a breakfast meeting with my writing buddy and knew it would be a tight squeeze to get there on time. I wanted to skip my writing time, just today. I didn’t. I pulled my laptop over and began pounding out a paragraph I needed to add to my book proposal introduction. It was supposed to be “bold,” have a strong sense of who I am, etc. etc. I didn’t feel bold or enthusiastic or much of anything positive when I started. But after half an hour I had my draft. I was only 12 minutes late to my meeting (I called ahead) and my writing had worked. I was energized. I’d addressed the critique I’d received in class. I’d moved forward.
“So, thanks for the prompts and the encouragement.” ~Marydee Sklar, Author & Speaker
“I have truly come to realize that my thoughts, ideas and plans are not fully developed nor actionable until I put them in writing. The “30 Articles” program has helped me to recognize that fact and to establish and maintain (for the most part!) a writing routine and mentality that enables me to clarify and meet my goals.
The 30 Articles in Just 30 Days Program provides invaluable writing structures, tools and resources. In addition, they facilitate supportive conference calls that allow for the “safe” discussion of writing challenges and successes and the sharing of ideas and suggestions with fellow “30 Articles” members, several of whom are quite accomplished. Perhaps most beneficial is the gentle “nudge” to continue writing that I get with every “30 Articles” email I receive!
I highly recommend the “30 Articles” program to anyone who is serious about writing or about developing her ideas and accomplishing more, either personally or professionally. The investment is minimal but the potential payoff is huge.”
Michelle Parvin, The DataGrinder(sm) Management Consulting & Analysis, Inc. www.TheDataGrinder.com
“I think the best outcomes for me so far were:
- the fact that I just got started and stopped waiting for big chunks of time to write;
- learned that there is always something writing-wise where I can be making progress, so when I get stuck on one article or project, I hop to another;
- I think about writing every day, and write on 5-7 days average;
- when I am totally blocked on my current projects, I start drafting grant applications and documents that will be due at a predictable time in the future, thus wasting less time procrastinating and helping to alleviate some of the stress of the crunch times and coming deadlines.
- Giving myself positive feedback about my work makes it easier to write when I don’t feel like it.
“This last one and #3 were really important, because it means that every time I write I am guaranteed to have something to feel good about. I’ve underestimated the value of getting a draft started in the past. Learning how valuable this is on ALL types of writing (not just academic publications) was a huge lesson.
Simple stuff over all, but important to me.” ~Brenda A. Risch, Ph.D., Director of Women’s Studies | University of Texas at El Paso