Think of a time when you weren’t finding time to write. How did that feel?
I’ve heard enough academics complain about how little time they have for writing during term time to know that whatever specific feelings that brought up for you, they weren’t good.
Now, think about a time when you were writing regularly. Take a deep breath and close your eyes if that helps. I want you to try to re-experience how that felt.
Even if some individual writing sessions are difficult. Even if the process of writing can be frustrating. When you write regularly, the overall feeling is a good one.
Writing is important to your emotional state
One reason you are now an academic is because writing is how you process ideas.
Writing about ideas helps you work through the confusion.
Writing brings order into your thoughts.
In a post about being interviewed, Sarah J Bray wrote the following (emphasis mine):
She sent me the questions ahead of time.
Instead of using that to craft pre-rehearsed answers, I hopped onto my handy 750words account (where I do most of my writing) and just started free-writing on each question. I didn’t bring my notes with me or anything, but it helped me relax, knowing that I understood my own thoughts.
Writing enables you to relax and be confident that you know your own thoughts. It makes you a better teacher. It makes you a better speaker.
Writing regularly makes you feel more comfortable in your identity as an academic.
It’s still hard to practice
Knowing that it makes you a better academic isn’t enough to actually make it easy to write regularly, especially during term when you have so many other, more immediate, demands on your time.
A Meeting With Your Writing is designed to support you in building this habit into your busy week.
Imagine what it will feel like to know that you will have time next Monday to work through (in writing) those ideas that are troubling you, if you don’t find time before then.
Imagine how you might feel in December if you have been writing every week this term?
If you aren’t teaching at 10 a.m. Eastern (3 p.m. UK; 4 p.m. Europe; 11 a.m. Atlantic; 9 a.m. Central; 8 a.m. Mountain; 7 a.m. Pacific) on Mondays, it’s not too late to join the fall session.
Originally published September 4, 2012. This post has been edited.