I have written over 400 posts since 2009. Most of them on topics which are of continuing relevance. The blog format, in which posts are displayed in reverse chronological order, is not the best way to display this material. I have instead created a Library.
Important themes (start here)
These longer link-heavy posts introduce you to the main ideas and categories. I’ve created audio versions so you can listen to them while you cook, commute, or work out.
There are a lot of different ways to have an academic career. Your academic career is affected by both your own values and desires, and by forces beyond your control. Although a lot of academic career advice suggests that there is a clear path to success, there are lots of reasons you may not end up on that path. You have choices.
Category: Finding Your Way
My approach to academic careers, academic writing, and academic workloads is relentlessly optimistic. I am not unrealistic about the difficulties. However, I prefer to focus on the bright points of light and try to expand them rather than despair about the negatives. This post gives you a sense of how that works.
Category: Ethos & Influences
A better metaphor than balance because it acknowledges the number and variety of responsibilities you are trying to find time for. This post sets out some key principles.
It’s not enough to write, you need to publish your writing. Publishing, from the latin publicare, means to make public. You do that in several different ways and perhaps for several different audiences, within and beyond the academy.
Category: Communicating Knowledge
Of all the responsibilities you juggle, writing is perhaps the most frustrating. It’s very important to your career and your identify, but it’s also incredibly difficult to find time for, especially during teaching terms.
Focus is crucial to your writing practice, and indeed to keeping your plans on track. Everyone struggles with focus at least some of the time. There is nothing wrong with you. You might frame this struggle in terms of distraction or procrastination. You might think of it terms of willpower. You may have a story about what you need in order to focus that is at odds with what is possible in your current circumstances. You might need to experiment a bit to figure what strategies help you.
The categories will assist you in navigating the site. Tags have been assigned somewhat less systematically but are visible in each post and can be used to find related entries. It is also possible to browse in reverse chronological order and see what’s been added lately.
I usually send new material either to Studio members or to newsletter subscribers first and then update it for the Library. You can subscribe to my newsletter (with choices about what kinds of things you are interested in) here: Newsletter(s)
A physical library
While writing this material as blog posts helps me to articulate my ideas and get them to you quickly, there is also a need to for more sustained attention to some some topics. I do this with series and related post links, but the structure of a blog is not conducive to navigating a lot of related material, even with categories and related posts.
I’ve started compiling material into Short Guides which I publish as ebooks and paperbacks. These are short and focused on helping you make practical changes to make your work better. If you have time to read a whole book, I want you to devote that time to reading one of the books that’s actually related to your research and teaching, or a novel that offers you a break from thinking about work, rather than a book about managing your time better, or figuring out your writing process. Read the Series Intro.
I’ve also created a picture book (available in paperback only) based on the principles underlying my planning classes.
An earlier version of this page was published as a sticky post 15 February 2016 and updated 27 November 2017. Page updated 28 August 2018, 24 September 2018, 25 October 2018, 4 October 2109.