One of the reasons people have trouble getting writing done is because if feels like “not work”. You know it’s real work and even the work that is going to be most valued when it comes to hiring, promotion, and whatnot. But even knowing that it feels like it’s not really work.
- You do it alone.
- The cycle from starting a project to having something to show for it is really really long.
- You like it (or at least big parts of it).
- You get to choose what you write about.
Here’s another one:
Writing is invisible.
If you write in your office you close the door. But I bet you don’t even try to write in the office. You write at home. Or you go to the library. Or the coffee shop. You need peace and quiet. Or not to be disturbed by colleagues and students.
Most of us associate work with “the office”. Even if we also work from home, we talk about “going in to work” or “going in to the office”. Our teaching happens there. Our meetings happen there. We meet students there.
Writing often doesn’t happen there. And what does that say to your sub-conscious about the value of writing?
What if you could make writing visible?
One of the participants in A Meeting With Your Writing asked if I had any print promotional materials. There was a Research Day happening in his institution and he wanted to tell people about the Meeting.
I had some post-cards printed and sent them to him. They have a little poster on one side and information about A Meeting With Your Writing on the other.
A few people signed up for A Meeting with Your Writing but something much more exciting happened.
People are using the little posters.
They come to his office and ask for them. He walks around campus, to go to meetings or teaching or whatever, and he sees them on people’s doors.
This is a small university. The standard teaching load is 3-3. It’s not been easy for his colleagues to find/make time to write.
And they are writing. It is visible.
Would you put a sign on your door?
What feelings does that bring up?
Are your gremlins worried about what would happen? What are their concerns?
Would it be different if lots of people had a sign on their door when they were writing? If it were normal?
If you want to try it, here’s a sign:
Meeting In Progress by Jo VanEvery is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.