My Workshops

Efficiency with Style

Revising Your Manuscript at the Macro & Micro Levels

Fast-writing and “allowing messy drafts” is often recommended as a productivity strategy for academics. But … how do we most efficiently transform the resulting messes into coherent and powerful prose? In this interactive workshop, participants will take a “messy draft” of their choice and try out 3 macro-level revision strategies to hone overall logic and organization of the manuscript. Next, participants, working at the micro-level, will apply 3 revision tools for coherence and writing style. Participants will leave with both a sequential approach and individual tools for transforming their future drafts with efficiency. For those who don’t bring their own messy drafts, two sample messy drafts will be provided to practice strategies and apply the tools learned.

Moving from Pesky to Productive

Designing a Healthy, Sustainable Writing Habit

Darn — that pesky writing habit!”  Wait, when have you heard a writer say that? While faculty are generally wanting good writing habits and research on productive faculty points to adopting such writing habits, these habits can be difficult to achieve.  Meanwhile, complicating the situation further, myths about habit formation circulate. In this interactive workshop, mythology is dispelled and findings from recent psychology research are translated specifically to writing habits.  Using personal insight, participants first analyze one of their own already strong habits (coffee drinking, toothbrushing, etc.).  Then taking such analysis, participants plan for the formation of a new writing habit starting with a trigger, growing from a micro-habit, and being reinforced by rewards, including social reinforcement and tracking. Then to prevent pitfalls, participants discuss and prepare for what may derail their newly designed habits.  Participants will leave with self-insight, energy and tools for remaking their writing habits.

Project Management for Writing

Gaining Power in the Process

It’s 3 AM.  Are you waking up to worry about a forgotten deadline to one of your grants or writing projects?  Or perhaps, you exhibit such chronic optimism about your ability to get writing done, that your calendar has begun to resemble a “wish list” instead of an accurate plan?  And then, of course, … managing collaborators … despite seemingly endless meetings, you find yourself chasing them down to get their contributions. If these descriptions sound like your current status quo, consider: Would you prefer to have a planning approach that moves you to a state of better focus, clarity and calmness?  If yes, then join for an overview of applying project management principles to one’s academic writing life.

Getting Unstuck – How to Restart When your Writing Stalls

Do you have a lingering (or almost forgotten) writing project that causes you guilt whenever you recall its existence? Are there good reasons to wrap up that project so it is no longer weighing you down? If so, let’s uncover strategies for “Getting Unstuck”! Restarting “cold” writing projects requires both extra emotional support strategies and project management strategies to go from zero to momentum. Bring along a list of neglected projects, leave your guilt at the door, and let’s make a practical plan to move those out!

Making your Projects Flow with Kanban Flow

Kanban is a system for making your work visible. You may ask – Wait, why should my work be visible?
Because, dear writers, visible work is both more likely to get done and the pathway to
the finish line becomes clearer. Research about Kanban shows that using such systems can
increase productivity, focus and motivation – yet it is more often applied to fields outside of
writing. In today’s workshop, we will consider implementing Kanban for writing, using both old school paper formats and a freely available online software, Kanban Flow. Additionally, we will consider ways to use Kanban to organize a single-authored paper, a multi-authored paper, or simply a daily schedule!

Feedback – Foe or Friend?

Feedback is tricky. If you pick up any book about improving your writing, the author will
advocate frequent feedback throughout the process. Yet, when talking to actual academics about seeking feedback (even just once in a while) they tend to come up with 1,001 excuses as to why that just isn’t happening. So why the disconnect? Oftentimes it is connected to anxiety around sharing one’s writing in early stages as well as fear of asking too much from their already overworked peers. Today, we will first consider different types of feedback for the different stages of writing. Then we will work to make personalized plans on how to lower your “own personal entry fee” for seeking feedback so that it can become a seamless part of your writing process.

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