I work with writers through one-on-one consultations, detailed written comments, and editing. 

Blog

An Antidote for Avoidance

Maybe there are other antidotes for avoidance. There’s no cure. Avoidance is persistent: it keeps coming back. That’s not your fault; recurrence is just part of its logic. Avoidance will keep trying to shut you down. It will prompt you to defensively close. A regular writing habit must begin in kindness and become a matter of course. There will always be something more urgent to do. We all have pressures, demands, long to-do lists. We have obligations to family, students, and colleagues; we have errands to run, dinners to make, dishes to do—not to mention grading, course prep, lectures to…

Talking Through

The fourth principle I listed in my opening post is “talk,” which I then elaborated with the Writing Center saying, “Every writer needs a reader.” It only now strikes me that those unfamiliar with Writing Center work at its best might find that juxtaposition strange. What does talking have to do with finding readers for your work in progress?   Any writer needs a lot of readers; some readers may prefer to respond through written comments, and such comments are valuable. But your mode of engagement with your readers matters as much as the substance of their responses.  It’s important…

Let It Be Messy

I’ve come to believe that, to get to that finished draft, you’ve got to let the writing process itself be not only iterative, as we know it is, but actually messy. Nobody sits down and writes straight out, from beginning to end, in reams of beautiful prose, a compelling argument they’ve already researched and fully worked out in advance, like unrolling a red carpet to tenure (or a degree, or publication). Or rather, the only people who do that are imaginary—they’re the successful writers and scholars in our heads, the ones we envy, whose processes we imagine must be easy…

A Slow Leap

In 2016, when my two years as a postdoc in the environmental humanities at UCLA ended, I jumped off that post-ac cliff—and found that I was still walking on the ground. Unfortunately for my vitamin D levels and fortunately for my finances, that ground was a sidewalk along a well-potholed street in Indianapolis rather than well-heeled Westwood Avenue. Since then, my spouse and I have been making a life here, and I’ve been living at least one of my dreams: working one-on-one with writers whose research and scholarship I admire. I’m starting this blog to share the ways of approaching…