Writing While Teaching Writing


Hello from the corner of the Study;

It is interesting to me, in a disturbing way, that while I teach writing and understand the process well, I seem to struggle with my own writing. When I was in Wisconsin, it seemed that I could get things out for publication on a somewhat regular basis. That has not been the case since I came here to Bloomsburg. Perhaps it is because I have focused on other things, like a program or other things that have ensconced me into the community, but those things, while helpful, are not enough. I need to write; I need to publish. As one of my colleagues stated it:  “I need to get back in dissertation mode.” How true. Perhaps another fear is that I feel the field has passed me by . . .  while going to the Computers and Writing Conference was helpful, it helped me realize there are things I need to catch up on. The role of technology and writing does not, and has not slowed down a bit. In fact, it might be going faster. That is another fear. Do I have anything of relevance to say? I just need to sit down and do it. A colleague for whom I have the utmost respect is willing to help me, and we spoke while sitting and sharing a beer at Frostburg State University. Now I am afraid to send him the things I have written. They are old, Are they outdated, irrelevant? Amazing how the very thing I teach, and love doing so, I am afraid to do.

I read my students comments about getting started and give them strategies to do it and then fail to employ them myself. The other thing I have realized this summer is one of the persons for whom I have the most admiration and of whom I am in awe of because of his ability to compartmentalize and focus, is away from Bloomsburg and I am feeling pretty lonely, and perhaps even frightened.

So . . . what do to . . . perhaps I need to do what I tell my students . . .  sit down and do a bit at a time . . . . write and walk away and then come back. Perhaps I need to believe in myself a bit more, but that has always been more of an issue than most realize. Tonight or certainly tomorrow, I need to get this conference proposal out. Then I need to follow up on a meeting with another potential writing colleague’s thoughts and works and get that out. Perhaps after I get the first one done and off my plate the rest will be, or at least, seem easier.

In the meanwhile, I am going to do some blogging on these topics specifically. Maybe I will get some feedback from others through my hashtags that will create some sort of intellectual synergy and get me on the right track. In the meanwhile, it is summer session and I have 35 students who are looking to me for guidance and assistance . . . . i am on both sides of the blank stare again . . .  does it ever change?

Thanks for reading.

Michael (the one side) and Dr. Martin (the other side)

Published by thewritingprofessor55

I am a professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and the director of and Professional and Technical Writing minor, a 24 credit certificate for non-degree seeking people, and now a concentration in Professional Writing and Digital Rhetoric. We work closely to move students into a 4+1 Masters Program with Instructional Technology. I love my work and I am content with what life has handed me. I merely try to make a difference for others by what I share, write, or ponder through my words.

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