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 They are old, Are they outdated, irrelevant?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

As I move toward the end of a teaching career in the academy, I find myself questioning the value and worth of so many things in our changing world. My blog is the place I am able to ponder, question, and share my thoughts about a variety of topics. It is the place I make sense of our sometimes senseless world. I believe in a caring and compassionate creator, but struggle to know how to be faithful to the same. I hope you find what is shared here something that might resonate with you and give you hope.

One thought on “Writing While Teaching Writing

  1. The proclivity of doubt of oneself in the human mind is a sharp reminder of the human condition. I doubt myself often, and other times I have moments of greatness, or so I believe. Sometimes when I write essays, and other scholarly writings I tend to read my writing. I read it over and analyze the details, sometimes avoiding common words. Though not everyone has my vocabulary, and I noticed when reading my writing such as my resume, my own father couldn’t pronounce a word I had written. I had him read it because he hires for Geisinger. I realized that keeping it simple is not such a bad thing and likely a key part of technical writing. Concision is a key part of technical writing, now that I have taken this class where prior I had believed technical writing focused on intricate, long, and detailed writing. Thank you for reading my comment, and likely reading all comments made by your students.

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