This is very weird for me, even though I have written my own bio on things I’ve published in the past. Right now, at the moment, I am writing to you just as someone who can help with frustrations in keeping a writing practice going, and also as someone who has spent quite a while studying from the masters of writing. This was both indirect study– by reading their books on writing– and direct study: by going into their prose and form and taking it as deeply into myself as I could.
There are many ways to get all that to sink in, some of which are well known among literature and novel writers, yet– strangely– often unknown among academics. Some ways of “learning to learn” how to write are almost long-lost these days– dating back to Ancient Greece. And some are fired in the kilns of the many writing workshops I’ve led and in the deepest caves of my own struggles and joys with writing.
I am not even half a century old yet (though older than that picture over there). Somehow, I already want to share my experience. It pains me to see writers struggling. Most of it is so unnecessary. Some of it may be necessary. We can sort this out together!
As for my credentials etc., it’s weird to write about these even though I do it all the time in other contexts:
I’m a Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Davis, for the last 10 years or so, where I have focused very much on graduate writing intensives in my courses. I was also 5 years at Bard College. Before that, I studied anthro at Princeton where I got my degree. I won the Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing for my book The Funeral Casino (2012: Princeton University Press), and I am the director, cinematographer, and writer of Ghosts and Numbers (DER: 2010). Also, soon to come, is what might be a very strange and gothic book called Ethnography #9, which is an experiment in alternative publishing very much in the spirit of Academic Muse and will likely be a film/book pairing (news coming soon).
Well that wasn’t so bad… Just in case you don’t know me, I just wanted you to know that I have a little know-how and experience with moving writers from a state of struggle and discomfort to one of ease and flow.
Really looking forward to being with you soon,
PS do sign up to get on the list if you want to know anything about our new group, and if you feel like you are a kindred spirit or know someone who is, PLEASE lend a hand and let other people know about this. Someone you know may be struggling and this is just what they need. I want to meet that kind of person.
PPS… if you want to start interacting with me right away, I just got started on facebook (one of the last hold-outs) and I kind of like it so far and because of the novelty and all I will likely be there all the time at Facebook.com/Academicmuse to chat with people about writing.