Writing without the Weight of Emotional Multitasking

  The fastest way to eliminate the drain of multitasking is turn off cellphones and email and The Google. But the deepest way is to resolve the emotional multitasking that is sapping our creative willpower. By which I mean, our inner sense of conflicting purpose, aim, and energy. When we write at cross-purposes, in a state of inner war, most …

A Morning Writer’s Ritual: Wake Up and Stay Productive

Every writer should have one. If you’ve ever watched your day fritter away, then you know how frustrating it is to have some time available which then becomes a total wash. Or you know the feeling of working really hard but seeming to accomplish nothing. Or knowing exactly what you need to be doing, but somehow always finding yourself doing …

What is the Syllabus for your Writing Life?

At the beginning of each semester, we academic writers often find ourselves planning out a course of action for a… course. But what about our writing? What’s the plan? Oftentimes the plan has one big item, or maybe a few, but there’s no plot, no sequence. In our very brilliant classes we go through a carefully designed order, but for …

Need Oomph in Your Argument? ŽižekIt!™

Stretching leads to Writing Flexibility Slavoj Could this possibly make writing flow easier and more naturally in the future? The ancients routinely trained their ability to argue any position. It was considered an art in itself, and no one was fit for intellectual pursuits before first training in these preliminaries, the Progymnasmata. Sometimes we offspring of the philosophers have lost contact …

How to Enhance Your Awareness of Writing Form

  “So… what are you working on?” Most of us in academia get called on to give “the elevator pitch.” If you’re like me, when people ask that sometimes there’s this little freeze moment, or hiccup, or something—or it might actually be a dimensional shift where you skip to another universe, have a series of violent adventures that lead to …

11 Commandments for Writing by Henry Miller

Banned!   As a grad student years ago, when I was a little down and out during my 3 years of anthropological research in Thailand, one of my greatest comforts was Henry Miller. What, you don’t know the feeling? Getting into these stewy, swampy marshes of inaction, wanting to do something meaningful with your life, but somehow unable to get …