Congratulations! Sometimes the biggest hurdle to solving a problem is admitting that what we are doing isn’t working and we need help. You have made it over the barrier and can now move on to a productive writing life!
Let me tell you a little bit about how the program works and what we will be accomplishing together.
The course content is “dripped” Monday through Friday, one day at time.
The course is divided into sections, the first few are devoted to setting up your writing practice for success and the remainder work through the standard parts of an academic publication.
In addition to a “Just for Today,” which is simply an idea to consider about your thinking and approach to writing, each new post will provide guidance on a goal as well as tools for adjusting your thinking and goals for the content of your project.
Now, let’s get you set up to begin with all the tools you will need.
In preparation for your first day, you will need a couple of things:
- A set of notepads and a journal to be used solely for this program.
- 30 minutes of quiet time first thing in your morning.
- The willingness to try something new.
You will be doing two types of writing during this program (other than your project). 1) Reflective: Your reflection will consist of Morning Pages — three pages of free writing every morning — and journal responses to the Question of the Day — designed to challenge you to explore your thinking around writing; and 2) An ongoing checklist.
So choose your journal and notepads based on your own idea of what is a welcoming writing surface.
30 minutes of quiet time every morning
You will be using your 30 minutes of quiet time for Morning Pages. This first thing brain dump is the brainchild of Julie Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way. There is no required topic. The commitment is to write three full pages longhand every morning. It needs to be first thing, so either plan on re-organizing your morning or getting up 30 minutes early. This is a challenging and incredibly rewarding investment in yourself. Get ready to hate it and love it in equal measure.
Willingness to Change
Change comes with a steady measured practice that provides opportunities for success. This program is designed to challenge you to break down your writing into small measurable goals that you can check off and celebrate.
Just for Today seeks to get you to change your thinking about writing. The practices draw from the mindfulness and neuro-plasticity work of Tara Brach, Byron Katie, Martha Beck and Rick Hanson.
The Next Goal focuses on steps for finishing a journal article. In other words, one that is already underway. But they are simply a model for how to think about completing an academic project. While having an article or book chapter or dissertation that is in a rough draft makes the process a little easier, you can certainly start from scratch. Just plan on taking more time with each step. You are exactly where you need to be.
So, go get yourself a shiny new pad of paper and a journal (pick up some post-its while you are at it) and then plan what you are going to do for fun on the weekend!
At the end of each lesson page, you will see a check list of items to tackle. Take the time to do them and only move on when you feel like you have the list handled. With that said, if you find yourself making excuses about how you can’t move forward, set a date you are going to do the next section no matter what and move on!
Available Monday: STEP ONE: Put First Things First