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I. An Academic, Writing: Introducing ACW Guest Blogger

Nov 27, 2012 by Lee Skallerup Bessette

ACW is pleased to introduce Lee Skallerup Bessette as a guest blogger for the Academic Coaching Blog. We’ve asked Lee to reflect on her writing process and to chronicle her experience as she works with an Academic Coach and participates in the ACW Virtual Writing Room. In the weeks and months ahead, join Lee on her journey to writing fluency and productivity in this series on An Academic, Writing. 

I am an instructor off the tenure-track, with a 5/4 course load (all writing-intensive courses). Although my position doesn’t explicitly require me to produce research, I enjoy the process (and product) of academic writing. I have edited two collections of essays, and published a number of articles and book chapters (you can see my academic C.V. here). But the writing isn’t easy; finding time for my academic writing, as well as the motivation, is a constant challenge.

Challenges Facing Academic Writers

As ACW’s guest blogger, I will be blogging here in more detail about the challenges facing academic writers and my experience with the ACW Virtual Writing Room and Academic Coaching services. If you find that these posts resonate with you or you identify with the problems and challenges I face, please add your comments to the posts.

I would like to thank Dr. Sally for the opportunity to share my progress with you. Too often, academics write in silence and in isolation, celebrating the final product, but not the hard work that went into it. Academic writing, even a single-authored article or monograph, is a collaborative effort, and I am pleased to be able to share in this blog series the collaboration I am about to undertake. Please join me in this series to break the silence and isolation as I seek support for my writing activities, with the goal of becoming a more productive and successful academic writer.

In the next four posts, I will be addressing some of the challenges I personally face, challenges that I know are not unique to me or to my situation. In the next blog, I will talk about the challenge of finding sustained periods of time to accomplish my writing. As the semester wears on, writing slips down the priority list, or gets pushed out of the schedule, and I find it increasingly difficult to ensure the time necessary for academic writing. In the third blog, I will address the challenge of how to motivate myself to write and how I have struggled to create a system of accountability to stay on track. In the fourth blog I will discuss how academics maintain a silence in regards to challenges they face as writers, out of fear that asking for help or confiding in colleagues will be perceived as a sign of weakness. In the fifth blog, I will bring in some of the lessons I try to teach my students, that all writing is collaborative, and how I have tried to use this idea to help with my academic writing.

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