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Bearings: News and Perspectives for Academic Affairs

Bearings: News & Perspectives for Academic Affairs

Writer’s Boot Camp

Oct 14, 2012, 11:19 pm - Carey Adams

My Armstrong Experience

Eight faculty spent last Monday and Tuesday hunkered down in Lane Library for a Writers' Boot Camp.  Sponsored by the Faculty Development Office with assistance from library staff, it was an opportunity to set other demands aside and devote two days to scholarly writing.  Participants set goals to accomplish during the Boot Camp with an ultimate goal of manuscript submissions by early January.  I was invited to show up for the easy part, a reception late Tuesday afternoon to celebrate with the "campers."  In addition to briefly summarizing their work, they also commented on what they appreciated about the experience.  They expressed how valuable it was to have uninterrupted time to work on their projects.  More than that, most also talked about the motivation of having others hold them accountable for the goals they had set.  

Faculty everywhere struggle to balance the heavy demands of teaching, scholarship, and professional service.  Visiting with our faculty last Tuesday reminded me of two things that all of us can do to help us achieve our priorities:

  1. Occasionally we need to give ourselves permission to put aside the "urgent" to focus intently on what is important to us.  If we wait until we feel like we have time to devote, chances are we will wait a long time.
  2. Telling someone that we intend to do something can be a great motivator to follow through on those intentions.  Several colleagues of mine used to meet regularly to discuss their respective research projects.  None of them wanted to show up at the next lunch without progress to report

So, make time, and make friends.

Have a great week!

Carey