I’m reporting in from one of my favorite academic conferences, the Modernist Studies Association. This year, I had the great pleasure of collaborating with Elisabeth Joyce on a workshop focused on overcoming writing obstacles.
In our workshop, we discussed the many obstacles that get in the way of creativity/productivity/writing. What became clear across the course of the conversation is that writing obstacles are a little like Tolstoy’s unhappy families; each writing difficulty is difficult in its own prickly way.
That’s actually good news as well as bad news. As we brainstormed types of obstacles, discussed sample scenarios, and produced possible solutions, it was refreshing to think about the fact that writing problems come and go, many are time-bound (writing with an infant at home) or otherwise based in temporal stages of life (whether that’s stage in career, family life, or simple the moment in the writing process). As a result, there are LOTS of possible strategies. If you’re curious about seeing how this might apply to your own creative/writing life, I’m reproducing our list of obstacles, scenarios, and solutions here:
Transition from grad school
Types of obstacles change over time
Writing Obstacle Case Studies
Get a Life, PhD
The Professor is In
The Thesis Whisperer
Tenure, She Wrote