Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘courage to write’

What inspires you to action?  What inspires you to believe? 

Are you inspired by random quotations? Does the unfamiliar or even familiar quotation give you the evidence you need to trust a writer?  

Or does it cause you to wonder?

Successful writers know that a quotation doesn’t speak for itself. If you’re using a quote in your text, you have to explain its relevance to your material and identify the credibility and authority of the quotation’s author. 

But if you want a quotation for your website or for a blog, is it brave or foolhardy to pluck a quotation from an online list of quotations without knowing when or why the author first wrote or said those words?  What do you think?

Sometimes I read a quotation on a website and pause. I wonder how the writer of the website came across that quotation. Did she actually read the full article or speech or book?  Has the quotation been taken out of context? Did she check the source?

I’m always a little suspicious about believing the rest of the text on the website because I have doubts about the use of the quotation.

Even though I am wary about the use of quotations, I am often inspired by a turn of phrase or a fresh word choice.

Today I read an oath which resonated with effort and determination. It had none of the affected quality that I sometimes see in the borrowed words on the occasional website and elsewhere.

I was checking the Special Olympics website for the dates of the Summer Games in Greece. I know someone who will be going to those games.

Just in case you’re interested, the dates are June 25 to July 4, 2011. Beneath the dates on the website is the Special Olympics Athlete Oath:

Let me Win!

But if I Cannot win,

Let me be brave in the attempt!

 If you’re struggling today with your dissertation, stop and take in the context for these words.  Take to heart the line from the oath “Let me be brave in the attempt.”

Just as the Special Olympics athlete is brave in the attempt to win, I urge you to rise bravely to the best that is within you and be inspired to write.

What has inspired you lately?  I would love to hear from you.

Nancy

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
http://www.nancywhichard.com
http://www.smarttipsforwriters.com
nancy @ nancywhichard.com

Read Full Post »

What calls us to write?  Feeling moved by an activity, an idea, a sentence, a word, a sunset, a dessert, and feeling compelled to explore it more deeply by writing about it?

Writing is like baking or eating a French dessert, a rich, consuming experience, a bit treacherous, full of uncertainty. A friend had made her favorite dessert– canelés –and, “to make things even better,” she was going to share it with me.  Having never heard of canelés, I googled the word and what appeared was a wonderful blog  with and a post about canelés, complete with a lovely picture of the small golden cakes.  The writer wrote about the history of the dessert and her own memories of eating them in Paris and then her hassles with getting the temperature right in her oven when she baked them herself.

The sensual, lively post honored the special dessert and the writer’s experience in making it.  In addition, it was a gift to me, the reader, second only to the delicious gift of canelés from my friend.

In the book The Uncommon Reader, the titular reader is the Queen of England who by happenstance begins to read voraciously late in life and to her surprise and delight, finds that reading changes her life.

Chasing her corgis near Windsor Castle, she comes upon a mobile library, and being the polite queen, she borrows a book.  One book leads to another, and eventually she wondrously finds that she would rather read than do anything else.

From her reading, she starts to understand and take note of how others feel and live. She records observations in her notebook, something that raises concerns and suspicions among her staff.  One of her advisors, an elderly man prone to not bathing, thought that writing might be preferable to reading because “in his experience writing seldom got done. It was a cul-de-sac.”   He thought that she would then neither read nor write, a state he and the Queen’s people thought best fit the Queen.

People tending the Queen attributed her loss of attention to things ceremonial to a mental decline, so unusual it was for a Queen to read, to have interests, particularly interests that few others shared, and strangest of all, to write.

While reading took her to a wonderful new place in her life, only if she were to write a book would she feel her life complete.  She gathered a determined courage in order to announce to others that her next step would be to write something significant.

The charming, fanciful book is a critique of a somewhat shallow group of leaders, but it is also a salute to the power of reading and writing.

The Queen in this story had never envisioned herself as a serious reader, no more than she imagined that she would become a writer.  The portrait of this Queen shows someone bravely going  down an uncertain road.

To write takes a willingness to do whatever is necessary in order to write.

Writing has its own special rewards and makes its own special demands.  It needs tending, care, and a complex love.

It may be hard to call yourself a writer, or even to think of yourself as a writer when you struggle to make time for it or fit it into small crevices of your day.  But sooner or later, you will honor what you do in those few, quiet moments each day and say, maybe just to yourself, “I’m a writer.”  You are many things, but you most definitely are a writer and that identity was hard-won.

Write bravely!

Nancy

P.S.  In honor of the Queen’s corgis, here’s a funny little film shared with me by a friend celebrating her own birthday.

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC

Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy@nancywhichard.com
www.nancywhichard.com
www.usingyourstrengths.com
www.dissertationbootcamp.net

Read Full Post »

A thoracic surgeon performs a mitral valve rep...

Image via Wikipedia

“Bold Surgery Saves a Life”

. . .

“A New Face: A Bold Surgeon, an Untried Surgery”

. . .

These headlines grabbed my eye today.

They reminded me of my client who, since she was really stuck in her writing,  decided on drastic action.  She checked into a hotel for two days and wrote.

You may recall that story–I wrote about that a few weeks ago in this space.  So she didn’t save a life, but she was hugely productive.

Now I ask you–what bold, risky step have you taken for the sake of your writing?

Did you construct the syllabus for the class you’re teaching to free you up for a day or so?

Did you commit to writing fewer comments on student papers?

Let’s get serious—what if you were 5 times bolder?

Let’s say . . . How about taking 3 weeks away from work to devote to your writing?

One of my amazing clients has done just that—she’s taken 3 weeks off, and she will not be paid for 2 of those 3 weeks.

She’s made sure that she has what she needs—she brought boxes of  her diss stuff home from work.  She’s making a detailed plan so that at the start of each day she has her to-do list of manageable tasks.  She’s arranged to check in with me by phone every couple of days as she gets started.

Surgeons don’t have a monopoly on boldness.

“. . . .And the success of Murray’s ‘extremely bold’ surgery opened the way for transplants of other organs such as the liver and heart.”

“. . . .Bold Three-Stage Brain Operation for Intractable Seizures Appears . . . .”

Finishing your dissertation may take not just a bold step, but an audacious step.

Write your own headline today.  How do you want it to read?

Imagine the copy that could be written about you.

Bold!  Brilliant!  Finishing Her Dissertation!

I’d love to hear from you.  What’s a bold step you’re willing to take?

At my website (www.nancywhichard.com),  I offer a free newsletter.  I think you would like it.  Why not sign up for it and then tell me what you think?

Until next time,

Nancy

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC

Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach

www.dissertationbootcamp.net

www.usingyourstrengths.com

www.smarttipsforwriters.com

nancy @ nancywhichard.com

Read Full Post »