Posts Tagged ‘Tracy Steen’

Dr. Tracy Steen has been editor of the All But Dissertation Survival Guide for several years, but has decided to step down. She is an eminent, ground-breaking positive psychologist with a psychotherapy practice, and she is also a coach.

As editor of the ABDSG, she applied her knowledge and experience as a positive psychologist to the subject of writing.

Her interesting and engaging editor’s notes framed and added pizzazz to each contributor’s article.

Before Dr. Steen became the editor of the ABD Survival Guide, she wrote an article that I think might be of particular help to you. It is called “Finding Flow in Writing.” The article ends with a summary of what you can do to move into flow while you are writing your dissertation. Dr. Steen writes,

a. For flow to occur, the task must be just within your abilities. So whatever part of your dissertation you are working on, find your challenge.

b. Flow occurs when you are engaged, not anxious. Do what you can to reduce your anxiety before sitting down to write. Go for a run, listen to relaxing music, put your worries on paper and then analyze them with a critical eye. Do whatever works best for you. Several past issues of the “ABD Survival Guide” offer excellent suggestions for dealing with anxiety.

c. You need to allow some time to get into what you are doing for flow to occur. Of course it is smart to rest and take breaks while writing. Just don’t take them at five minute intervals.

d. Flow happens when you are completely engaged in the task at hand. Don’t distract yourself by thinking about whether or not you are in flow. Just write!

We’ll miss her articles and editor’s notes, but do yourself a favor and go to the ABDSG website where you can look through the archives for articles by Dr. Steen.  You should also look for her editor’s note in each issue of the ABD Survival Guide from January 2006 forward. 

Best to you,


Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach
nancy @ nancywhichard.com

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