Posts Tagged ‘writing coach’

Have you ever been hit with an urge to write?
I don’t mean the motivation that writers pine for, but the sudden desire that makes you say, “I have to get this down” or “Where is my pen?  My laptop?”

It’s quite a different feeling from gritting your teeth and grinding out text.  Baring down and gritting and grinding certainly have their place.  They can move you from the state of not writing to writing

But the intense urge to write happens when something touches you and you come alive.

One of my incredible coaching clients has just finished her manuscript for a book.

Even though she has a book contract with a good press, she still has had some fallow times over the past year of struggling to give life to her book. 

The latest came not so long ago, during the writing of the conclusion.  She had written ten pages and just could not generate more text.

But one week, she finally was able to write. She wrote 13 pages, and those were the pages which she had been looking for, the ideas which she felt were crucial before she could say “Now the book is finished.”

How did it happen?  She was close to backing off from the conclusion she had wanted since it seemed beyond her.  During this restless, uncertain time, when she had moved away from her computer, she happened to come across a book on a related subject– actually a book taking a critical perch opposed to the one she had taken. And that was it.  Reading the book stirred a response within her, and she was eager to write.

Sometimes we forget what we know to be true—that we need to be awakened and re-awakened. Reading someone else’s analysis, like hearing a political critique or reading a poem, awakens us, stirs us, and makes the engine go. It can make us long to write.

What makes the engine go?
Desire, desire, desire.
The longing for the dance
stirs in the buried life.
 —Stanley Kunitz

Until next time,


Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach


Read Full Post »

Nearly every day I receive email from people who are making no or next to no progress on their dissertations.  They are scared of the future and ashamed of having let so much time go by.

They complain about feeling isolated–working far from their universities, having little contact with their advisors, and having no colleagues or friends involved in a similar process.  

That kind of isolation can be overwhelming and can keep you stuck.

It’s up to you to reach out to others.

Here are four tips for successful writing:

• What helped you to write when you were still on campus? Create an atmosphere, a feeling, or a semblance of campus right where you are that is conducive to writing.

• Seek out places to write where people are writing and reading — a public library, a university library, a coffee shop, even rental office space. Go there routinely, and as you settle in nod and smile at others who are also there regularly.

• Reach out to others who will buddy-up with you.

• Hire a dissertation coach or writing coach who will help you set goals and who will support you. You don’t have to be entirely alone during this process, and you shouldn’t be.  It isn’t healthy and it isn’t smart.
Put forward some effort in order to feel more connected. 

All the best,


P.S.  Last chance to get the September on-line Smart Tips for Writers newsletter. You haven’t heard of it?  Is that why you haven’t signed up for it?  Don’t waste another minute—sign up at my website: .

Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach


Read Full Post »

Dear Incredible Writers,

  • Graduate Students, Instructors, Teachers, Professors;

  • writers struggling with dissertations or theses;

  • nontraditional graduate students, finishing a dissertation after being away from academic life for years;

  • academics trying to juggle writing with preparing lectures, grading papers, caring for young children. . . .

This blog is devoted to supporting you.

If you’re like me, you love to write, when you can find the time and when the writing engages your mind, allows you to use your highest strengths and skills, and does not beat down your spirit.

I’m guessing that if you’re writing a dissertation you may not be having that peak experience. The best writers can find writing a dissertation an uphill experience.

In future posts, I’ll share writing tips and thoughts about writing, resources and strategies, all in hopes of decreasing your anxiety and increasing your productivity.

I’ll let you know what I’ve learned from the writers I coach and also what I’ve learned as a teacher of writing and from my own experiences as a writer.

Finally, I’m eager to hear from you.

I hope you incredible writers will let me know what you need and also what works for you.

Let’s pool our resources and work together. Let’s get this project moving!

Best to you, 


Nancy Whichard, PhD, PCC

Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach

ancy @ nancywhichard.com


Read Full Post »