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Becoming the Writer You Already Are

Becoming the Writer You Already Are

December 2022 | 168 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Wisdom and kindness emanate from every page of this revelatory new guidebook, where renowned academic writing coach Michelle Boyd shows us how to find our own unique approach to living the messy, rewarding process of creating scholarship. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!” - Margy Thomas, Ph.D., founder of ScholarShape


Becoming the Writer You Already Are helps scholars uncover their unique writing process and design a writing practice that fits how they work. Author Michelle R. Boyd introduces the Writing Metaphor as a reflective tool that can help you understand and overcome your writing fears: going from “stuck” to “unstuck” by drawing on skills you already have at your fingertips. She also offers an experimental approach to trying out any new writing strategy, so you can easily fill out the parts of your writing process that need developing. The book includes a number of helpful features: Real Scholars’ Stories provide insights into overcoming writing barriers; Wise Words from other scholars capture the trials of writing as well as avenues through those trials; and finally Focus Points highlight important ideas, questions, or techniques to consider. The book is ideal for dissertation writing seminars, graduate students struggling with the transition from coursework to dissertation work, scholars who are supporting or participating in writing groups, and marginalized scholars whose write struggles have prompted them to internalize the bias that others have about their ability to do exemplary research.
About the Author
Chapter 1: Down but Not Out: What It Means to Be Stuck
What It Means to Be Stuck

Flow and Forward Writing

The Promise of Writing Process

Chapter Overview: From Problem to Puzzle

Solving the Writing Puzzle: How to Use This Book

Chapter 2: More Than You Think: How Head, Hand, and Heart Make Writing So Hard
Actually . . . It Is Hard: The Inherent Challenge of Writing

Institutional Challenges: Running the Risk of Writing

Interpretive Challenges: The Impact of Risk on Writing

Chapter 3: Turning Toward Yourself: How Writing Process Can Help You Get Unstuck
What Is Writing Process?

Stages of the Writing Process

What Writing Process Looks Like

Using Process to Get Unstuck

Chapter 4: Finding the Writer Inside: How to Get Unstuck and Start Writing Again
Why It’s Hard to Draw on Process

How to Uncover Your Writing Process

Chapter 5: Growing From the Inside Out: Exploring and Expanding Your Writing Process
Initiation: Purposefully Making Mistakes

Saturation: Choosing a New Audience

Incubation: Accepting Our Lack of Control

Clarification: Taking Your Ideas Out for a Test Run

Submission: Leading Yourself to Release

Hibernation: Immersion in Play, Not Work


Chapter 6: Thoughts on Building a Writing Life
Making Space for Yourself and Your Writing

The Promise and Perils of Slow Scholarship

Writer’s Oppositional Consciousness

Making Space With Social Writing


Wisdom and kindness emanate from every page of this revelatory new guidebook, where renowned academic writing coach Michelle Boyd shows us how to find our own unique approach to living the messy, rewarding process of creating scholarship. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!

Margy Thomas
founder of ScholarShape

This book is an attempt to acknowledge the struggles of academic writing and propel confidence through the development of sound habits. It offers a friendly and intimate companion to the varying emotional and circumstantial challenges inherent in the writing process, and provides a specific process by which to develop more competence and confidence as a writer.

Raymond Blanton
University of the Incarnate Word

If you are struggling with academic writing, you've already read the other books, and you still can't figure out how to "fix" your problem,
this book may help you understand.

Christine Colwell
Shenandoah University

I recommend this book to doctoral students and colleagues who are dedicated to writing and scholarship as an addition to their reading on the craft of writing for publication, and as an extension of their efforts to constantly enhance their research and writing productivity.

Marilyn L. Grady
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

This is a book on the academic writing process that helps to demystify that process and provides concrete strategies for dealing with
the emotional side as well as the practical side of writing.

Kevin P. Lyness
Antioch University New England

This book helps the reader understand that writer’s block happens to all of us, and that it is not something to pathologize or internalize in a negative sense. It moves the reader to an appreciation of their vulnerabilities, but also understanding that those personality quirks can be transformed into a strength when faced head on.

Barbara L. Pazey
University of North Texas

A helpful guide to brainstorming and conquering the blank writing screen. I love the examples and the conversational writing style.

Robert Dennis Watkins
Idaho State University

I had very much looked forward to reviewing. However, while I could potentially cite examples, I'd prefer simply to offer my overall impression: the text just does not resonate with even me -- an academic whose written in multiple platforms. I was hoping this type of text would serve as a complement to our adult professional skills program across multiple course offerings (not just a writing course alone). Because many of these adults lack adequate writing skills but are enrolled in other courses, we need to find texts that don't overdo it but keep writing development a top priority in conjunction w/ substance of the course.

Though no matter what, I would not use this text for a writing course either. It simply never reaches in a relatable, useful manner the entire premise of its title.

Professor Daniel DiRocco
Interdiscipline Dept, William Paterson University
March 11, 2023