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7 K at h l e e n Ya n c e y DOI: 10.7330/9781607326625.c007 KATHLEEN BLAKE YANCEY is Kellogg Hunt professor of English and distinguished research professor at Florida State University. Yancey has authored two books—Reflection in the Writing Classroom and Teaching Literature as Reflective Practice—and, with two colleagues, co-authored Writing Across Contexts: Transfer, Composition, and Sites of Writing, which won the CCCC Research Impact Award and the CWPA Best Book Award. She has also edited or co-edited another eleven volumes, among them collections focusing on portfolios (Portfolios in the Writing Classroom and Electronic Portfolios 2.0) and on assessment (Assessing Writing across the Curriculum: Diverse Methods and Practices and Self-Assessment and Develop­ ment in Writing: A Collaborative Inquiry), in addition to other works in composition studies. She also co-founded the journal Assessing Writing, co-editing it for seven years. In addition, Yancey edited writing studies’ flagship journal College Composition and Communication. While teaching at institutions such as University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Clemson University in addition to Florida State, Yancey has taught over twenty different undergraduate courses, ranging from first year composition to English teaching methods and more than fifteen graduate courses, including visual rhetoric. Yancey has served as an administrator in varying contexts, including co-founding and directing the Inter/National Coalition for Electronic Portfolio Research. She has also served as president of the National Council of Teachers of English, Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators. The interview took place on July 25, 2013, via Skype. christine: I’m doing your interview completely different than all the others because I have a great anecdote to tell you first and I’m going to use that to launch my first question. kathi: Sure. I’m ready! christine: When I was at the 4Cs conference this year, I was talking with a friend about this book project and asked her whose writing 84   How Writing Faculty Write habits she wanted to know about. She said you. At the time, we were in a crowded hallway between sessions and out of nowhere this very intense looking gentleman just pops his head in between ours and says, “If you talk to her find out . . . ” and then he looks around to make sure nobody is listening and then he says, in a scary whispering voice, “ . . . if she ever gets writer’s block?” kathi: [laughs] christine: So . . . Do you ever get writer’s block? [laughs] kathi: Not in the way in which I think that term is usually used. I find some tasks easier than others but I think the key is that I’m never just writing on one project, and even if I were just writing on one project I’d have so much other writing to engage me. So you know you could have writer’s block in a spectrum, right? On one end writer’s block in this sort of originary genius version shuts you down completely. christine: Right. kathi: Then on the other hand you could have writer’s block that was more, you know, intermittent, almost a part of the process. If you conceptualize it in that second way, I’d say sure and I think everybody has. For me . . . I like the beginning of a project. I love the beginning of a project. I find it energizing! christine: [laughs] kathi: One of the questions that you have on your list [of potential questions passed out to interviewees] is whether I revise and if I like revision and the answer is generally speaking, yes. I actually see myself as a reviser and it’s taken me a long time to get to the place where I really think I’m engaged with the craft of revision. I think that’s an acquired skill. But the mental part from shifting from a few good ideas to getting started . . . that can be really hard. And then there are sometimes places in the middle where I know something’s not working but I don’t know what it is, and then what I tend to do is just flip to something else. I’ve always got something else going on. So I’ll go do the something else or I’ll take some kind of a break and then I’ll come back. I’ve never had writer’s block in the sense that you know you...


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