restricted access Afterword
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Afterword DOI: 10.7330/9781607326625.c017 It didn’t seem right to write a book about faculty writing and argue we need more open discussion of our writing process while not revealing anything about my own writing process. The initial idea for How Writing Faculty Write stemmed from a 2009 National Public Radio story I read about the “Writers at Work” series from Maud Newton and her descriptions of the wealth of advice given by prolific authors (Newton 2009). After reading these interviews myself, I liked the structure and used this as the overarching idea for the project, as well as a model for questions I might ask writing faculty. After completing the interviews, because I had them recorded, I often played them in my car on the way to work and wrote down ideas for topics I wanted to raise in the introduction and conclusion on the back of my toddler’s coloring book because it was usually thrown in the front seat. I ripped off that back cover and taped it to the wall above my desk at work and developed a Microsoft Word document that contained a list of what faculty kept saying over and over, and cut and pasted in quotes from the transcripts of who said what. From there, I read everything on faculty writing and productivity I could get my hands on. Every two or three articles I stopped reading and pulled out quotes I knew I wanted to use by cutting and pasting them in the initial Microsoft Word document near the faculty interviews that they corresponded with. As I read more, I put “like” quotes and interview excerpts together and developed subheadings that grouped them in some way. Once I had about ten pages of quotes, I wrote a separate document of everything I wanted to say to introduce the collection and dropped in relevant support from the first document. Starting fresh, with my own voice, helped me put in more of my own writing. I paraphrased from sources more and cut down interview excerpts to just the essentials. To complete the above writing process, I worked in three specific ways. Two days a week I wrote for two hours a day using the timer on my phone and a new library location each time. I’d find a new corner, hit the timer on my phone, and write. The other three days I wrote in the small pockets interviewees describe. To prepare for these speed writing sessions, after completing a longer writing session the day before, I would print out a new draft. In the few minutes between classes and meetings during the next day (which often totaled between Afterword   157 fourteen and twenty-two minutes), I reread sections and made small edits, found sentences that didn’t make sense, and worked to fix these. I used this marked up paper draft to start the longer writing session the next day. After putting in the edits from the day before, because I had again familiarized myself with the draft I could begin writing again. And some days I just skipped writing to take a day off. With two small kids at home, I also rarely wrote on weekends. In many ways, I do what the writing faculty featured here do. Interviewees note that having passion for a project before starting it helps move writing forward, and in my case, this was true. Even if I didn’t feel like writing on a particular day (especially on the days when I wrote for just a few minutes at a time), only a few minutes in helped me get interested all over again. I also took advantage of two other strategies interviewees mentioned. One, I asked every faculty member I knew about his or her writing process (both in rhetoric and composition and outside of it). The more I talked to faculty about how they wrote, the easier it was for me to see connections in my book and think rhetorically about who might care about what I was saying. Two, I toggled between working on this book and other articles and projects. In my two-hour writing days, I might work on the book for a half hour, but then work on page proofs for another project closer to publication so I didn’t burn out on the topic. Finally, I stuck a Post-it on my open laptop that listed reasons why someone would want to read this collection, to keep...


pdf