10 reasons to write

When I set out to note down 10 reasons to write–10 reasons that would push me to write today–I never thought I would make it beyond the first two. But here you go:

1. I write to sort my head

We experience a lot of context switching in our roles lecturers in academic development as we are usually doing the splits between our academic teaching roles, staff development and CPD, as well as various projects we are working on. So nothing unusual for life in academia. Nevertheless or exactly because of this, there is not often time during the day to reflect, summarize your meetings, and connect all the dots from content input and change. My regular reflective writing (I aim for daily but that needs work) helps to sort my head, connect the dots, and note down learning, ideas, further reading, action points.

2. I write to relax

Okay that might sound a bit counter-intuitive, particularly if you have read some of my previous posts (link). But if I manage to reframe that I am not writing because I have to, I am writing to think about an interesting article or book, to consolidate ideas, and contemplate different perspectives, then writing is relaxing.

3. I write to create

Sometimes, when there are too many ideas floating about in my head, there is too much white noise. The ADHD lack of filter can be an issue during days of predominantly input but no output. So literally creating helps to give the white noise Gestalt. Here, writing helps the words to emerge from the noise. Creative writing is a good way to process. Sometimes, particularly when writing poetry, I won’t know what the poem is going to be until I have written it. To make a head-start with writing sometimes just free flow listing of all the things bouncing around my head is a good way to get started.

photo of list of concepts, ideas, words all related to learning and teaching in higher education interspersed with coloures
free writing exercise

4. I write because of the urge to create

Image of foggy autumn woods with text overlay. The text is repeated in the image caption
Why I write: because the words tumble towards the light; the urge, rush and shove. Because they crave form.

5. I am writing to plan

Still sticking with the key theme of structure as reason for writing another reason to write, is to plan something. Write a course outline, write an ethics application, a research proposal, a funding application. This is writing to plan.

photo of lists demonstrating the rough mapping of my course with a narrative arch
This was the rough map of one of my master level courses

6. I write to convince

I write because I want to convince my audience of something. Usually something I am quite passionate about. I want to convince colleagues to buy into a project, I want to convince managment to spend resources, I want to convince colleagues to collaborate, I want to convince readers to engage in a debate.

7. I write to share

Sometimes I just want to share something I think readers might like. Often times it is something that has come up and I can identify at least a handful of people in my direct environment who would be interested in it. Sharing also helps to develop a community of practice, and encourage exchange.

8. I write to support

I write to support. When I write about struggles I have, myself, I usually do so to support colleagues who might face the same issues. Usually I share these struggles with strategies to overcome and/or cope. The reflection on obtaining coaching to overcome inhibitions towards writing, were shared by a colleague in preparation of a writing workshop I ran. I was approached by colleagues who told me how relieved they were to read that others have the same issues and struggles.

9. I write to foster growth mindset

Writing to me is an intrinsically reflexive activity, so keeping writing is keeping thinking, and developing. I have kept work diaries for years and sometimes go back to situations. Why did this session not go so well, I learned something new recently–read an article, had a conversation, and now see this situation in a new light.

10. I write just for fun

Blue flame with yellow text overlay. The text is repeated in the caption of the image.
I am fire and brimstone. I am thunder and lightning. I am the sharp edge of a katana in postmodernist shackles of implausibility.

I write for fun, just for the enjoyment. My struggle at the moment is to regain that joy for writing when it comes to writing academically. To build the bridge between the fun in creative writing https://withheartmindandsoul.blog/ and translate it back to academic writing.

SOTL Writing

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