What these students show is they see reading as an intelligence test. (To be fair, they probably learned this from school.) As a graduate student, they have been a ‘smart’ person all their life, but maybe now they are not smart, or not smart enough.
Each revision, taking on board questions and concerns and advice and changes, takes my work a little bit away from me. For me, this is a good thing! Unlike this blog post, which I wrote, editing and published myself (hence the fact that there are often typos!), academic writing for publication has been read and commented on and changed by multiple people over multiple stages. The article or book goes from being ‘my’ work, to being, in some way, ‘our’ work.
Often, we feel we should wait to feel ‘inspired’ to start writing. We want to wait until we feel we are filled up with ideas and certainty and energy to write. And yet, as Boice found in his research, turning up regularly and ‘just writing’, whether or not you felt inspired or had time or were ready, could make someone nine times more productive.
If you feel overwhelmed by your inbox and meeting demands, you are likely to be dealing with the challenge of reactive communication. That is, every day, you open your inbox and find tens or even hundreds of requests for information and tasks. Like many people, you may start the day with a sense of dread.
This year was the year of so much editing for me. Having two books coming out a few months apart meant that I had barely submitted responses to one set of edits than the edits for the other book would arrive in my inbox (sometimes I could count the breathing space in hours). It was tough for my brain to stay focussed, but it was also tough on my body.
Western logical structures, which developed from the Ancient Greeks and were then developed by the Church Fathers and Enlightenment philosophers, tend to be what we