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Some thoughts on the writing process


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Some thoughts on the writing process

  2. 2. INTRODUCTION • I reflect on my writing process so as to try and: – overcome problems such as procrastination and ineffective story telling – write with increased speed and productivity. – be a better writer. • What follows is a review of some of the things I have learned and ‘try’ to follow:
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION • Do you enjoy writing? • I find writing a difficult and slow process. • It is also physically painful. • And it can very lonely.
  4. 4. GREAT EXPERIENCES • What great writing experiences have you had and why were they great? McCarthy, I. P., Lawrence, T. B., Wixted, B., & Gordon, B. R. (2010). A multidimensional conceptualization of environmental velocity. Academy of Management Review, 35(4), 604-626. • Great team work and division of labour • Lots of meetings (physical and virtual) • Forward momentum Kietzmann, J. H., Hermkens, K., McCarthy, I. P., & Silvestre, B. S. (2011). Social media? Get serious! Understanding the functional building blocks of social media. Business Horizons, 54(3), 241-251.
  5. 5. WRITING IS A PROCESS Unproductive writing Productive writing Inventing Drafting Revising Inventing Revising Drafting • Inventing = free writing, brain storming, thinking, problem solving • Drafting = forward momentum, rhetorical situation • Revising = structure, diction, sentences, grammar, occasion, audience
  6. 6. RHETORICAL SITUATION • The "rhetorical situation" consists of the circumstances you find yourself in when you want or need to communicate: • Writer-Purpose-Audience-Subject Audience - pathos Purpose Writer - ethos Subject - logos
  7. 7. WRITER (ETHOS) • Your personal characteristics and interests affect what you write about and how you write about it: • What factors can affect your writing? – your age and experience – your field and expertise
  8. 8. PURPOSE • Why do you write? – – – – – – to inform to persuade to educate a call to action to entertain to shock
  9. 9. AUDIENCE • Who is the audience? • Do you have more then one audience? • How does the purpose relate to the audience? • Publishing papers requires: • alignment with the journal’s focus and mission • satisfying the primary audience • understanding why they will like your paper • understanding why they will reject your paper • satisfying the secondary audience • Writing a paper is like joining a conversation
  10. 10. PURPOSE AND THE ‘SEVEN QUESTIONS TEST 1. What is the phenomenon (the 'X') in your paper? Why is it interesting? Why is it important? 2. What do we know about the phenomenon (e.g., prior research)? 3. What don’t we know about the phenomenon? (i.e., the gaps/problems/puzzles). So what? Who cares? 4. What specific questions about the phenomenon do you investigate? 5. What do you do theoretically and methodologically and in your study to address what we don’t know about the phenomenon? Why is it appropriate /timely? Who cares? 6. What new/counter intuitive insights (theoretical and practical) does your study generate? Why are these insights important and interesting? 7. What are the boundary conditions and limitations of your study? What are the future research directions?
  11. 11. PRIMARY AUDIENCE – PAPER ON VELOCITY Kathy Eisenhardt Gregory Dess William Q. Judge Sucheta Nadkarni others
  12. 12. SPACE AND TIME • Where and when do you write best? • Why this space and time? • A space and a time help provide a routine, which help make writing become a habit. • Don't just plan to write—write • Turn spell checker off when drafting • No tweeting, emails, internet, for forty minute chunks • Stretch between chunks, then stop and reward myself after four chunks.
  13. 13. REVISION • • • • I need to wait 24 hours, at least, before editing my own work. Read a hard copy. Go slowly to prevent reading what isn’t there. Read aloud. It is slower, and it helps you to understand the flow of your writing. • Know your typical errors so you can check for them. Produce a check list of them. • Have the guts to delete. • Strive for coherence, logic, precision, succinctness and surprise.
  14. 14. SOME THINGS TO DO • Think about how much time you spend on invention, drafting and revision. • Produce heuristics for the rhetorical situation for each paper you produce. • Think about your drafting technique. • Select a great paper and analyze it in terms of audience, writer and purpose. Why is it a great paper? • Look for and be guided by exemplar papers.
  15. 15. JOHN STEINBECK (PARIS REVIEW, 1973) • Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised. • Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
  16. 16. JOHN STEINBECK (PARIS REVIEW, 1973) • Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
  17. 17. FINAL THOUGHTS • When I follow my own advice, my writing is more productive, better and less painful, than when I don’t. • When someone tells you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right (especially if that someone is your audience or knows your audience)