Lucas Center Blog

Lucas Center Hosts Writing Workshop for Faculty

March 24, 2023 

On Friday, March 24 Erin McTigue from the Textbook Academic Authors Association (TAA) facilitated an academic writing workshop for FGCU faculty. Participants were engaged throughout the session, and feedback suggests they found the content and associated resources useful for starting or maintaining productive writing habits. This blog post contains a description of the session, links to resources and the session recording, and information about the TAA-facilitated 6-week “writing gyms,” two of which will be available (free of charge) to FGCU faculty, one starting in April and one in June.

Moving from Pesky to Productive: Designing a Healthy, Sustainable Writing Habit

Presented by: Erin McTigue

In this interactive workshop mythology is dispelled and findings from recent psychology research are translated specifically to writing habits. Participants first analyze one of their own already strong habits to plan for the formation of a new writing habit starting with a trigger, growing from a micro-habit, and being reinforced by rewards, including social reinforcement and tracking. Then to prevent pitfalls, participants discuss and prepare for what may derail their newly designed habits. Participants will leave with self-insight, energy and tools for remaking their writing habits.

I found the sustainable writing workshop incredibly beneficial. Recommendations for microscopic modifications, such as starting with one minute or one idea a day, encourage real productivity and suggest true sustainability. Reviewing the triggers and creating accountability partners are valuable practice points I’m confident I can use to maintain the habit.

After being a traditional academic for over ten years at Texas A&M University, Erin McTigue started her own business, The Positive Academic, through which she mentors and coaches academics in writing and productivity, as well as runs workshops for faculty and graduate students. While at Texas A&M, she co-directed a university-wide writing support program and developed an academic writing course for international students. To keep up her craft, in the role of research scientist, Erin continues to write grants and articles with her colleagues at the National Reading Research Center of Norway at the University of Stavanger. In addition, in 2020 she was invited to be an Internal Productivity Coach at the Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford, as well as at the Center for Human Compatible Artificial Intelligence, UC Berkeley. Erin is widely published, has won teaching and mentoring awards, and continually aims to bring a lightness of spirit to the heaviness of academia.

I really appreciated the opportunity to reflect on current practices that already work well for me, and then how to combine those with future goals based on my current habits and thought processes. It was an honest and realistic reflection opportunity. 

FGCU has partnered with the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) to provide you with access to its 6-week Writing Gym program at no cost to you.

The TAA Writing Gym's six-week work-out-on-your-own gym time serves as your writing accountability partner as you work to achieve your writing goals. It includes weekly inspirational emails, six writing classes, templates for tracking your writing and developing your six-week workout plan, and a discussion group for networking with other participants.

The next Writing Gym starts April 3, 2023. Sign up here and use code FGCU23 to bypass payment.

*The link to sign up for the June 26 Writing Gym will be available in late April!