The Life of an Academic Writer
You’re in the right place if you’re looking for a proofreader or copyeditor who understands the demands and idiosyncrasies of academic writing. You’re also in the right place if you want to be a happy, confident, prolific writer and you’re passionate about your research and publications. If you find that the demands of completing your thesis and passing your viva, performing well in the next REF cycle, or succeeding in your upcoming tenure review sometimes threaten your confidence, this is the place to find help.
With every new calendar year, academic term, or break you tell yourself this is the time you’re going become the writer and researcher you know you can be. You’re tired of feeling discouraged when, a few weeks in, you find you’ve fallen short of your shiny, new resolution. You think there must be an easier way and wish you knew how to find it.
I Can Help You become a Happier Writer
Like almost every other academic writer, I’ve been there. It’s easy to get discouraged when it feels like writing goes from being about communicating something you’re excited about to pleasing a supervisor, editor, REF/tenure committee… the list goes on.
I’m an academic editor, proofreader, writer, and writing coach. I love helping writers polish their prose almost as much as I love helping them recapture the joy and curiosity they once felt about their subject. I want you to remember why you embarked on postgraduate study and why you are an academic.
If your problem with writing is that you’re struggling to write, I can help. While I can’t take away all the pressure of needing to please important readers, I can help you develop a better writing practice. In this practice, you will no longer dread sitting down to write. You’ll learn how to recognise the internal voices that hold you back—and silence them. You will also develop ways of coping when a piece doesn’t go quite to plan.
As you implement the changes to your writing practice that we develop together, you’ll find that you write more frequently and easily than before. You may be surprised to find that you can write much more productively in several half hour bursts than in a three-hour writing marathon.
Your new writing practice will enable you to pick up where you left off in a matter of moments. You won’t waste any more time rereading the twenty pages you wrote a couple of weeks ago before you begin. You’ll know where you left off because it wasn’t that long ago. Also, you learn what kinds of notes to leave yourself. It’s much easier to get started when you leave yourself directions for what to write next.
If your problem with writing is identifying how best to structure your argument or polishing your prose, I can help with that, too. You’ll find information about what I offer in terms of copyediting and proofreading here. I have been editing and proofreading academic work for more than fifteen years. I have ample experience working with non-native speakers, and have worked with writers from a variety of disciplines. Find out more about my past editorial work here.
How Am I Qualified to Help Other Writers?
As a PhD student (at UC Davis), I was trained in teaching composition and rhetoric. That training taught me a lot about how to manage a classroom, what to present, and how to present it. But it didn’t cover how to help students overcome the blocks that were getting in the way of their writing.
While writing my thesis, I noticed my fellow PhD students and I were experiencing the same blocks or anxieties as my composition students. But for us, they were bigger and seemed scarier because the thesis felt so much more important than a short undergraduate essay. In looking for ways to alleviate this pressure I hit on the practice of using writing groups. In fact, I was awarded a Professors for the Future Fellowship to teach PhD students and post-docs how to run functional and supportive writing groups.
Since finishing my PhD I’ve discovered that the anxiety doesn’t go away at completion—lecturers and professors are just better at hiding it. To make matters worse, trying to find time to read and discuss one another’s work adds almost as much stress as it relieves.
A couple of years ago, I thought there has to be a better way and set about trying to find it. Throughout my PhD I had taken freelance editing and proofreading work, so I decided to do that full time.
While my editorial services do help relieve my clients’ stress just prior to submitting their work, it does nothing to address the problems they face while writing. To this end, I started my blog and started offering my services as a writing coach.
As a coach, I help clients identify and overcome the issues that are holding them back. We work together to find a writing practice or routine that works for them. We also work on setting reasonable, achievable goals and remember to celebrate each achievement (no matter the size).
My coaching comes in two forms: the short, intense support needed when a deadline is looming, and the longer term support needed to change/establish habits. My Article Completion Camp offers the first kind of support, while my academic coaching offers the second.
Below you can schedule a 20-minute consultation so we can discuss how coaching can help you. If you want to stay informed about new developments and products and receive exclusive discounts, sign up for my newsletter.
I hope you enjoy my blog and I look forward to meeting and working with you.