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United as writers: Why our struggles (and our triumphs) are the same

Let me be honest: I’ve never written a research paper that was published in a prestigious journal, or any journal for that matter. I’ve never spent grueling hours upon hours writing a dissertation. And I’ve certainly never written a textbook. However, writing has always been a part of my life. From always having a journal by my bedside, to writing stories, to starting my own blog.

I know the feeling of anxiousness a keyboard and computer screen bring when they whisper to you that it has been too long since your fingers graced its keys and filled its blank white page with words. I know how frustrating and debilitating not finding the right word and writer’s block can be. Then, I know the relief of finally finding those right words while driving down the road and pulling over to get it down before they fade away, never to return in quite the same sequence. I know the feeling of squeezing writing time into the dark early morning hours before the rest of the world wakes and the five minutes before another meeting.

I may not sit in a library and scour through articles and books, wondering down book aisles in the furthest corner of the library that hardly another has wondered. Yet I do research and read through articles—endless articles—furiously searching every nook and cranny of the Internet. And, although I may not know solidarity as a writer, I do know solidarity. I work form home four days a week with little human interaction, expect that of an occasional work related call or email. My husband works long hours and travels often. Mostly my companion is a four-legged porky (Pomeranian/Yorkshire terrier mix), named Coco.

Also, like you, I have multiple writing projects (both professional and personal) going at the same time that I am trying to manage. I have deadlines to meet and standards to uphold. No I’m not on the tenure track, but my writing does affect my career and my image, just as your writing does you. Just as many of you write to make an impact, I too write to make an impact—on you. Sure, writing and research are part of my job, but it’s so much more than that. Writing is a part of who I am. I write to inspire, to help, to motivate, and ultimately, in hopes of making a difference in someone’s life.

So you see, even though we write for different reasons and I haven’t walked the path you are walking, our struggles and our triumphs are largely the same. I hope to inspire you and to help you achieve your goals. I research and compare and draw from my own experiences to bring to you, in the form of weekly blog posts, tips and strategies to help you with the writing process. I may not have all of the answers, I may not be able to say that I wrote a dissertation, journal article, or textbook and what that particular struggle is like, but I certainly know the struggles of writing and being a writer. If nothing else, I can always point you in the right direction to find the information you seek or the mentorship you need.

Happy writing!

Libby Becker is the Content & Community Manager for the Text and Academic Authors Association. She writes weekly blog posts with tips and strategies for academic and textbook writers. She also has a weekly blog series, ‘The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week‘. Read a sampling of Libby’s blog posts: