Dr. Patricia Virella's Writing Journey
In 2017, I became a Ph.D. student in the Learning, Leadership, and Education Policy Program at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. I will never forget receiving the day a professor handed back my first paper with 117 comments on it. I began to feel small and inept. I thought that I didn’t have the chops to write. As the years passed, my peers began writing and getting published, accepted to conferences, but I was shut out year after year. At the end of my third year, I slowed down and began to assess my writing. I searched the Internet for writing advice and clear examples to improve. I also wanted to know about writing routines, practices, and processes but couldn’t find one central space to learn from other academics. A place that offers advice so that writing can become liberation instead of a burden.
I began to conceptualize this project in the final year of my Ph.D. studies. At the time, I was working with a writing coach to help me along. I also worked very closely with three professors at UCONN who refined my writing. Their patience and dedication impacted my writing on many levels. However, I am often and sadly reminded that access to writing coaches or dedicated faculty during your graduate work could set you back in many ways. I hope that this space allows academics to see themselves as writers who have narratives and empirical understanding to share.
Writing can be isolating. We create, revise and refine all by ourselves in our minds, making decisions about every syllable, consonant, and predicate used in our writing. This site is a space that I hope will support the growth of academics as writers. I also hope that much is learned from the corpus of writing routines and practices collected in this space.