Solution to Writing Obstacle No. 44:

“Everyone takes writing so seriously; am I doing it wrong if I don’t?”


Academia often loses its sense of humor; if you have a funny bone, don’t lose it.

One of my adviser siblings (a scholar with the same dissertation adviser as me) often posts witty commentary on social media about her writing process. It not only helps her work through writing frustrations, it helps all the scholars who read it feel less alone.

Here is one post from her, Manushag N. Powell:

The Five Stages of Composition:
1) This is the worst thing I have ever written. And it is too short.
2) Maybe if I go to sleep, it will fix itself.
3) I need some more visual aids.
4) You know, maybe it’s actually a work of subtle brilliance, and my audience will just sense that.
5) Fuck, now it’s too long.

Solution to Writing Obstacle No. 44, in addition to the obstacles listed on page 32 of Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success (University of Chicago Press, 2019).