Crash Course: Creative Unblocking for Academic Writers

Instructor: Dr. Sharon Shahaf


Throughout their careers, academics are constantly evaluated based on their writing. Yet, universities do very little to support graduate students and faculty in coping with the psychological, mental and creative challenges involved in the academic "writing life".  

This crash course aims to introduce academic writers with useful insight and practices gleaned from the literature on creative unblocking and provide ample resources for successfully dealing with various types of “blocks” from “Imposter Syndrome” to perfectionism, avoidance to procrastination, and anxiety to paralysis. Geared specifically for those writing original academic research, participants will begin contemplating and developing a mindful, compassionate, regular, sustainable and even pleasurable writing practice.

Participants will:

-  Explore the specific nature of academic writing and name its attending challenges

-  Identify and learn to navigate the various stages of the academic writing process

-  Analyze the most common types of academic writer’s block and present helpful interventions

-  Discover and experiment with a range of “creative unblocking” practices and exercises (written and other)

- Learn easy to use, practical techniques that support the development of a joyful, daily writing practice.

- Discuss ways to balance your writing and life with teaching, publishing and service

The workshop is open to Academic writers on all levels – from graduate students to faculty and independent scholars of all ranks.

Class Limit is 20.


$ 85.00



Biography: Sharon Shahaf (BA MA Tel Aviv University, PhD University of Texas, Austin) is an internationally recognized global media scholar, writer and editor, living right here in the City of Decatur. Currently a Research Associate in UT Austin’s Radio-Television-Film department, Shahaf has over a decade of experience advising academic writers from graduate students through to senior colleagues and peers. Shahaf has published books, journal articles, book chapters, online essays and book reviews in English and Hebrew. As an academic editor she is the winner of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies “Best Edited Collection Award” (2013). She is currently finishing an academic monograph in her subject area (Rethinking Television Formats, Forthcoming, Routledge, 2019) and editing a special journal issue for Critical Studies in Television. She is also working on a self-help book for academic writers, tentatively titled, Creative Unblocking for Academic Writers: Or, How to Survive Academia and Write with Creativity and Joy.

Contact Information: info@decaturwritersstudio.com

Date(s): Saturday, February 2

Class time: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Type of Class: Crash Course


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