A lifelong, wannabe writer and an obsessive/compulsive reader, I’ve settled (at least for now) on becoming an academic. I’ve been fidgety career-wise, but the academic outfit does seem to suit: after all, I get paid to read and write, which are two of the things I love doing best. In my free time, when I’ve clocked in the ridiculous hours I put into work, when the kids have been taken care of, the dog has been walked and my house doesn’t look like it’s been hit by a bomb, I try to snap a few pictures and become more than just an average guitar player (unsuccessfully, I’m afraid). And now there’s this blog. Writing academic articles can be quite hard work, and academia, especially for those starting out, can be quite the lonely place. I see my personal investment in this blog as a means of trying to overcome a bit of that: to give you tips, ideas and inspiration to help you along when the going gets tough, and to share what others have experienced, so that we can all learn from it. There are some incredibly generous people in this community, and this blog is one way of sharing that generosity with a wider public. I really do hope that in the myriad stuff we’ve posted here, you’ll find whatever it is you need to keep going. Good luck!
If you want to know more about what I do during the day, you can read my official bio here: http://www.hec.ca/en/profs/charlotte.cloutier.html
Writing this bio has been on my to-do list for a few days. Or should I say, a few weeks. It’s not that I had forgotten about it. I thought about it in places where I could write it (in front of my computer, with a pen in hand) and where I could not (in the shower, during meetings). I played with its structure while I was supposed to be working on something else, I composed sentences in my mind while vacuuming, I even wrote a full paragraph just to throw it away. For some reason, starting was difficult. But at one point I had to jump, and I did. I could have kept this messy, slightly angst-ridden process hidden, and maybe I should have. But this blog is about writing, the process, and this is what process is all about: messiness, emergence, emotions, experience, learning. If writing happens when you’re facing the page, it is not limited to that space, to that time: as a process, writing can also run in the background of daily life, while you’re elsewhere, involved in other activities. Writing is something that you do, but which in turns does something to you, even when you’re not actually writing. Writing draws you in. Tough writing sessions leave you exhausted, deeply dissatisfied, unhappy, but good writing sessions leave you elated, thrilled, wanting for more. Writing is unpredictable. Writing is wonderful. I love writing, even when I’m suffering through it, and even when I’m not using my first language, French. I couldn’t imagine myself not writing!
As a matter of fact, writing has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I wrote a lot of fiction as a kid and as a teenager. Nowadays, it’s academic writing that fills my days – but I still play with fiction, not giving up the hope of finding the time to develop these ideas. I take notes compulsively, I obsess over notebooks and I love to try new apps and tricks designed for any task related to writing. As absorbed as I can be with my own imperfect writing process, I’m eager to learn about other writers’ approaches, thoughts and habits. And with such an introduction, you will not be surprised to discover that not only am I thinking quite often about writing – the writing I’m doing, the writing I should be doing, the writing I wish I was doing – but that I’m also very much interested by everything related to personal productivity… and its sidekick, procrastination!
I’d include a link to my official self, but since I’m a newly appointed assistant professor, this page isn’t up yet! In the meantime, if you’re dedicated to knowing more about me, you can have a look at my LinkedIn profile here. And in case you were wondering: no, this introduction has nothing to do with any of the versions I’ve thought about, but it still captures with an amazing exactness what I wanted to express 🙂 What’s more, as it so often happens, once I immersed myself in the process, I kept on wondering why I waited so long to take the plunge…