#25 Sarah: Be(com)ing a writer

What does it take be a (science) writer?

Sarah Haas is a researcher, consultant, and writer and she works both at the University of Copenhagen and Ghent University. Sarah tries to understand what makes good writing, what it means to be a writer, and how writing as a process can be facilitated. Especially for the latter two she offers courses on Writer Development, where people learn to get into the mindset of a writer and develop strategies that make them feel more comfortable and be productive when writing.

In this episode, Sarah tells her beautiful story on how her PhD studies turned into a course that she has now been teaching for about 15 years. Isn’t that what most PhDs wish for? Seeing their PhD work being put into practice and to really have an impact?

Anyhow, to make writing become easier for you, Sarah shares:

  • How you can come to perceive yourself as a writer and why that’s important
  • How you can establish good and healthy writing habits
  • 3 Tips on how to motivate yourself, when you really don’t feel like writing
  • How you could establish a Writer’s group by yourself

Additional resources mentioned in our conversation:

Haas, S. (2024). Some kind of Writer: The write spectrum, and a not-magic formula for development. In Despatches from our Writing rooms: Women Writing Socially in Academia. Zozimo, J.,  Sotejeff-Wilson, K., Baldwin, W. (Eds). Palgrave.

On establishing writers’ groups: 

Haas, S. (2023). Meeting Needs: A model for writers’ group sustainability. In EAPRIL 2022 Conference Proceedings (203-214). EAPRIL. ISSN 2406-4653. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/370112126_Meeting_Needs_A_model_for_writers’_group_sustainability 

Haas, S., De Soete, A., & Ulstein, G. (2020). Zooming through Covid: Fostering safe communities of critical reflection via online writers’ group interaction. DOUBLE HELIX (HAMDEN), 8.

Reichelt, M., Salski, Ł., Andres, J., Lowczowski, E., Majchrzak, O., Molenda, M., … & Wiśniewska-Steciuk, E. (2013). “A table and two chairs”: Starting a writing center in Łódź, Poland. Journal of Second Language Writing22(3), 277-285.

On the writing process

Haas, S. (2009). Writers’ groups for MA ESOL students: Collaboratively constructing a model of the writing process. English Lang Teach Educ Dev J2, 23-9.

 Lonka, K. (2003). Helping doctoral students to finish their theses. Teaching academic writing in European higher education, 113-131.

On the Writer Development course

Haas, S., & Kobayashi, S. (2014). Writer development made accessible. Brookes eJournal of Learning and Teaching, 6 (2).

On Snack writing

Murray, R. (2014). ‘Snack’and’Binge’writing: editorial for Journal of Academic Development and Education. The Journal of Academic Development and Education, (2), 5-8.

Sarah offers writing retreats in Denmark, Belgium and the UK – to learn my about them you can get in touch with Sarah through LinkedIn.

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