The Labor of Scholarly Writing

It’s Labor Day weekend in the United States, and I’m finding that I actually do have time to enjoy the holiday. This is no small achievement. Since you readers are academics, I’m guessing you’re pretty familiar with quasi–free time. Our work is sprawling and unstructured because, for us, work overlaps with what we love to do, what we’d want to be doing anyway. We don’t clock in and clock out, so our work (the love of our life though it may be) haunts our waking life and even interferes in our dreams. Despite loving the idea of a flexible schedule and despite being a night owl, I’ve recently been working more traditional hours, and every aspect of my life has improved as a result. Challenging my own long-held presumptions and experimenting with a new (albeit culturally traditional) schedule has paid off, and I’ve been spending my Labor Day weekend rejuvenating and thinking fresh thoughts. Happiest of Labor Days to you, writers! Remind yourself that you’ve earned some time off—because writing is work. Download the computer desktop graphic and a printable poster here. More graphics here, at the Writing Progress Administration. Maybe a friend needs to remember that weekends are for writers. Send the message as an e-card here. When you do want to get back to work, this door tag will spread the message. And if you’re curious about the origins and cultural forces behind Labor Day, here’s a short article from PBS to ground your...

WPA: Keep Calm and Write On

In the interest of writers everywhere, the Writing Progress Administration now appropriates the classic British wartime poster. Download the large graphic for your computer wallpaper (standard, widescreen), and print the white-backgrounded, letter-sized PDF to post here, there, and everywhere. You can also send it as an electronic postcard to your favorite struggling (or even übermotivated) writer. At your service, Katie, TWEED Editrix and Writing Progress...

WPA: Writing Can Be Like Playing Dominoes

The Writing Progress Administration is back to encourage writers to set up writing projects in small increments and then knock ’em down—er, write ’em down. Taking baby steps is always easier than trying to tackle a behemoth project all at once. So see how small you can make the dominoes of your particular project, set them up, and write ’em down. If you want to use this WPA graphic as your computer wallpaper, download the image that suits your screen’s proportions: standard screen widescreen If you want to print out an 8.5″ x 11″ poster of this graphic on a white background, save this PDF. Go, writers,...

WPA: First Class All the Way

Good morning! It’s time for another installment in the Writing Progress Administration’s propaganda series, inspired by the New Deal social agency that put millions back to work and kept the United States proud and productive. This time, I offer relief in the form of bolstering the writer’s sense of self. I also pay homage to the postal system, a classic institution facing some trying times these days. You can print a white-backgrounded, 8.5″ x 11″ poster form of this graphic by saving this link. If you want to use this as your computer wallpaper and your screen has standard dimensions, click here. For widescreen displays, go with this version. Keep up the good work,...

WPA: Research and Victory

ATTENTION, CITIZEN WRITERS: The Writing Progress Administration returns with two new posters and computer wallpapers to motivate the diligent writing public. Research, the Best Ammunition updates the classic notion that the pen is mightier than the sword. A well-read writer is one strong enough to take critique, respond to it, and incorporate the best of it into her writing. (Pacifists, excuse the weaponry metaphor; the aim is to upend violent imagery!) Download Research, the Best Ammunition: widescreen computer wallpaper, standard-dimension computer wallpaper, poster (PDF on white background). Write for Victory is a broad call to writers of every stripe. It may seem an isolating and tedious task, but at its best writing is a bold way to engage with society. If writing is your goal, then doing so is a contribution to public victory. Download Write for Victory: widescreen computer wallpaper, standard-dimension computer wallpaper, poster (PDF on white background). Keep strong. Keep writing. See the inaugural Labor Day WPA...