You are here

Sage online ordering services are currently unavailable due to network disruption. We are working to restore service as soon as possible. In the meantime, our books are still available widely via retailers and online. Inspection copies can be requested direct from Vitalsource.
If you need further assistance please visit our Contact us page for further information. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the inconvenience.
Why Aren’t You Writing?

Why Aren’t You Writing?
Research, Real Talk, Strategies, & Shenanigans

December 2020 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Write more with less pain!  Why Aren’t You Writing?: Research, Real Talk, Strategies, & Shenanigans describes research on how bright and otherwise fairly normal people lose their minds when it comes to writing, and then shows the reader how to stop being one of those people. Author Sharon Zumbrunn designed this brief text for beginning and struggling academic writers so they can understand the psychological hang-ups that can get in the way of productivity.

This book intertwines social and behavioral science research and humor to offer tips and exercises to help writers overcome their hurdles. Each chapter includes a description of findings from psychological and related research on writing hurdles and personal experiences of the writing process. Within the chapters, the author provides practical strategies and resources to help writers move beyond the challenges holding them back. 

Why Aren't You Writing? acknowledges how emotionally and mentally challenging it can be to be a "writer." This book helps readers to balance the hard work required for change with a bit of levity often necessary for withstanding sustained difficult thinking and meaningful change. Together, the components of this text present a systematic approach for beginning and struggling academics to become aware of what might be happening in their heads when they (don’t) write, and harness that knowledge to build a healthier and more resilient relationship with writing.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Imposter Syndrome and Writer Identity
Chapter 3: Writing Stress and Anxiety
Chapter 4: Writing Self-Efficacy
Chapter 5: Maladaptive Perfectionism
Chapter 6: Autonomy in Our Work and Writing
Chapter 7: Embracing the Feedback Process
Chapter 8: Finding Social Support for Writing
Chapter 9: The Importance of Wellness and Self-Care
Afterword: An (Un)Ending of Sorts

My apologies for bluntness. Always searching for a quality writing/composition text. That this text survived the review process and was published astonishes me. It offers almost nothing in terms substantive ways to strengthen one's writing or even writing approach. Instead, it reads as a self-help book. I do not feel it meets the qualifications of an academic publication -- let alone would it cross my mind for a moment to adopt it except for purposes perhaps of illustrating to students that academic texts can and should be subject to question; this text is so outlandish it could not prove the point more.

Professor Daniel DiRocco
Interdiscipline Dept, William Paterson University
March 12, 2023
Key features

  • Professor Sharon Zumbrunn takes research on writing and motivation to all academic audiences who may struggle with writing (re: everyone).
  • Organized by topic, each chapter addresses a distinct barrier to writing, including inner shenanigans, such as anxiety and the imposter phenomenon, to the contextual shenanigans, such as processing feedback drafts and working with collaborators.
  • Each chapter begins with a discussion of evidence on writing challenges and causes from academic research on writing from a variety of disciplines and perspectives.
  • Strategies from research and experience provide concrete ways to help readers address and manage their challenges with writing.
  • TL;DR Summaries provide reinforcement for key points from the chapter.
  • Next Steps provide a quick checklist of strategies to try for each barrier.
  • Extra Resources point readers to more research on the topic as well as tools and websites for writing.
  • Humor throughout, and especially Humor Breaks, help readers understand how universal, and even funny, our challenges with writing can be.
  • A final section of Tear-Out Activities lets readers experience the catharsis of exorcising their writing demons.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site