Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Since engaging readers is the ultimate goal of every professional writer, this is great for nonfiction work (business, technical, grant writing). Nothing is more powerful than knowing your audience and how to reach its members!


To be alone with one’s thoughts is to find the center of your being.

Blessed with a Star on the Forehead

“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.” ― Albert Einstein

Sometimes all it takes is an innocent question to make you doubt and second guess yourself.

As I was leaving work on New Year’s Eve a co-worker yelled out:  Who will you be kissing at midnight? If ever a question was painful, this one was it!  As I am waiting for the elevator I feel loneliness invading my being.

“Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it’s a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust.” 
― Kazuo Ishiguro

All of a sudden it feels like the entire world as having a party and I was not invited.    The elevator doors open and I walk in, feeling like a zombie, feeling oddly disconnected from my…

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Writers out there.

  • What do you do to stay motivated?
  • How do you keep to your deadlines?
  • What does your writing space look like?

Writers always talk about “finding a muse” or being in the right frame of mind to write. There are countless tricks. Virginia Woolf recommends having a room of one’s own (and the money and time to write).  Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life advises to always have a pen and paper on hand.

For me, I have to surround myself with words. I read every day and the walls of my room are filled with quotes about writing, about reading, and about living life to the fullest. These quotes are on colored paper (I’m a visual person) to stimulate my thinking and get me motivated to start writing. I’ve found that I have to have a quiet place to work so I can hear the clacking of keys or the scrape of pen on paper to make me feel productive. If my roommate is mumbling medical jargon to herself–she’s a medical student–I’ll insert some headphones and play bouncy Irish music on Pandora to drown her out.

As for a muse, I try to remain aware of the “writer voice” in my head, which ultimately means I have to stifle my “writing critic brain.” Trying to produce quality content is difficult, but even more so, when you have constant self-criticism droning in your head. The “writing critic brain” is usually what keeps me from beginning to write.

Over breakfast this morning, my roommate and I were discussing what keeps writers motivated to start writing. For me, I like structure and a plan. I make lists and set goals. Without a self-imposed deadline, nothing gets done. I’m not like Douglas Adams who said, “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” I keep to my deadlines because I always reward myself for reaching them…usually with coffee or chocolate. Having a schedule keeps me focused. I’ve also found that writing around a theme entices me to work because I’m completing pieces that contribute to a larger objective.

I’ve recently started waking up at 5 am, going for a half hour walk, get breakfast, and check my social media and email. By then, it’s 6ish. I start planning content to blog and by 8 am I’m headed off to my graduate assistant job where I have the freedom to write or do homework–homework that more often than not involves writing. On average, between planning content and actual physical writing, I work about 8 hours per day and 10-12 hours when grad school classes are in session.

I’m interested to hear what you do as a writer to keep yourself actively involved with your craft.

Today I found out I received funds from Towson to attend MAWCA 2014. I’m really excited about the conference’s theme of generations. My presentation will be discussing tutors’ perceptions of their transferable job skills. This project is an extension of the PWTARP. It is my hope that this research will continue in the future. For more information about the conference visit My research can be found on this blog at

A Hundred Thousand Empty Words

Posted: January 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

Days Without Writing

Posted: January 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

Waiting Outside of Parnassus

At what point is one allowed to call oneself a writer is a question that I’ve spent far too much time contemplating. When I was younger, I would shy away from calling myself a writer because my writing wasn’t serious, wasn’t good, wasn’t published, wasn’t published in a paying magazine, and myriad of other reasons. I now say that the only thing that makes a person a writer is that they write (something I’ve heard a lot of other people say for a long time before I accepted its obvious truth). As long as I spend a good portion of my time getting words on the page, I am a writer. Maybe not a good one, a successful one or any other qualifier, but I am inarguably a writer, though there is always a little (or huge) part of me that doesn’t think I can call myself one. Part of the…

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Membership in Omicron Delta Kappa is as much an obligation and responsibility in leadership as it is a mark of highest distinction and honor. Membership is awarded to undergraduate junior and senior students; to graduate students; to faculty, staff, administration, and alumni; and to persons qualifying for membership “honoris causa.” Student membership candidates must rank in the upper 35 percent of their school or college and must show leadership in at least one of the five phases of campus life.

  • Scholarship
  • Athletics
  • Campus or Community Service, Social or Religious Activities and Campus Government
  • Journalism, Speech and the Mass Media
  • Creative and Performing Arts





Towson Career Advice Examiner

Emily Raffensberger, master wordsmith and grammar vigilante, is a graduate student at Towson University who works two part-time jobs. In the next five months, she will graduate with a Master’s in Professional Writing. She hopes to have a full-time job with healthcare benefits in six. Her documented job search will no doubt lead others in the Baltimore area to great success.

Her postings on are intended to motivate the Towson area population to persist in its job search, to be successful in social media and branding, and to develop cover letters and resumes that capture the attention of employers. Focused topics include:

  • Explaining the Millennial Generation’s entitlement attitude
  • Bridging the Baby Boomer Generation’s digital/social media gap
  • Finding career interests/job satisfaction
  • Negotiating benefits and salary
  • Job search organization (search agents, temp agencies, job fairs)
  • Professionalism exhibition


Posted: December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

While the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.


Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.

Writer’s Inspiration

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Beautiful motivational sentiment. Keep bleeding words; keep living boldly.


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