Academic writing as a journey through “chutes and ladders”: How well are you managing your emotions?

Kristin K. Janke, Kyle John Wilby, Robin Zavod

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: By acknowledging the range of emotions that accompany most writing projects, some relief can be offered from the unrealistic expectation that this process “should be easy.” In this commentary, we explore the emotional habits of writing as described by Dr. Helen Sword in her book Air & Light & Time & Space and offer strategies to smooth the path that can be hastened and/or challenged by the various “chutes and ladders” that writers can encounter along their journey. Commentary: Using an emotional intelligence framework coupled with self - reflection questions, this commentary explores aspects of self-awareness, self-management, motivation, social awareness, and relationship management, as they relate to writing and the writing process. As each topic is teased apart and related to the writing process, strategies are offered to buoy authors successfully across the turbulence as a variety of “chutes and ladders” appear along the journey. Implications: An author's response to the angle and/or length of the “chutes and ladders” encountered can positively or negatively impact current and future writing productivity. To mitigate a range of emotional hurdles, writers need a core set of strategies that can be derived from the emotional intelligence framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Academic writing
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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