At various points in your life you may take up the challenge of writing something in which you synthesize your ideas and practice. After all, everyone has a voice that should be heard. However, it is not easy to believe deeply that your voice matters and to act on that belief. You will need support to be able to take yourself seriously and, as the title of Parker Palmer's (2000) book puts it, to “Let Your Life Speak.” The frameworks of Phases, of the Cycles and Epicycles of Action Research, and of CPR Spaces, together with the Creative Habits below, provide a multifaceted structure to help you find your voice, clarify and develop your thoughts, express that voice in writing, complete your synthesis of ideas and practice, and begin to move that synthesis out into the wider world. The structure is especially valuable if you want to finish by some defined target date yet do not want to rely on external directions to motivate or reward you.


Phases of Research and Engagement, which includes
Cycles and Epicycles of Action Research

Connecting-Puzzling-Reflecting Space

Creative Habits

Establish support from:
  • yourselfDaily Writing, a practice of expository writing 15-30 minutes 5-7 days per week from the very start of a project
  • a small group that meets regularlyWriting Groups for Support and Feedback
  • a larger group of peer writersWriting Workshop, to check in on progress and reflect on topics relevant to voice, synthesizing, writing, getting support, revising, and finishing.
  • your advisorOne-on-One Session, which can be given a more mindful structure than the typically free-form discussions between researcher and advisor.

  • Your personal support systems should include some other creative habits and commitments:
  • Make space in your life and domestic arrangements so you can undertake writing and engage in Writing Support Groups.
  • Be explicit about the kind of Response you are asking for whenever you share drafts for feedback
  • Establish and maintain a bibliographic database for ready retrieval and formatting of references.
  • Seek out guides or advisors in your area of specialization.
  • Arrange an outside editor to help with revision and copy-editing. Do not expect your advisors to do this for you.

  • Palmer, P. J. (2000). Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.