Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Happy Anniversary to Small Teaching

Today marks the two-year anniversary of the publication of Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning. It's no exaggeration to say that this book has changed my life. Since its publication I have received more than 200 invitations to give keynotes, workshops, or webinars of one kind of another on the subject of the book. I have only been able to accept a fraction of those invitations, but it has of course been enormously gratifying to hear from so many readers who would love to bring me to campus, and to learn about all of the book clubs and reading groups that have been dedicated to the book.Thank you!

Every word of Small Teaching was workshopped in my writer's group with Sarah Cavanagh and Mike Land, and the book would not have been anywhere near as successful without their constant help and support. Mike Land is a gifted storyteller, and has excellent instincts for knowing what needs to be enhanced and what needs to be excised; Sarah Cavanagh not only has that keen eye for stories and prose but also alerted me to many helpful resources and thinkers in cognitive psychology. This blog post could just as easily been titled "In Praise of Writer's Group," because that's the main point I want to make here.

I have the privilege now of editing a book series with West Virginia University Press, and helping bring the books of others to life. I love this work almost as much as writing--not quite, but almost. And the best advice I can give to my authors, and all of those who aspire to be authors, is to get yourself a group of fellow writers and make a commitment to read and comment on each other's work on a regular basis. You'll have to find your own writers, of course--you can't have Mike or Sarah. They're working with me through the drafting of Teaching Distracted Minds, and it will be an exponentially better book because of them.

To all of my fellow authors out there, happy writing.


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