Sarah Pessin

Reshotko on writing

Naomi Reshotko

Naomi Reshotko is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Denver who works in ancient philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, and moral psychology. She has interests in perception, universals as the objects of scientific study, social constructions, and happiness, and she explores the nature of social constructions like race, gender, disability, and invasive species with an eye toward differentiating them into kinds in a way that might be helpful to those who study them in disciplines other than philosophy. She is also a certified yoga teacher.

I am a professor and professors must write a lot of different kinds of things.  If I didn’t find it easy to begin and enjoyable to write every single kind of writing required of me, it would be hard to thrive in this profession.  I consider myself lucky that I happen to be someone who loves writing and never has trouble getting started when I have an empty screen or page in front of me.

Every year I write scholarly articles and for the last 25 years I have always been at work on some scholarly book or other. I also write reviews of scholarly books in my area. I have — very rarely– written something short about philosophy for a more popular audience.  I create a significant number of handouts for my classes. I referee articles for publication, and that involves writing a report on the article in question.

Every academic year, I write numerous letters of recommendation for students who are applying to graduate school and professional school, or who are applying for jobs.  I have also written letters for PhD students who are applying for academic jobs.  I frequently write letters recommending colleagues for funding opportunities.

In service to the University, I serve on committees and am required to pen reports and detailed (and diplomatic) emails.  I write letters making the case for colleagues’ tenure and promotion (whether as part of a departmental committee or as part of our college level committee).  I also write detailed reports as an outside reviewer for tenure and promotion cases at other universities.

Still, I am driven to write for fun as well!  I have email correspondences with old friends and sometimes I worry that I enjoy the part where I write to them more than the part where I get a letter in return.  I have thought about taking a course in fiction writing and have tried my hand at some very short creative pieces just to see what happens.  What happens confirms that I should take a course.

[My collagic nod to Naomi is coming soon!]

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