I was talking to my coach today, and I told him I don’t have a problem disciplining myself to sit down to write. My problem is once I’ve sat down, I may or may not have anything to write about. After exploring that problem through some powerful questions, I realized I lack the discipline to make sure I prep before sitting down to write.

So I decided to create a menu of prep activities I can choose from before each writing session. I’ll choose 2–3 prep activities to do before I write. You’ll see the activities in the image of…

How often do we hear people telling us about finding what puts us in a flow state? I read about it often. Lots of good articles about flow exist. According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (the father of flow) the following eight attributes characterize flow ( https://positivepsychology.com/mihaly-csikszentmihalyi-father-of-flow/).

  1. Complete concentration on the task;
  2. Clarity of goals and reward in mind and immediate feedback;
  3. Transformation of time (speeding up/slowing down);
  4. The experience is intrinsically rewarding;
  5. Effortlessness and ease;
  6. There is a balance between challenge and skills;
  7. Actions and awareness are merged, losing self-conscious rumination;
  8. There is a feeling of control over the task.


I’m a book-loving, word nerd, so, of course, I majored in English as an undergrad. I spent as little time as possible in the English department, however, because I didn’t really belong. It wasn’t because I didn’t look like anyone else there. Being the only black person in the room has been my experience since I was 10, so that didn’t bother me. I just didn’t fit. I wasn’t like the other students, the professors, the TAs, anyone. I felt different, thought differently, expressed my opinions differently. I was uncomfortable there and made everyone else uncomfortable, too.

But I loved…

I was incensed when WSJ writer Joseph Epstein recommended Dr. Jill Biden drop “Doctor” as an honorific, but I could relate.

I don’t mind if people don’t call me doctor, but it bothers me when people refuse to do so. Once I was at a university new student orientation event and the host introduced everyone as “Dr. So-and-so,” until she got to me. She simply said, “That’s Roshaunda.”

Mr. Epstein’s recommendation resurrected this memory and solidified the necessity of my current passion project.

I’m asking black women with doctorates to write about their doctoral journeys to publish them in an…

What’s your story?

Everyone has stories, lots of them. Stories from your childhood, stories about your children, stories of love, stories of loss. The women of the world have so many stories, and I want to collect and share them.

I have a publication on Medium called LELA. Currently, it’s just me telling my stories, but I am opening it up so you can tell your stories, too. will be a platform for everyday women, like you and me, to tell the stories of our lives, education, literacy, and art & creativity.

For this initial installment, I’m looking for your…

My journey to my doctorate entailed racism, isolation, and despair. I also had joys and triumphs, but as I talk to other black women with doctorates, our stories resonate. I started thinking it would be great to have a collection of our stories, so I Googled it and couldn’t really find anything. I found some very interesting looking dissertations and a smattering of articles, but I was looking for an anthology and couldn’t find one.

So I wondered if anyone else was interested in reading such a work. Or contributing to such a work. My big idea is to start…

Roshaunda D. Cade, Ph.D.

I’m owner and life writing coach at LELA House; lover of music, dance, nature and art; and founder of Sistahs on the Doctoral Journey (https://bit.ly/3gNMPPB)

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