Favorite music to write to?
Classical Chinese or jazz hip hop
Favorite place to write?
Aaron Reich, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology
SJU Writes: What is your favorite aspect of the writing process?
AR: My favorite part of the writing process is when I lose myself in the creative process. I just get so excited by whatever it is that I’m working on. To me, academic writing is not just typing and writing words down–it’s running into new ideas. That’s what I would say: the pursuit of curiosity.
SJU Writes: Can you describe your ideal writing environment?
AR: I prefer the morning because I find my mind is the freshest in the morning. When I was an undergraduate I would be burning the midnight oil, as they say, just trying to meet deadlines. As I’ve gotten older I’ve changed, so I definitely prefer the morning with some coffee. Some type of caffeine is very helpful to me. I like this office, I’ve got my statues from Taiwan and I’ve got all my books–basically all my books–I’ve got hardly any books at home.
SJU Writes: What is your advice to become a better writer?
AR: I found it really useful to carve out blocks of time for writing and almost treat them with a religious reverence, almost like you would a prayer. For writing I think it has to be that same type of reverence. You just say, “nope, the door is closed and I can’t make any exceptions.”
SJU Writes: What advice do you have for students learning to write in your discipline?
AR: In my discipline and any other discipline, good writing is important. I would say that if you can write well, it’s only a matter of implementing the material you learned into that writing. I think that to be a good writer you have to write for at least 30 minutes a day.
—John Slusser ’21