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Saint Vincent College Faculty Blog

Writing “The Generation Myth:” Concerns of an Author

Posted by Michael Urick on Mon, Mar 4, 2019 @ 13:03 PM

I recently co-edited three books on leadership with a colleague from Poland. In them, I co-authored chapters with five students or alumni of Saint Vincent College’s Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program and six SVC faculty. One of the chapters, co-authored with Dr. William Hisker, was entitled “Benedictine Leadership” and was adapted from a foundational document we wrote in the development of the Benedictine Leadership Studies program at Saint Vincent.  But my primary role in these editing projects (aside from writing some chapters) was to look over the works of other authors to consider for inclusion in the books.

The Generation MythThough I am very proud of these books, editing is much different than authorship and I had never had a book that I authored published until just a few days ago. In late February, Business Expert Press published my solely authored book “The Generation Myth: How to Improve Intergenerational Relationships in the Workplace.”  This publication is probably the most proud I’ve been of any of my academic works to date, including the three leadership books that I co-edited noted above.

Part of the reason I am so proud of this book is because, even though it took only two years to write, it represents a summation and synthesis of most of my major research on generational phenomena that I’ve worked on over the past decade. Engaging in such a project where I take many of my prior publications and try to weave together a cohesive narrative explaining my work was exciting, fun and daunting.

It was (and is) also more than a little scary. Before authoring this book, I never thought about book authors being nervous about their work. But, after spending years working on this, I am nervous now that it is published. I personally think the book is great – to me, it’s compelling and has the potential to positively impact organizations. I feel that its arguments are logical, and they are well-supported with research. But, how will it be received by others? What will people think of it? Will they find my arguments compelling? What will the reviews be like on Amazon? Or, alternatively, will anyone even read the book?

I find myself wondering if other book authors have the same questions. I imagine that they do. I know that many of my students get nervous about writing and others reading their work. In workshops that Saint Vincent’s Interdisciplinary Writing Program hosts, other faculty members have shared that they, too, find their students to be nervous about writing.

Some possible reasons students might be nervous about writing could include being worried about writing properly (e.g., grammatical issues). It’s also possible that they are worried about whether their statements are clear and if their audience (often their professor or perhaps their peers) will understand or agree with the points they are trying to make. They may ask themselves, “Does this make sense to someone other than me?”

For students who have these concerns, I think it’s important to know that published authors have these concerns too (at least I do). In just about every article or chapter I have written, I’ve questioned my writing in some regard, but never more so than with my book. Editing is one thing – with the exception of the chapters I co-authored in my edited books, in essence I was making decisions about including other peoples’ work. Ultimately, at the end of the day, I did not write the entirety of those edited books.

But, my new book, “The Generation Myth,” is all me. And I hope readers like it.   

Have you ever been nervous about something you’ve created, whether it was a piece of writing, presentation, creative work or other work deliverable? How did you manage your concerns? Do you find these to be common concerns held by many people? I’m always excited to hear from you! Email me at michael.urick@stvincent.edu, message me on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/urickmj/) and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-urick-05b775a3/) or leave me a comment below.


Dr. Mike Urick

Topics: Michael Urick, SVC faculty, saint vincent faculty, blog, Faculty Blog, Dr. Mike Urick

About the Authors

Michelle Gil-Montero is an associate professor of English and director of creative writing at Saint Vincent College. She runs the visiting writers series on campus, oversees the student literary magazine, and serves as guru to aspiring poets on campus. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2007, and she has been on the Saint Vincent faculty since that year. She is an active poet and literary translator from Spanish. She is spending part of the 2016-17 school year travelling to Argentina on a Howard Foundation fellowship and Fulbright grant. 

Dr. John J. Smetanka has been a member of the full-time faculty since 1997 and currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean of Saint Vincent College, a position he has held since January 2008. Dr. Smetanka has taught courses in Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry and Geology as well as interdisciplinary seminars. He has published scientific research articles in physics and astrophysics journals, numerous conference proceedings and also works in science education reform and the interaction between science, technology and theology.

Jim Kellam is an associate professor of biology at Saint Vincent College and our resident ornithologist. He received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2003, and is taking this semester as a sabbatical. What does that mean? He'll explain in his blog posts.

Dr. Michael J. Urick is Graduate Director of the Master of Science in Management: Operational Excellence program, and Associate Professor of Management and Operational Excellence at the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government. Dr. Urick teaches courses related to organizational behavior, human resources, culture, leadership, diversity, conflict, supply chain, operations and research methods. Professionally, Urick serves on the board of the Institute for Supply Management (Pittsburgh) and belongs to the Society for Human Resource Management and APICS. For fun, Urick enjoys music and, since 1998, has led and performed with Neon Swing X-perience, a jazz band that has released multiple albums and toured portions of the US. He enjoys watching movies, is an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and also likes to fence.

David Safin, C'00, has been a lecturer in the communication department since the Fall of 2003, and has served in a variety of administrative roles since the summer of 2004. Currently, he teaches multimedia in the communication department as an assistant professor. 

Dr. Michael Krom received his Doctorate in philosophy at Emory University in 2007 and is currently the chair of the philosophy department at Saint Vincent. He has authored a book on religion and politics and continues to publish works in Catholic moral and political thought. Dr. Krom also directs the Faith and Reason summer program every summer. 

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