Smart Women Write about 2020

Dear Readers,

Welcome to a new decade! To celebrate this transition, we are looking back on 2019 and sharing our hopes and goals for 2020. We’ve enjoyed writing for you this year, and look forward to continue thinking together about career transitions, the pursuit of health, teaching, parenting … and how writing overlaps with all of these.




2019 Reflection

Angela: I learned how to switch my focus from global to local through my work with the Fort Negley Descendants Project. This saved me from burnout and helped me to use my skills as a historian and digital humanist make a positive difference in my community. I also facilitated a huge number of deserving projects through the Mellon Collaboration Grants at work, published an article, and developed process-based goals for regular writing and exercise. 

Lynn: 2019 was filled with some unexpected challenges and because of that I became good at finding silver linings this year. I traveled, I turned 40, I read amazing books, and I spent quality time with friends and family.  There was a lot to complain about, but even more to be thankful for. All in all, it was a good year.

Raquelle: I felt energized by the relationships I created with students. I also published two academic articles on topics from or inspired by my dissertation, and it felt satisfying to get that work out there. I’ve also had some healthy emotional shifts in the way I hold the job search, and am feeling excited to see how the next chapter of my career-life unfolds. This summer I got to travel a lot — and I also celebrated turning 30 with a trip to Mexico City, which sparked my desire to keep pursuing language learning!  

Tanya: While I’ve been seeing a lot of commentary online about 2019 not being a great year, I don’t think mine was half-bad. I turned 40, got to make the trip to NYC that I wanted to have to celebrate, and won an award for my book manuscript. I also finished out the year with a trip to Taiwan as part of a teacher delegation (more on that soon).

Our Hopes for 2020

Angela: I hope that I can figure out the right balance between my work and my life while keeping up with the research that interests me

Lynn: 2020 is shaping up to be another challenging year, health-wise, but it also offers hope for new opportunities and experiences.  My hope is to heal, to run a road race, and to travel.

Raquelle: To find a way to contribute to my local and global community that allows me to think deeply and to use my strengths and skills as a humanist, mentor, reader, and writer. 

Tanya: I hope 2020 will be the year I finally get a book contract and get my book revisions to the publisher. I don’t expect the book to come out in 2020, but these steps will feel like major milestones after so long. I also hope to continue in my wellness habits that I began working on this year. Beyond that, I’d say world peace, but I’ll settle for seeing some good progress on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.


Personal Goals for 2020

Angela: Maintain regular exercise and writing while undergoing a job transition

Lynn: Make art and continue seeing silver linings

Raquelle: Continue pursuing a healthy life/work balance that allows me to exercise, meditate, and work in a way that doesn’t feel like each of those activities are so separate

Tanya: Breathe more. Balance better.


Professional Goals for 2020

Angela: The grant I’m working on comes to an end this summer, so my goal is to figure out my career while keeping a toe in the exciting research part of academia. I want to work in academic administration and will be working hard to do my research and figure out the best fit. 

Lynn: My professional goals for this year are: 1.) to return the writing projects I put on the back-burner in 2019 and to pursue the new ideas that have come to light and 2.) to upgrade my online courses by incorporating new technology to improve student experience.

Raquelle: To enjoy and be present for this last semester of my postdoc before transitioning into a new phase of my career. In the next few months, I’ll: (1) wrap up the final semester of the French language requirement at Fisk–in a way that’s both fun and rewarding; (2) finish a digital exhibit that I’ll co-present with my team at an annual campus research symposium in April; (3 & 4) present personal research at two national conferences. So, I want to focus on these 4 major goals while leaving time to figure out the role that I’ll step into next. 

Tanya: Keep writing, and don’t let my teaching and teaching preparations consume me. 


Writing We’d Love to Read in 2020




One thought on “Smart Women Write about 2020

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s