Susan O'Doherty

Susan O'Doherty, Ph.D. (http://www.susanodohertyauthor.com/) is a writer and clinical psychologist who specializes in the creative process. Her stories and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Mama, Ph.D. She is the author of Getting Unstuck without Coming Unglued: A Woman's Guide to Unblocking Creativity (Seal, 2007). Her popular advice column for writers, "The Doctor is In," appears each Friday on Buzz, Balls & Hype.

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Most Recent Articles

August 8, 2010
In a recent New York Times article David Leonhardt makes a point that we on this site have been discussing for years: as the gender gap closes in terms of equal pay for equal work, mothers continue to be underemployed and struggling. The market favors those who can put in long, uninterrupted hours, weeks, and years building their careers, and those people tend to be men — whether or not they are parents—and single or childless women.
August 1, 2010
My 40th (yikes!) high school reunion is coming up, and my inbox has been clogged with correspondence about it — the official invitation, and group emails asking help in tracking down elusive classmates or compiling a representative slide show. Then there are the messages from friends, discussing whether or not to go, and why.
July 25, 2010
As noted here, I had an idyllic vacation last week. I felt nourished and even transformed by it—as sometimes happens with distance and a change of scene, I thought I had found the key to some difficult professional and personal issues that had been plaguing me. Perspective is all, I decided. I’d allowed myself to become stressed out and overwhelmed by things that, in the long run, were unimportant.
July 18, 2010
Last week I wrote about the insanity of life as a freelancer. This week I’m writing from a cabin in Maine, with no cell signal and sporadic Internet access. The cabin overlooks a quiet bay, where I swim in the mornings. You can’t see other houses in any direction, and when we turn the lights out at night, the only illumination is from the moon and the stars. In the city, I am wired and at the computer by 5AM; this morning, I slept until 9 for the first time in at least ten years.
July 11, 2010
For most of my working life — including school vacations in high school and college — I have worked at full-time, on-site jobs. This was what my father did, and my mother when she returned to work after my younger brother entered high school, and it’s how I had always defined "working." I took time off to be with my son when he was small, but that was understood to be temporary, and it was.
June 27, 2010
Last week, I whined about the difficulty of having a child home for summer break. This week, I learned that hanging out with one’s kid, rather than doing assigned work, can be not only fun, but productive.
June 20, 2010
Hello, Mama Ph.D.,
June 13, 2010
The New York City public schools are officially open until June 28, but my son is off as of last week. The next two weeks are dedicated to preparing for and taking New York State Regents’ Exams, and he has taken and passed all of his state exams already. He’s going to baseball camp for a week in July, he plays first base for a competitive team with an intensive summer schedule, and he plans to take weekly sitar lessons, but otherwise he’s a free agent until Labor Day.
June 6, 2010
Ann Larson’s recent IHE column, in which she dissects the popular idea that that a college education is the key to upward mobility for lower-income Americans, resonated for me in a personal way, because I have two nephews who joined the military after they ran out of money for college tuition. One, in the National Guard, spent a year in Iraq and could be called up again. The other will have shipped out to Afghanistan when this column is posted.
May 23, 2010
A few weeks ago I met with my son’s advisor to discuss his academic progress as he nears the end of the tenth grade. She was generally positive about his college prospects: “His grades aren’t perfect, but his standardized tests are stellar, and he’ll get great recommendations,” she said. “Besides, he’s a boy.” I knew what that meant, thanks to discussions on this blog. “I have mixed feelings about that,” I told her. “I’m happy for anything that will help Ben, but…” “I know. I have a daughter.”

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