By Sharon Lockwood

My first meeting with Cynthia was that afternoon at 4:00, and I was staring at an empty page, terrified.

Nothing was happening.

Totally embarrassed, I called Cynthia at about 10:00 and said that I had to cancel our appointment as I had nothing to show her.

She said, “Come at 4:00 and just write anything.  I don’t care if you hand write it, I can read anyone’s handwriting.”

I realized that she knew I had nothing at 10:00 and was willing to look at whatever I produced in the next 6 hours.  This was such a relief.  Clearly she was not expecting the miracle I had wanted to show her.

Cynthia read the pages and became very excited. 

“You see this idea; it can be expanded this way. And that idea can be developed that way.”

For the next hour she had taken my few pages and shown the way to a dissertation.

She assured me that I had indeed been productively ‘incubating,’ a concept that I have used to stave off frustration in the years to come.

I left her office empowered and excited and would remain so through out the entire process.

Cynthia was magic!

–Sharon Lockwood

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