Making time to write

by | Feb 1, 2017 | academic writing, time management

Is that little voice in the back of your head saying, I should be writing? When you’re prepping to teach class, or at the grocery store, or driving somewhere…the little voice is always there, just reminding you of how much you have to do, and that you are currently not doing it.

Few things move the needle more in academia than publication. So why is it that we can’t find the time to do it? We are pulled in every direction not just at work but at home. We are always putting out fires, and fire-fighting takes a heck of a lot of time (and energy). As hard-and-fast due dates continue approaching, our most important work (publication) often gets bumped down the list in favor of our most urgent work (teaching, committee-ing, diaper-changing, in my case).

Making time to write for academic publication has to be intentional.

Too often we mentally push writing into days where we think we’ll have a chunk of time to really sit down and get into it. (Coincidentally, those are the same days when your kid gets a stomach virus.) This is like thinking that you can build your house in one day. But houses are built brick by brick.

One way to stop that voice from interrupting whatever you’re doing with a little twang of guilt is to create a system where instead of relying on binge writing, you write brick by brick. That is, you rely on small chunks of time consistently instead of fictitious stretches of uninterrupted time. Because, let’s face it, huge stretches of writing time are a luxury that few of us have. And even if we did have them, writing can be so overwhelming that we probably wouldn’t use the time effectively.

If you want to learn more and get actionable tips, make sure to catch my podcast, Academic Writing Amplified. My goal is to develop a supportive community of women and nonbinary academics who work to create the careers (and lives!) they want. Academia shouldn’t be soul-sucking (though I know it often is). My mission is to teach strategies and systems that help you eliminate guilt and overwhelm and make academia different (and better) by making our participation in it stronger and more joyful.

xoxo,

Cathy

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