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Scholar’s Voice Faculty Retreats is a professional development experience designed to inspire womxn and nonbinary faculty with the mindset and strategy to take control of their time by centering their writing and publishing.

Episode #67

5 Clues That Writing is on the Sidelines

When writing is at the center of our careers, it’s powerful. Here are 5 clues that you might not be putting the priority on writing that you think you are.


We’ve talked many times about the importance of centering your writing to help build your best career. And you might want to do that… but are you really? Here are 5 clues that point to writing being on the sidelines in your life and career.


Clue #1: You are doing your writing early in the morning, late at night, or on the weekends.

There are a couple of caveats to this. If your soar state happens to be early in the morning, and you happen to be one of those lucky people whose children don’t wake up at 4:30am, then by all means, write early! Whenever your most focused and energetic times are, you should be using them for writing. 

But, if you’re pushing your writing outside of your working hours because you don’t have time during the day, you’re telling yourself: writing isn’t the work, it’s something extra. But it is the most important work! So it should be inside your work day.

Clue #2: Your work schedule is designed around your teaching schedule.

Ideally, your work schedule should be designed around your writing. When are your soar states? Your class schedule should be working around that and not the other way around. What would it take for this to happen? Can you talk with your department chair? Request a new schedule? It might not be possible to pull this off all the time, but think about what could change.

“If teaching is the thing that is anchoring your day, I want you to consider making writing the thing that anchors your day.” -Cathy Mazak


Clue #3: Your course content centers the generic department syllabus and not your own work.

I’m not suggesting that you have your students do your writing for you, or that you throw out the syllabus and only talk about your research. But how can you infuse your curriculum with your own work and interests? What readings that you want to do for yourself would make great conversation with your students? How can pull your classes into line with your academic mission statement?


Clue #4: You can’t keep a date with your writing.

You’ve got writing times on your calendar, but when it’s time to sit down and make it happen, something else always comes up. Maybe you aren’t putting proper boundaries up around that time, or maybe you haven’t formed a good habit yet. To pull it off the sidelines, you’ve got to keep those dates with your writing.

{For help getting started on a solid writing habit, join us in Momentum, my co-writing program. Lots of times to co-write, and only $27/month. Sign up today and write with us tomorrow!}

Clue #5: You don’t have your pipeline somewhere visible in your office.

This is something we do in my Navigate program. Once your pipeline is put together and ready to run smoothly, be sure it is somewhere visible, so you can quickly access it, you know what you’re working on next, and your writing is always top of mind. 

If you’ve recognized yourself in any of these 5 clues, don’t panic! Consider this a wake up call, and an opportunity to reflect, and make changes!

“Think about how you can pull your writing off the sidelines and put it in the center.” -Cathy Mazak

Pulled in a thousand directions and can’t seem to carve out time to write? Download my  10 Ways to Make Time to Write cheat sheet for ideas to implement today!

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