Breaking The Binge And Bust Cycle In Academic Writing
Are you looking forward to the upcoming summer break to catch up on writing? Many overwhelmed professors imagine the break between semesters as a chance to push through their publication pipeline. But avoiding rest by committing to full days of summer writing is unrealistic and unsustainable.
In this episode, I talk about what you can do to eliminate the binge and bust writing cycle while also honoring the energy that many of us get in the summertime around our writing. Get inspired by these simple ways to adjust your writing schedule that keeps you productive while allowing for the mental rest you need to be your most creative self.
What is a ‘Binge and Bust’ writing cycle?
With summer break on the horizon it’s easy to think “I’m not going to write these last few weeks of the semester. I’ll get to it once I turn in grades.” You decide to wait for the break and dream of endless days of productivity without the interruption of students, classes, or service work. Instead of committing to a few hours a week to work through your pipeline, everything gets pushed off to summer. As a result, there is a massive push to get as many articles and research done as possible. The pressure to use time that should be used as a break for your mind and body to get publications out is overwhelming and ends in a mini breakdown.
Binge Writing During Summer Isn’t Sustainable
As optimistic as it is to assume you will want to write 8 hours every day during summer break, it isn’t a realistic expectation. You need a break and time to unwind. Closing the semester might give a jolt of renewed energy, but truthfully, at the close of a semester you are exhausted and need to rest. But when you honor that need, your mindset starts to backfire as less and less writing gets accomplished during the summer. Writing becomes a chore and a negative, guilt-ridden, overwhelming relationship with writing develops. You don’t accomplish as much as you planned to and enter the new academic year under the same stress as the previous one. That is why the binge and bust writing cycle isn’t sustainable.
How to Eliminate Binge & Bust Writing
Here are some helpful tips to combat a binge and bust writing cycle. Tune to learn how to apply these best practices into your writing process!
- Make writing the center of your career by working it into your regular working schedule.
- Set attainable writing goals that allow for rest and support a positive relationship with writing.
- Invest in professional development that teaches you how to engineer a writing process that clears your pipeline.
“We’re not honoring our writing time in the same way that we honor the publications once they’re out in the world. What that means is that we need to schedule our writing inside of our career, your everyday work life. Because at the end of the day, your career is the sum of the weeks that you worked. Writing has to find its way into your weeks.”
“The relationship to your writing is so important. Your relationship to the writing practice, your thoughts about yourself as an academic writer, and a scholar – all of those things are just as important as your productivity. Your ability to manage your schedule, your ability to break your project into tasks, your own feelings about your writing and your writing process are just as important if not more important and all those technical things about productivity time management.”
“If you’ve already had the idea ‘I’ll just wait until summer to get back to that article that I’m supposed to be working on’ that’s an indication that you are relying on this binge and bust. We all know the problem with a binge and bust cycle is that at some point this system is going to break because it’s not really a system. It’s a coping mechanism.”
We’ve opened the waitlist for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and start your application process here.
CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION:
- Our 12-week Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® program helps tenure-track womxn and nonbinary professors with a disruptive perspective on their field to publish their backlog of papers so that their voice can have the impact they know is possible. Apply here!
- Cathy’s book, Making Time to Write: How to Resist the Patriarchy and Take Control of Your Academic Career Through Writing is available in print! Learn how to build your career around your writing practice while shattering the myths of writing every day, accountability, and motivation, doing mindset work that’s going to reshape your writing, and changing academic culture one womxn and nonbinary professor at a time. Get your print copy today or order it for a friend here!
- Want to train with us for free on your campus? Now you can when you recommend our Scholar’s Voice Faculty Retreats to a decision-maker on your campus! Download the brochure with the retreat curriculum and both in-person and online retreat options here.
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