Episode #189

How Long Does It Take To Change Your Writing Practice?

As an academic writer, the ultimate goal is to have a flowing publication pipeline to build influence and notoriety in your industry. However, you won’t consistently publish articles or write books without a sustainable, relationship-based writing practice.


In today’s episode, I share how long it takes to change your writing practice from binge writing and procrastination to consistency and productivity. You have been a writer your entire life, so creating long-lasting change won’t be fast or easy, but it will positively impact your career, work-life balance, and mental health. Tune in to hear how awareness and skill-building can lead to a change in your writing practice.

The Evolution of Your Life As a Writer


You have been a writer since you first picked up a crayon or pencil. As a kid, writing was about creativity and storytelling. As you age, writing forms a different place in your life regarding functionality because it becomes more practical. Then, as an academic writer, you use writing to show your knowledge and gain influence and notoriety. 

Your writing practice has been in development for decades, so making a significant change to your writing practice in a short amount of time is not realistic. It takes 12-18 months for academics to change their writing practice.


The Process of Changing Your Academic Writing Practice


Changing your writing practice takes more than a 12-week program like Navigate. Navigate will help you create a sustainable, relationship-based writing practice by prioritizing a positive relationship with writing and skill building. However, the program is only one step of many needed to bring long-lasting change to your writing practice. 


Doing a benchmark assessment is the first step to changing your writing practice. In the benchmark, you assess yourself based on your level of awareness. There are four levels: unaware, learning, integration, and mastery. Throughout the twelve weeks in Navigate, you begin building skills like:

  • Learning how to honor writing appointments
  • Creating an academic mission statement
  • Make good project & article choices


After the twelve weeks, you retake the benchmark assessment and give yourself a new score on the four levels of awareness. Everyone leaves the twelve weeks in a different place – some are just learning, some are already integrating, but more work needs to be done to get to mastery. As a result, we encourage participants to recommit for a subsequent twelve weeks and repeat the process until they have developed a sustainable, relationship-based writing practice that works for their needs.


“To start out this idea of how long it takes to make changes in your writing practice, I want you to look at this topic from the perspective that you have been a writer since you first picked up a pen or pencil or crayon. You have been a writer your whole life and your experience as a writer, and in particular your experience as an academic writer, has been in development for years and years.”


“It takes more than just measuring minutes to change your writing practice. It takes the things that are on our benchmark assessment, such as mapping your pipeline and understanding decision-making. One of the pillars of change around writing and publishing is making more discerning decision-making.”


We’ve opened the waitlist for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and get on the waitlist here.  


Continue the conversation:

    • Our 12-week Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap® program helps tenure-track womxn and nonbinary professors to publish their backlog of papers so that their voice can have the impact they know is possible. Get on the waitlist 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!


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