Your Writing Roadmap®

All career stages

12-week online program

Navigate helps tenure track womxn and nonbinary professors double their publishing output in a year by implementing 10 essential time and project management/productivity systems with weekly support/ accountability of coaching and peers.


Scholar’s Voice Retreats

All career stages

Virtual (full-day/6 hours) or In Person (2 Days)

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 #208

Interrupting Default Practices To Create Sustainable Change

Have you ever found yourself on autopilot, cruising through familiar roads without consciously realizing it? I recently had one of those moments, and it got me thinking about the power of default mode. Our brains love defaults – those ingrained habits and routines that save energy and reduce decision-making.


But here’s the catch – default mode isn’t just about driving; it extends to our writing practices. Many academics operate in default mode when it comes to their writing, and this can lead to a backlog of papers, projects, and missed opportunities.

So, how do you break free from default mode? Interrupting default practices is a transformative process, like adopting a new fitness routine or a healthier eating habit. It requires effort, but the rewards are well worth it. Are you ready to give your writing the attention and effort to break free from the defaults that may be holding you back? Listen to learn how to take the first step in breaking free of a default writing practice! 

A Writing Practice on Default Mode

Think about your writing practice. Does it fall under one of these default writing modes?

  1. Binge & Bust Method – You wait to write until you have “unscheduled” or rest time. Binge writers might also cram months of writing into a few days to meet a due date.
  2. Inconsistent Writing – You schedule writing time on your calendar but can’t hold boundaries around that time and end up using it to complete another task. Writing is not given priority.


Many academics try to break a default writing practice by reading a book on project or time management. Wanting to change your writing practice is not enough. You need to understand the motivation as to why you are in default mode and actively work on breaking cycles that are causing a clogged publication pipeline. 


How to Break Out of Default Mode

We create a writing practice out of necessity but often continue using it when it no longer serves us. To break out of default mode, you must understand how your current practice works for you. Here are questions to help you break out of default practices. These questions apply to any default – not just writing!

  • How has my writing practice served me in the past?
    • What is it now?
    • How did it work well for me before?
  • How is this writing practice serving you now? 
  • How is the writing practice no longer serving you?


Once you have the answers to these questions, you can start to think about the new practice you want to create and the amount of effort you are willing to put in to create it. 


“Let’s think about the power of the brain in default mode. The brain is very powerful and it wants to do default things. The brain saves energy by following its normal habits and everyday practices that have been developed and ingrained overtime. The brain is happy there because you don’t have to make something new or make decisions when you are operating in default mode. For academics who make hundreds of thousands of decisions every day, it’s easy to understand why you keep trying to operate in default mode.” 



“If you find that you have a stalled, clogged, or backed up pipeline, you are probably writing in default mode. I’d say if you have more than 3 to 5 started articles or writing projects, then you have a backlog of papers and the main reason that your pipeline is clogged is that your writing is operating on default.”



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.



  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. If you would like to hear more from Cathy for free, please subscribe to the weekly newsletter, In the Pipeline, at It’s a newsletter that she personally writes that goes out once a week with writing and publication tips, strategies, inspiration, book reviews and more..





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