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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 #61

This Year, Plan to be More YOU

It’s a fresh, new year and it’s time to leave all the “shoulds” in 2020 and plan to be more you in 2021.


Goodbye 2020! My hopes are high for 2021. I encourage you to make this the year that you stop focusing on what you think you “should” be doing to get your writing done and advance your career and start leaning in to what works for you. I assure you that you will get more done with deeper creativity if you accept the ways that work best for you and structure everything else accordingly. 

Your voice, and your influence on your field will have greater impact if you lean in to what makes you and your perspective unique, and then stand by it. Let’s stop struggling to fit into someone else’s mold, and be ourselves in our writing and scholarship this year!

Making Your Writing Systems More YOU

I encourage you to reflect on what works well for you in terms of writing, and to run with it!

  • Find and utilize your soar states. What times of the day are you most energized, focused and creative? Use them for your writing! Structure other parts of your day around those times as much as you possibly can. Don’t worry about what times of day “should” be used for writing, find what works for you.


  • Break projects into tasks that are the right size. I advise my clients to break projects down into smaller tasks to make them more manageable, but when they ask how small to make each task, I don’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. If crossing things off a list is your jam, break those tasks down into lots of steps; if you get overwhelmed by a long list of items, make the tasks a little bigger so there are fewer of them. Try things and reflect on what feels good for you.


  • Set up rewards. Build rewards for yourself into your system. Decide when in the process is the best time to reward yourself, and be sure to pick rewards that bring you joy. Who cares what feels rewarding for someone else? Create rewards that work for you.

“How can I best manage myself?” -Cathy Mazak

Making Your Scholarly Work More YOU

Take time to reflect on what makes you, your work, and your perspective on your field unique. Articulate your opinion, make your voice known. Let the world know what you’re about! This makes you more citable, and helps you stay on mission. Full disclosure here…this will make some people mad. Putting your own spin on a topic or diverging from the “traditional” way of looking at things might make the old guard upset. Don’t let that deter you! Shrinking in confrontational situations doesn’t move your mission forward.

“Actually leaning in and making my view of things known [is] going to get me farther than trying to please everyone.” -Cathy Mazak

Friends, I’m so excited for this new year together, and for our new season on the podcast! I’ve got some great guests lined up and can’t wait to share more content with you. Remember to take time to reflect on what makes you unique, and what works best for you. This is your year! Let’s go.

“Figure out who you are, then go be that.” -Cathy Mazak


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