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Episode #81

Using Writing As An Organizer

Writing is so much more than “currency” in academia. Writing and publishing does help you get, keep and develop your career, but it has lots of other benefits too. One of the ways writing helps you as an academic is by acting as an “organizer” in three main areas. 



Writing Is An Organizer For Your Thoughts

I’ve created a lot of content over the years as an academic writing coach. Before that I wrote and published academic articles as a tenured, full professor. And yet, the long form writing I’m doing for my book has taught me so much about my own best practices, and helped me clarify my thoughts and ideas around this topic I’ve been working on for years! 

A poem by Antonio Machado puts it beautifully: “…wanderer, there is no road. The road is made by walking.” And through the process of writing we discover and develop our thoughts. Writing acts as an organizer for ideas, thoughts, and processes in your scholarly work. 

“You write your way to revelations about your work.” -Cathy Mazak


Writing Is An Organizer For Your Time

When you prioritize your writing on your calendar, it helps you organize your time. As much as you possibly can, put your writing sessions on your calendar first, then fill everything else in around them. To find the best times to write, remember, here are my 3 recommendations:

  1. Use your Soar States. Those are the times of day where you naturally have the most motivation, energy and drive. 
  2. Use co-writing times. Join us in our Momentum program,  grab a friend and head to the coffee shop, or hop on Zoom with a small group. Set your separate goals at the beginning, write quietly, then check in at the end… you’ll multiply each other’s energy and focus.
  3. Write first thing. If the other options don’t work, put your writing times at the very beginning of your workday. When you get to the office, don’t check email, shut the door and write for an hour. 

Don’t worry about trying to write every day, just make sure you are consistent, and writing gets your priority spots. This isn’t always easy to do, I get that! But if you have this idea in mind, you can advocate when it comes time for class assignments, or talk to your department chair about your schedule. It’s all part of the process of making your writing (and thus your career) the priority.

“The key to you having the kind of career and the life that you want is thinking of writing as the driver of your time…as the organizer of your time.”

Writing Is An Organizer For Your Career

When you put your writing at the center, all your other career “activities” are pulled toward it. Creating an academic mission statement that outlines what your career goals are, what you want your career to do, is key. 

Once you’ve prioritized your writing and created your mission statement, you’ll gain the clarity and focus to ask yourself, “does this fit? Is this helping me reach my goals?” Writing as a driving force in your career makes you a more effective scholar!

If you’re an early career faculty member (pre-tenure here in the U.S.), I’m inviting you to join me for a behind the scenes look at my Amplify Faculty Accelerator program! I’m hosting an info session called Writing and Publishing Strategically: How to Go Up for Tenure With Confidence on June 23 at 12pm Eastern. Click here to get signed up for the free info session and see if this 6 month coaching program is right for you!

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