Episode #197

Why 2 Hours a Week is Enough Writing Time

Are you an academic who is struggling to get articles published? You only need to spend two hours per week writing to clear your publication pipeline. I know two hours doesn’t seem like enough time, but trust me – this method is more effective than your current writing strategy!


In this episode, I share why two hours of writing a week is enough. First, I demystify common beliefs about writing that hold academics back from moving the needle on their publication pipeline. Then, I explain the critical skills every professor must develop to build a sustainable relationship-based writing practice. With the proper tools, two hours of writing per week will allow you to power through your publication pipeline without sacrificing rest or career-advancing project opportunities. 


Demystifying Beliefs You Are Holding On To About Writing

There are four common beliefs academics have about what a “productive” writing practice should look like:

  1. You need big blocks of time to write (i.e. one day per week) – This practice is challenging to implement because having large blocks of free time is rare and will inevitably be used for other things like rest or emptying your email inbox. As a result, you don’t write at all.
  2. All-or-nothing thinking – When you say, “I’m either writing every day, or I’m not,” it is easier to push off writing when the week doesn’t go as planned.
  3. Creating false equivalencies – When you have ten or more publications partially done or researched, it takes up mental space and prevents action. Finishing even one article to completion seems impossible.
  4. Distorted idea about how long an article takes to write – If you don’t task out projects or schedule time to write, you overestimate or underestimate how long an article takes to complete. It becomes perceived as an overwhelming amount of work that discourages you from starting to write. 

Essential Skills to Make 2 Hours a Week of Writing Impactful

Here are the skills necessary to get publications submitted:

  • Organization and time management
  • Breaking down articles or projects into a list of tasks
  • Accurately estimating how long it will take to complete each task
  • Scheduling writing time on your calendar and setting up boundaries to protect that time


Each of these essential skills is a focus of the Navigate program. So, if you are ready to change your relationship with writing, establish a manageable work-life balance, and advance your academic career through consistent publications, apply to join the next Navigate cohort today!


“We tell ourselves we need spaciousness to write to accommodate all the things we need to do to warm up. Like I need to empty my email inbox and then I can write. Or I need hours and hours to get into the flow. All that space ends up equaling no writing because the way you are thinking about writing is theoretically possible, but not actually happening. ”



 “Let’s agree that two hours of writing a week is better than zero hours of writing a week. We don’t calculate our number of hours written based on how we hoped we would write. We have to calculate them based on how much we actually wrote. So if you could do something in order to actually use two hours a week for writing, I argue that is a better way to go than holding onto beliefs that might be true, but are also unhelpful right now for you.”


We‘re receiving applications for our next cohort of Navigate: Your Writing Roadmap®. Check out the program details and start your application process 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. Apply 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.





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