Episode #201

Your Clogged-Up Pipeline Is A Symptom Of A Bigger Problem

Finding more time to write will not solve your publication pipeline problem! If you struggle to balance writing and publications, this episode is for you!


Today, I talk about the relationship between writing and your career. There is a strong correlation between publication count and career advancement in academia. If you are listening to this podcast, you were probably looking for a writing coach or a way to make more time to write. But clearing your publication pipeline isn’t about finding more time to write. Lack of publications is a symptom of a much larger career problem. 


Tune into this episode to learn what career problem is hiding behind your clogged pipeline. I explain steps you can take to change your relationship with writing and ultimately advance your career. It’s time to focus on building the academic career of your dreams – listen to get started!


A Clogged Pipeline Is Not About Lack of Time

Struggling with a clogged pipeline is not a time management issue! Many academics think, “If I make more time to write, my publication rate will improve.” Unfortunately, a clogged publication pipeline is a symptom of a much larger career problem. Binge-writing on the weekends is not going to help. Instead, you must address a more significant issue – lack of discernment.

Following Poor Examples

Unfortunately, academia fosters a culture of “busyness”. Institutions praise overwork, resulting in burnout and demotivation. As a new professor, you see your advisor answering emails on the weekend, completing research late into the evening, or loading their schedule with an endless list of commitments. You are expected to always say yes, making it easy to fall into a cycle of binge-writing and overwork. 


But your academic career can be different! There is a way to grow your career and maintain boundaries around your time. The secret to establishing a fulfilling and successful academic career is discernment.

Tackling the Root Cause 

If you are struggling with a clogged publication pipeline, the problem is not lack of time; it is the absence of a crucial skill. Most academics haven’t developed the tools you need to manage the complexity or pressure of an academic career. 


Discerning which opportunities to say yes to and which to pass on will dramatically change your relationship with writing. The skill of discernment starts with establishing a clear vision for your career, outlining a mission statement, and selecting projects that align with those values and goals. Saying no to opportunities that don’t serve your academic mission statement allows you to spend time on impactful publications. 



“The feeling that you don’t have time to write is the triggering event that makes you go and seek help. There’s this relationship between time to write and a clogged up pipeline. So what you really want when you’re trying to get time to write – what you’re really trying to do – is clear that pipeline.” 



“Your pipeline is actually the symptom of a career problem. It’s just that you haven’t developed the skills that you need to manage the complexity and the rigor or the pressures or the weight of the academic career. This is totally understandable because nobody teaches you how to do it.”


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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