A service of Jo VanEvery, Academic Career Guide
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Been thinking about it for a bit and know you are ready to join? Click here to join the Academic Writing Studio
Compared to other kinds of job or career, you have a lot of autonomy. You are free to do work that you find meaningful and work that you enjoy. But that freedom can start to feel like the freedom to work all the time. This is especially true if you care a lot about the work you do, the students you serve, and so on.
Academic work is never really finished. You may finish specific outputs (a course, a publication, etc) but each is part of an ongoing project of investigating, developing, and articulating ideas and engaging with particular questions. Writing is a cognitive process through which you figure out what you want to say and how to articulate that clearly. It can take years to get from idea to publication, with many rejections along the way. There will always be ways to improve your teaching. Changes in institutions are slow and require vigilance to maintain.
On the one hand, finding motivation for doing work that is never really finished when you have so many demands on your time and energy is hard. Some days you wonder if it’s even worth it. On the other hand, saying no to some things so you can focus on others is also hard. There are so many important things to do!
Furthermore, when faced with a surfeit of things you could be doing, it is really hard to make time for things that take a long time to produce an output that makes a difference to others. Writing, despite how important it is the meaningfulness of your work and to your career prospects, is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside.
The Academic Writing Studio can help
The Studio is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous resources that support your writing practice and help you make sustainable plans, with opportunities to ask me and other members for advice, suggestions, support, and encouragement.
When participants in A Meeting With Your Writing told me that this simple practice transformed their academic lives, I realized that the core of the support you need can be delivered in a way that is affordable for academics at all stages of career. A Meeting WIth Your Writing is now the heart of the Academic Writing Studio.
What you get
A Meeting With Your Writing: just enough structure to enable you to schedule writing time and stick to that schedule. (Click the image for more information and Meeting times.)
Planning Your Semester: a guided class to identify priorities, set boundaries, and make a realistic plan.
Other asynchronous resources to support your writing practice and help you with tricky bits of the process of publishing your writing: e.g. Establishing a Writing Practice; Dealing with Reviewer Comments; Selecting a Journal.
A weekly newsletter that includes monthly reminders to review & adjust your plan, because things never go according to plan, but planning is still incredibly useful.
Office Hours (once a month by conference call) and an online forum enable affordable access to coaching in a group setting.
Who joins the Studio?
Studio members are at all stages of career.
Dissertation writers find A Meeting With Your Writing gives them structure for their first really big academic writing project.
Early career academics use the support to get publications out and to develop habits that will serve them throughout their career.
Mid-career academics like the extra support as they juggle the extra demands of this stage of career, break habits developed in their early career that no longer serve them, and really begin to soar in their careers.
Late-career academics value some structure to finish the things that will enable them to retire without regrets.
Studio members live in many different countries, and may or may not write in English. They work in many different kinds of institution and are in a range of different disciplines. They are in different types of academic and para-academic employment and may also be juggling different kinds of family responsibilities. Some people use it mostly in the main part of the academic year to ensure they keep writing even when busy with teaching and other responsibilities. Others find it helpful during sabbatical or the summer to help give just enough structure to their time.
Many people have been members for years, though some come and go due to changing teaching schedules or other life events.
What difference will it make?
Members have told me it transforms their lives. These are some of the other words participants used when I asked for feedback: Progress, Commitment, Productive, Grounded, Accomplishment, Joy, Focus, Pacing, Direction, Priority, Community.
What does membership cost?
Full membership is £264 + applicable taxes per year and includes an unlimited pass for A Meeting With Your Writing. I assume you will only attend one session per week (whichever is most convenient) but you are welcome to attend as many as fit into your schedule. You can cancel anytime and will remain a member until the end of the period you’ve paid for.
Choose the length of your subscription:
Annual membership is £264 (+ applicable taxes)
Semester membership is £88 (+ applicable taxes) fixed 4 month period (available for purchase in September, January, and April)
Monthly membership is £22 (+ applicable taxes) – Recurring payment
If you live in a timezone or have a teaching schedule that makes attending synchronous Meetings impossible, or if you don’t want that level of support for your writing practice, Foundations of an Academic Writing Practice (£33 p.a.) gives you access to the community and resources — everything except the live Meeting With Your Writing calls.
All fees are quoted in Pounds Sterling. Canadian residents will also need to pay GST/HST.
There may be additional charges to join the conference calls, though the conference service provides local numbers in several countries (including several Canadian and European cities) as well as an option to connect through the website (Firefox or Chrome required for web-connect option).
Not the right time?
If this sounds like it might be useful but now isn’t the right time, you can join my email list to be reminded that it exists. I promise not to badger you, but I know your circumstances probably change around September, January, and May each year so I’ll definitely send you something then.
Want more information before you decide?
If this feels like it might be a good thing for you but you aren’t feeling the “Hell, yeah.” I’d love to help you get a clear answer (even if that’s a no). If you think it sounds like something you should like but don’t, you have my permission to close this tab in your browser.
If the problem is a gremlin who thinks you should be able to do this without paying for a service like this, I’ve written your gremlin a note.
If you aren’t clear about what kind of writing group A Meeting With Your Writing is, I’ve explained it in more detail.
If you don’t have a writing practice at all, you might want to start with the 15 minute per day Academic Writing Challenge (free). My book, Finding Time for Your Scholarly Writing will help you figure out how to fit that small practice in with other kinds of writing time. Sign up for the Newsletter to receive a monthly email prompting you to review and update your plans.
Start with a Foundations membership (£33). Use the Establishing a Writing Practice class (in the Studio Resource Room) to get you started, and the forum and monthly Studio calls for accountability and support. Then when you are ready to commit to scheduling 2 hours once a week for writing, you can upgrade your membership.
If you live in Australia or New Zealand and are wondering if this is even possible, I’ve explained that in detail.
If English is not your first language or you don’t write in English, you are welcome. More information.
Does that help? Return to the payment form.
If it’s something else, just ask and I’ll see if I can clarify things.