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 Academic Writing Studio

Supporting your research and writing journey

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Planning Q3 of 2023-24
(January, February, March)

  • Are you struggling to do everything you need to do in a reasonable working week?
  • Did you get some momentum on a writing project this summer?
  • Would you like to keep working on your writing project through the year?
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Stress isn’t caused primarily by overwork, though that certainly doesn’t help. The main contributor to stress is lack of control.

In theory, the autonomy you have as an academic gives you control over how and when you do your work. In practice, the quantity of work, the culture of your department and institution, and the policy context make it difficult to assert that control.

Planning helps you regain some control over your workload and your time.

I offer a suite of planning classes to help you write throughout the year. It will be helpful if you are frustrated by a feast or famine approach to writing, and want to imagine what a more consistent writing practice might look like for you.

Planning Quarter 3 (January, February, March) helps you juggle your myriad responsibilities, and protect time for writing, without overworking. Having a plan for after the holidays also helps you build in time to recharge and enjoy whatever your celebrate at this time of year.

The live session focuses on protecting writing time & setting reasonable goals given the time available. Additional resources help you manage your working hours, and keep your teaching in its container.

Planning Q3 (January, February, March)

Friday 15 December 2023 | 10 am Eastern/3 UK & Ireland/your time zone


These classes are based on some key principles:

  • The time available for writing varies in quality and quantity, depending on where you are in the cycle of the year.
  • Your writing project requires different types of work to move forward.
  • You can’t do everything. You have to prioritise & set boundaries.

We start the Academic Writing Year on 1 July, and plan in quarters.

    The idea is to start and end your year with writing.

    Planning Quarter 3 (January, February, March) will help you:

    • Identify and protect writing time during this quarter.
    • Set reasonable goals for your writing projects.
    • Make plan to limit your working hours & take regular breaks.
    • Recharge over the mid-winter break.

      The longer the time horizon, the harder it is to predict what will happen and plan for it. You need flexibility to adjust your plans if opportunities arise, or circumstances change.

      Each quarterly class will help you:

      • Acknowledge your wins from the previous quarter.
      • Anticipate challenges in the next 3 months and plan for them.
      • Adjust your goals based on a reasonable estimate of the time available.
      • Revisit your progress towards working reasonable hours.

      “Planning for the coming term is such a simple concept but so overlooked in academia! Sitting down, once a quarter and thinking through the next three months, made me realize that I actually do have time in my schedule for writing. Connecting planning to goal-setting created the pathway to achieving those goals.”

      (Assistant Professor, Dance Studies, Teaching Stream (Tenure-track), Public research university)

      The purpose of a plan is to inspire action.

      Planning Quarter 3 (January, February, March) will provide a clearer sense of what might be reasonable in these months. You may not have as much time to write as you would like, but you can protect something.

      Planning quarterly enables you to consider longer term goals, while also optimizing your writing plans based on what else is going on.

      I can’t entirely eliminate your frustration. There are structural limits on your scope of control. The choices you have may not be the choices you want.

      But you can reduce your frustration, and optimise your control.

      “Planning causes me so much anxiety that I often avoid it altogether, but having completed a plan relieves a great deal of that anxiety!”

      (Catherine Anderson, Teaching Professor, McMaster University)

      Planning Q3 (January, February, March)

      Friday 15 December 2023 | 10 am Eastern/3 UK & Ireland/your time zone


      How it works

      The class is built around a 2-hour live session via Zoom.

      • A guided reflection to identify priorities & challenges
      • Coaching support to help you figure out the tricky bits

      There is also preparatory material including:

      • Prompts to help you review your progress towards your annual plan compassionately
      • Journaling prompts for observing your situation
      • Questions to help you gather information to inform your personal plan

      The live session focuses on writing time. It will be recorded and transcribed, then added to the class page in the week following the session so you can make more detailed notes, or revisit the class if things really go off the rails later.

      There are additional reflection prompts and downloadable worksheets to help you avoid overworking so you get enough rest:

      • Decide how to limit your average weekly working hours.
      • Plan how much time you need to schedule for all your teaching related activities.
      • Make a plan for taking your annual leave.

      You will have access to the class materials until the end of March.

      Not sure?

      Taking a class provides a structure to help you do reflection and planning. Being part of a group who are facing the same struggles, and having some structure to guide you can really help you make big decisions.

      The longer the time horizon the more unknowns, and the more likely it is for things to go awry.

      The quarterly classes will help you think about the shape of each part of the year, and adjust your plans in the light of new information. Realizing you were being overambitious with your plans is new information.


      Register Now

      Planning Q3 of 2023-24
      (Jan, Feb, March)