Planning Your Academic Writing Year
- Do you want to work more reasonable hours but aren’t sure how to do that given the demands?
- Do you feel like planning is useless because there is always something you need to respond to that throws off your plans?
- Are you particularly frustrated about how this is affecting your writing?
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!
The Planning Your Academic Writing Year class is designed to help you write throughout the year.
This class is 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.
It will help you:
- Set annual goals based on a reasonable estimate of the time available.
- Plan to keep your projects moving throughout the year.
- Anticipate challenges and plan for them.
You’ll also get a free eBook of Finding Time for your Scholarly Writing (A Short Guide).
The class will provide a clearer sense of what might be reasonable at different points in the year. You’ll also develop some criteria for making decisions about how to structure your time and work, and how to respond to things that come up as the year progresses.
This class might be particularly 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.
Unfortunately, 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.
How it works
The class is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous elements.
There’s preparatory material on a dedicated page of the Studio website including:
- Some articles introducing how I think about workload and planning
- Journaling prompts for observing your situation
- Questions to help you gather information to inform your personal plan
A 2 hour synchronous session (using Zoom) on 27 May (recorded)
- A guided reflection to identify priorities & challenges
- Coaching support to help you figure out the tricky bits
Additional resources will be added to the class page to help you use what you’ve learned to guide your quarterly, monthly, and weekly plans throughout the year.
The live session will be recorded and an edited recording will be shared with a summary. You will have access to these materials (including the session recording) until 30 September 2022.
Annual planning can feel pointless. The longer the time horizon the more unknowns, and the more likely it is for things to go awry. The purpose of a plan is to inspire action. The purpose of an annual plan is to make some big decisions about what is important and anticipate some of the things that might affect your ability to achieve your goals.
Planning Your Academic Writing Year will provide a framework that will help you plan your semesters, your months, and your weeks as you go through the year.
Taking a class provides a structure to help you do reflection and planning. At this time of year, you don’t have the kind of general peer pressure that’s around in January. Being part of a group who are also starting their year now, and having some structure to guide you can help you make big decisions.
You may decide, after making your plan, that you could use more support. Full membership of the Studio may provide the support you need. Or, you may have other sources of support.
Once you’ve taken the class and made an annual plan, you can then decide if those other resources would be helpful for you. If you join the Studio before 30 June 2022, the class fee will be discounted from the cost of Studio membership!
What are you waiting for? Join us!