You might wonder how the Academic Writing Studio would help, given your particular needs. You want to know that you are not alone, there is no shame in needing this kind of support, and that you will be welcome in the community. I’ve written some anonymised profiles focused on a few of the common reasons for joining to help you decide.
Is this you?
Martin was about to start his term as head of department. He had a journal article in progress. In the past he’s been able to protect time for writing despite the demands of teaching and service but he’s worried that the head of department role is going to make that much more difficult. He wants to get this article submitted. He realized that joining the Studio would make a big difference during this period of his career.
Your situation might be different. Maybe you’ve taken on another kind of major administrative role. Or you’ve just returned from parental leave. Maybe you’ve had some teaching relief associated with a grant and it’s run out now. When we first switched to remote working in March 2020, I noticed a small flurry of people either joining or rejoining the Studio because the change to working from home was a significant challenge to their practices.
Whatever your situation, something has changed that makes it harder to find and protect time for your writing. It’s okay if you weren’t as prescient as Martin. There are good reasons you thought you could do this on your own. There is no shame in seeking support.
How the Studio helps in this situation
A Meeting With Your Writing gives you some extra support to protect time for writing when the change in circumstances has made that harder. Martin committed to one session a week, which is pretty normal. He put it in his calendar and showed up most weeks. If a week was particularly busy with head of department duties he might skip the session, but the routine and the calendar event were there to help him get back to writing the following week. By the end of the first semester, he reported that he’d submitted the article he’d been working on.
You need to believe that writing is important enough to put in your regular schedule. You have to be prepared to tell people you are not available during that time. If you have an administrator managing your calendar you have to tell them that they are not to bump A Meeting with Your Writing except in very specific (and limited) circumstances.
The fact that it is a synchronous meeting with a group of people helps make that easier. Everyone else in the meeting also thinks writing is important enough to schedule during the regular working week-day, even if your local culture is more dismissive of this possibility.
Regular group coaching sessions provide extra support. Annual and Quarterly planning sessions help you anticipate challenges and make reasonable plans. Office Hours provide opportunities between planning sessions to get coaching and community support for the stuff that comes up. There are also group coaching sessions focused on the writing practice itself, to help members use their limited writing time effectively.
Still not sure?
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.
You are also welcome to book a free consultation to discuss your needs. Or email me using this form.