My #1 Writing Productivity Strategy
I know faculty who can write article after article, grant after grant without breaking a sweat.
That’s not me. I’m guessing it’s not you either.
For us regular folk, writing is hard – a complete slog.
And I’m not just talking about the intellectual labor part, which is exhausting to be sure.
I’m also talking about the stuff waiting in the cut to derail our efforts, like Perfectionism and her BFF Imposter Syndrome.
No wonder so many of us are experts at avoiding writing.
Ever-editing and rabid-researching being the two avoidance techniques I favor.
I mean who has time to write new words when I’m editing the same ones over and over or heading back to the literature for yet another perfect citation?
Unless there is some looming deadline that forces us into unsustainable, frantic action, traversing these writing barriers can feel impossible.
There’s one super strategy I use to break through avoidance and procrastination that you can use too.
It’s writing in community.
Before you roll your eyes and head for the close button, let me explain.
Writing with people I care about who see and value me (and I them) is life-giving. It motivates me to show up and follow through on my writing goals.
Writing in community can be the key to getting unstuck, writing through fear and doubt, getting words on the page.
Research on writing accountability groups backs up my experience with participants reporting increased productivity, organization, and planning.
So, if you aren’t in a writing group, I invite you to start or join one.
But not all writing groups are created equal.
If you’ve ever been in one that ended up fizzling, you know what I mean.
The 4 winning ingredients to a successful group are:
- Regularly scheduled meetings
- Social time AND set work time
- Committed members who support each other
- An inclusive environment where you experience a sense of belonging.
That last point about belonging is especially important for faculty of color at PWI’s.
In need of such a writing community?
Hint: It's mine 😍
You don’t have to go it alone.
It’s better (and easier) to write in community.
In peace and solidarity,
Roxanne A. Donovan, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, a full professor of psychological science and interdisciplinary studies, and the founder of WellAcademic, a faculty development organization. She's passionate about using her psychological training and experience to empower faculty toward purpose-driven lives of meaning, fulfillment, and vitality.