Inside Higher Ed: Write Now! (Hoelscher and Werder )

Karen Hoelscher and Carmen Werder in a continuing series in Inside Higher Ed, counsel “Write Now!”

They note the tendency inherent in academic work for procrastination from the unstructured parts of our lives (like conducting research and writing scholarly articles). Their advice is simple, reasonable and evidence based:

1. Examine your habits and tendencies. Consider your recent progress as a writer and look ahead to what you expect to work on in the next few weeks and months. Develop a timeline to map out the small steps you will take to reach your goals. Consider transferring your timeline goals into your daily planner. . .

2. Make a commitment. Making steady progress as a writer is like committing to an exercise routine. It’s a challenge to get on track, but once you do, the feelings of confidence and satisfaction begin to sustain your every move. Consider your personal style and work habits and develop an appropriate routine, and then you’ll have a writing regimen that will be more likely to work for you. . .

3. Celebrate your accomplishments. Honor your commitment to putting writing in the forefront of your schedule as a faculty member, as the “ring” of the circus where you are the star. Celebrate small goals, cherish the positive moments you experience as a writer, and realize the value of reclaiming writing time.

They also recommend a book by Daniel Pink, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, whose rule for writing is “Write every day, even when you don’t feel like it, because regaining momentum takes three times as much energy as sustaining momentum. He calls this a law of literary physics.”

The full article is open access, available on line.


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