The Comfort Pursuit

Book recommendation: Finding Time for your Scholarly Writing: A Short Guide, by Jo VanEvery

Finding Time for your Scholarly Writing: A Short Guide (Short Guides Book 2)Finding Time for your Scholarly Writing: A Short Guide by Jo VanEvery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“[Day] is my research day. I will address your email during normal working hours on [next working day]. Thank you for your patience.” (Kindle Locations 247-248)

This short guide is extremely helpful for someone who, like me, struggles to commit to writing and keeps putting other ‘urgent’ commitments in front of it. But then, don’t all of us do that during some busy academic periods?

It also helps us to be strategic to enable the formation of a habit, to find ways of prioritising research and structuring our research days in effective ways while still accomplishing all other tasks our academic life requires us to do.

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4 thoughts on “Book recommendation: Finding Time for your Scholarly Writing: A Short Guide, by Jo VanEvery”

  1. Hum… not sure that would fly well with students, or even colleagues. At least not for me, and not on a regular basis.

    I very much like Kerry Ann Rockquemore’s advice, which can be summarised in the following 12 steps:
    1. Hold a Sunday Meeting
    2. Post your writing goals for the week
    3. Start each day by reviewing your top priorities
    4. Get your butt in your chair every day (30 – 60 minutes)
    5. Set a timer
    6. Manage your resistance
    7. Stop when the timer goes off
    8. Track your writing via the daily check-in
    9. Give yourself a treat
    10. Re-post your writing goals on Friday
    11. Assess and adjust
    12. Take the weekend off

    She did a talk about it here (click on the link at the bottom for the slides): https://nonpf.confex.com/nonpf/2014co/webprogram/Paper7311.html

    which is transcribed here: https://academiccoachingandwriting.org/assets/uploads/develop_a_daily_writing%20practice.pdf

    1. I agree, especially if we teach as well. There are always times or even days we can’t respond to emails quickly, and we don’t write emails with “today I am teaching”. But on your note: What is the Sunday meeting? And where do you post your goals?

      1. It is a ‘meeting’ with yourself 🙂 Fifteen minutes or so, where you remind your self of your research and AcWri priorities, you outline the goals for the week, and you plan what you are going to write and when (block the time in your diary, just like you would block the time for other important tasks). The idea is that, if you spend 15 or so minutes planning the week, it will set you in the right frame of mind (she also advises not writing on weekends, so I suppose that it balances off), and will avoid that ‘staring at a blank page’ feeling, on Monday morning.

        As for posting goals, she was talking about it in the context of a writing group – i.e., share them with your group for mutual accountability. I write my weekly writing goals in my journal as well as a post-it note, that I keep referring to (but I don’t make them public, in Kerry Ann’s sense).

  2. Just saw the ppt and read the text. Very interesting indeed. I feel like I want to do the training! Regarding the Sunday meetings, I do that regularly on Sunday evenings and it does help too.

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