Get Scholarly Writing Done

Decorative: "Scholarly Writing & Publication" written under a row of three typewriters


"How to Get Writing Done" (post) outlines seven practical  "suggestions for increasing your productivity and working toward seeing your work in print" -- each more fully elaborated in the article.

1. "Give yourself a research day and hold fast to it."

  • "If you are in a position where publications are required for tenure, ... research is an important part of your job."
  • "Saying that you can’t be available for, or even be part of, certain meetings or committees is not a shirking of job responsibilities, but a way of juggling responsibilities to ensure all are met."

2. "Open up the laptop."

  • "[J]ust open up your laptop once a day ... and start writing."
  • "Even writers who close their laptops after hitting their daily 500 words will, over a period of only 10 days, have 5,000 words written, which is the meat and potatoes of an article draft."
  • "Take it on in small doses and commit to it: consistently sticking to simple goals will quickly add up."

3. "Keep the writing process going." 

  • "Don't leave your writing behind after you do your daily 500 words (or one hour, or two pages, or whatever commitment you make to yourself)."
  • "Engage with thoughts and ideas as they pop into your head throughout the day: in the grocery line, in the shower, while watching television and so on."
  • "Sometimes stepping away from the screen allows us to think through things from different angles." 

4. "Find a potential venue for your work." 

  • "Locating a journal that will potentially publish something you’re working on can help you to prioritize certain projects over others, push you to finish a piece, and force you to set reasonable time frames and length limitations on your work."
  • "Suddenly, you have both a concrete deadline and a set word count to work with." 

5. "Consider the type of writing you are doing and what counts most for tenure."

  • "[F]ocus most of [your] time on turning [your] work into publishable peer-reviewed articles -- which will carry the most weight when [you] go up for tenure."
  • "[E]nsure that any material [you] present at a conference is something [you] can develop into a publishable piece in the immediate future, rather than leaving it to lapse as a talk that never becomes an article."

6. "Connect the classroom to the research."

  • "At some institutions, scholarship on teaching and learning is valued and can be counted toward tenure like any other publication."
  • "Find out how such scholarship is viewed at your institution and whether it can be counted toward the publications you need for tenure and promotion."
  • "Capitalizing on opportunities to write about what is happening in your classroom is a way of killing two birds with one stone -- instead of feeling as if teaching limits the amount of time you have to spend on research, consider how the classroom can become a space for conducting research and producing scholarship."

7. "Remember how long the process takes and that the clock is always ticking."

  • "[T]he process of publishing something can be a very lengthy one, often much longer than one might anticipate or hope for."
  • "[I]n revise-and-resubmit cases, the entire process from initial submission to publication could be as long as two to three years." 
  • "Use your knowledge of how the long the publishing process can take as a source of motivation, even in your early years on the tenure track."
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