Academic work is never really finished. You may finish specific outputs (a course, a publication, etc) but each is part of an ongoing project of investigating, developing, and articulating ideas and engaging with particular questions. Writing is a cognitive process through which you figure out what you want to say and how to articulate that clearly. It can take years to get from idea to publication, with many rejections along the way. There will always be ways to improve your teaching. Changes in institutions are slow and require vigilance to maintain.
Compared to other kinds of job or career, you have a lot of autonomy. You are free to do work that you find meaningful and work that you enjoy. But that freedom can start to feel like the freedom to work all the time. This is especially true if you care a lot about the work you do, the students you serve, and so on.
On the one hand, finding motivation for doing work that is never really finished when you have so many demands on your time and energy is hard. Some days you wonder if it’s even worth it. On the other hand, saying no to some things so you can focus on others is also hard. There are so many important things to do!
Furthermore, when faced with a surfeit of things you could be doing, it is really hard to make time for things that take a long time to produce an output that makes a difference to others. Writing, despite how important it is the meaningfulness of your work and to your career prospects, is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside.
The Academic Writing Studio can help
You need a writing practice that is integrated into your work in a sustainable way and isn’t dependent on outputs for motivation. You need a plan that focuses on your priorities, establishes boundaries, and includes slack to absorb the stuff you can’t plan for. And you need just enough structure to support you.
When participants in A Meeting With Your Writing told me that this simple practice transformed their academic lives, I realized that the core of the support you need can be delivered in a way that is affordable for academics at all stages of career. A Meeting WIth Your Writing is now the heart of the Academic Writing Studio.
The Studio is a combination of synchronous and asynchronous resources that support your writing practice and help you make sustainable plans, with opportunities to ask me and other members for advice, suggestions, support, and encouragement.
What you get
A Meeting With Your Writing: just enough structure to enable you to schedule writing time and stick to that schedule. (Click the image for more information and Meeting times.)
Planning Your Semester: a guided class to identify priorities, set boundaries, and make a realistic plan. 11 May 2018 Planning Your Summer (recording also available)
Other asynchronous resources to support your writing practice and help you with tricky bits of the process of publishing your writing: e.g. Establishing a Writing Practice; Dealing with Reviewer Comments; Selecting a Journal.
A weekly newsletter that includes monthly reminders to review & adjust your plan, because things never go according to plan, but planning is still incredibly useful.
Monthly Office Hours (by conference call) and an online forum enable affordable access to coaching in a group setting.
Who joins the Studio?
Studio members are at all stages of career.
Dissertation writers find A Meeting With Your Writing gives them structure for their first really big academic writing project.
Early career academics use the support to get publications out and to develop habits that will serve them throughout their career.
Mid-career academics like the extra support as they juggle the extra demands of this stage of career, break habits developed in their early career that no longer serve them, and really begin to soar in their careers.
Late-career academics value some structure to finish the things that will enable them to retire without regrets.
Studio members live in many different countries, and may or may not write in English. They work in many different kinds of institution and are in a range of different disciplines. They are in different types of academic and para-academic employment and may also be juggling different kinds of family responsibilities.
Many people have been members for years, though some come and go due to changing teaching schedules or other life events.
What difference will it make?
The Academic Writing Studio and A Meeting With Your Writing will help you write more and thus publish more, but it also changes how your work feels.
Members have told me it transforms their lives. Here are some of the other words people used when I asked for feedback.
What does membership cost?
Full membership is £264 + applicable taxes per year and includes an unlimited pass for A Meeting With Your Writing. I assume you will only attend one session per week (whichever is most convenient) but you are welcome to attend as many as fit into your schedule. You can cancel anytime and will remain a member until the end of the period you’ve paid for.
Choose the length of your subscription:
Annual membership is £264 (+ applicable taxes)
Semester membership is £88 (+ applicable taxes) fixed 4 month period (available for purchase in September, January, and April)
Monthly membership is £22 (+ applicable taxes) – Recurring payment
If you live in a timezone or have a teaching schedule that makes attending synchronous Meetings impossible, or if you don’t want that level of support for your writing practice, Foundations of an Academic Writing Practice (£33 p.a.) gives you access to the community and resources — everything except the live Meeting With Your Writing calls.
All fees are quoted in Pounds Sterling. Canadians will also need to pay GST/HST. I can invoice you for an annual or 4-month membership in other currencies.
There may be additional charges to join the conference calls, though the conference service provides local numbers in several countries (including several Canadian and European cities) as well as an option to connect through the website (Firefox or Chrome required for web-connect option).
Note: If you’ve been a member of the Academic Writing Studio before, then click this link to log in and update your membership. (This form won’t work for you.)
Not the right time?
If this all sounds good but isn’t going to work right now, you can sign up to my email list for occasional reminders about the Studio and what’s going on. Once you’ve subscribed I’ll send you more details about the kind of email I’m likely to send and how often. You can unsubscribe or update your preferences at any time.
Still not sure?
If this feels like it might be a good thing for you but you aren’t feeling the “Hell, yeah.” I’d love to help you get a clear answer (even if that’s a no). If you think it sounds like something you should like but don’t, you have my permission to close this tab in your browser.
If the problem is a gremlin who thinks you should be able to do this without paying for a service like this, I’ve written your gremlin a note.
If you aren’t clear about what kind of writing group A Meeting With Your Writing is, I’ve explained it in more detail.
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). You can complement that with a Foundations membership ($54CDN; <£30GBP). Use the Establishing a Writing Practice class (in the Studio Resource Room) to get you started, and the forum and monthly Studio calls for accountability and support. Then when you are ready to commit to scheduling 2 hours once a week for writing, you can upgrade your membership.
If you live in Australia or New Zealand and are wondering if this is even possible, I’ve explained that in detail.
If English is not your first language or you don’t write in English, you are welcome. More information.
Does that help? Return to the payment form.
If it’s something else, just ask and I’ll see if I can clarify things.
Personal Data and Privacy
My business is run virtually. All services are delivered using one or more of email, a membership website, cloud document storage, a conference service, telephone or video-call service. In order to deliver the service you purchase I will required personal information. Legally this means I have a legitimate interest in collecting your name and email address. I am required to collect some address information in order to collect and remit sales tax appropriately.
I communicate with clients via email, often using a mailing list service provided by MailChimp. I have set up my mailing list so that where consent can be meaningful, I give you the choice to opt-in or opt-out of specific types of email. Email you receive via MailChimp will always contain a link to update your profile to manage your email preferences. You are advised not to unsubscribe to the list while still a client as this will affect my ability to deliver the service you paid for.
I have included some privacy information on the registration forms. For most services, there is an automated email welcoming you and providing further details. This may be a sequence of email messages about specific aspects of the service. An email with further information about how your information is used, what you can opt out of without detriment to the service you have purchased, how long data is retained, and so on will be included in this automated sequence.