7 Ways to maintain a writing practice between academic terms
During our final #AcWriChat TweetChat event of 2019 on Twitter, December 13th, we focused our discussion on ways to maintain a writing practice between academic terms. Now in the final week of the year, amidst the holiday season, in the middle of most academic breaks, we wanted to share the list of TAA article resources included in that event.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration to boost your productivity, adjust your routine, focus on your writing efforts, or enjoy a little break from the academic term, there’s surely something below for you in these seven ways to maintain a writing practice between academic terms.
1) Implement productivity strategies
The easiest way to maintain a successful habit is to rely on things that have proven successful. Chances are you have certain processes in place throughout the academic term to enhance your productivity. When you need a boost during the break, put those things into practice. The articles below may offer reminders or new ways to boost your productivity.
- Become a more productive writer: 5 Tips from authors
- Tips & tools to reach your writing productivity peak
- 11 Tricks and tips to get those words on a page
- Make it happen: 6 Strategies to improve productivity
- Harness the power of habits for writing productivity
- How to actually complete your writing projects: One bite at a time
2) Adjust your routine
Chances are you’re not in Kansas anymore (or wherever you hang your hat during the academic year). You’ll be without the regular schedule, colleagues, environment, and resources that keep you moving. You’ll have to adjust to a new (albeit temporary) routine for the break. You may have to rely on yourself a little more for proofreading your work, or be faced with the challenge of explaining your research to family members who are certainly not in your department. The articles below may make some of those adjustments easier – and don’t forget to take a break – that’s why there is one.
- 6 Tips for proofreading your own academic writing
- 4 Tips to help you lose the stress and enhance your writing
- How to explain complex ideas in a simple way
- Take breaks before you’re broken
3) Establish a writing space
Not only will the schedule be different, and the people, and the resources, but so will the physical environment in which you work. You’ll need to establish a place to be productive. This may be a small desk in a corner or a new favorite table at the local coffee shop, but you’ll need a place where you can get away and write when you need to. For those times when getting away may not be practical, consider starting a journal to keep up with your thoughts and ideas along the way.
- How to have a writing room of your own
- Tip of the trade: The role writing environment plays in productivity
- Productivity tips for authors ‘on the go’
- 19 Reasons to start a journal
4) Find time to write
If you’re going to maintain your writing practice, you’ll have to find time to do so. The break between academic terms is filled with hustle and bustle and people to see and things to do, but you must find some time in there if you will maintain your practice successfully. Remember, you’re on break, so this shouldn’t be the same amount of time you dedicate during the academic term, but stopping cold turkey will make it harder to rebuild those successful habits in January.
- 6 Tips for finding writing time
- 6 Ways to take control of your day
- To keep writing, use a time log
- Defensive scheduling: Increase your productivity & piece of mind
- The When: Setting realistic timeframes for your research
5) Maintain your focus
Perhaps one of the hardest things to do, especially when family and friends are reminding you that “you’re on a break”, is to maintain focus when you do find the time and place to write. In order to be successful, when you make the time to write, your focus will need to be on writing. Consider the advice in these articles for minimizing distractions and focusing on your writing when necessary.
- 7 Focus management strategies for more productive writing
- 5 Ways to minimize writing anxiety & maximize self-efficacy
- How to minimize distractions and disruptions while writing
- 9 Proven strategies to help you stop procrastinating and write your manuscript
- Can spirituality help you with school?
6) Balance your life
All work and no play, right? The break between academic terms is an effective way to make yourself find some balance between work and life. Enjoy the time with family and friends. Make time for the non-academic part of your life. It’s also a good time to share with those interested supporters of your work exactly what has been happening during the previous term. Take note of what you share and the ideas it generates for moving forward after the break.
- Holiday strategies to honor your all-important academic project
- 4 Ways to work-life balance in 4 minutes
- Friends – How to keep them but keep them away when you need academic immersion
- To progress on your project, to friends and organizations say no…thanks
7) Give yourself a break
It may have been said once or twice above, but you’re on a break. And that’s not only okay, it’s necessary. Taking time off can bring you back stronger. Spend time with family and friends. Enjoy your holiday traditions. Don’t stress if you go two or three days without writing anything. The work will be there when you get back.
- For academics: Are your kids growing up without you?
- The three biggest mistakes academic writers make
- To rejuvenate, consider closing your writing shop
- How to start writing again after a break
The key to maintaining a successful writing practice between academic terms is to rely on what works during the school year and allow yourself the flexibility to enjoy the break that the “time off” is intended to afford. Returning to the routine will be easier and more effective if you stay connected to your work without immersing yourself in it. Rest. Rejuvenate. Share. And return stronger as a result.
Speaking of returning after a break, #AcWriChat will return to Twitter on Friday, January 10th at 11am ET. Simply sign into Twitter and search for the #AcWriChat hashtag at that time to participate in the discussion. Happy holidays!