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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

Eric Schmieder

Eric Schmieder is the Membership Marketing Manager for TAA. He has taught computer technology concepts to curriculum, continuing education, and corporate training students since 2001. A lifelong learner, teacher, and textbook author, Eric seeks to use technology in ways that improve results in his daily processes and in the lives of those he serves. His latest textbook, Web, Database, and Programming: A foundational approach to data-driven application development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, and PHP, First Edition, is available now through Sentia Publishing.