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Jul 26 / Carl Sorgen

Building Effective Scholarly Writing Habits

How well are you making progress on your summer writing projects?

Instructors writing

Productive scholarly writers share similar habits for long-term writing success. Here are some suggestions for maintaining productive writing practices:

  • Write a little bit every day. Even writing for 30-45 minutes a day makes a difference. In time, you will replace the habit of writing when inspiration strikes with writing as a habit.
  • Track your writing. End each writing session with what you would like to achieve the next day.
  • Use a timer. It will release you from watching the clock.
  • Figure out when you’re most creative. Begin blocking that time of day for writing as you would for other appointments.
  • Minimize distractions. Consider going to a “third space” outside of your office and home.  Use an app that blocks access to Facebook and other distractions for during specified times.
  • Create smaller milestones by taking a big project and breaking it down into small pieces. Celebrate small successes and reward yourself when you complete each one.
  • Join a writing group. Find a couple of people with similar writing goals and meet regularly.  Being a part of a writing group will help hold yourself accountable and you will find support and encouragement in the comradery.
  • Attend a retreat. Consider setting aside one day each month to be away from your home and office for a writing retreat.


Are you interested in learning more about scholarly writing habits?  Here are some selected resources for writing productively:

  • Boice, R. (2000). Advice for new faculty members: Nihil nimus. Needham Heights, MA:  Allyn & Bacon.
  • Gray, T. (2015). Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar (2nd ed.) Las Cruces, NM: Teaching Academy, New Mexico State University.
  • Academic Writing Club is a proprietary service to help you keep on task with your writing projects.
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