What are you doing for the rest of the year? I know, I know. What a question! If you’re like most academics, you have no idea. Whether you’ll be teaching face to face or online is to be determined (no matter what your institution is saying right now). You don’t know if your kids will be going back to school in the fall. You’re not sure what you’ll be doing next Tuesday, let alone in September or October. So when you consider the trajectory of your writing for the rest of 2020, you’re inclined to throw your hands (and your laptop) in the air and accept defeat.
These are just a few scenarios I’ve heard from my clients:
- Totally tapped out of writing as you deal with a global pandemic, an antiracist social movement, and keeping your household afloat.
- Working seven days a week because you can’t get a full workday while balancing work and childcare.
- Struggling to maintain a “normal” writing routine but constantly feeling distracted and overwhelmed.
- Devising a new publication plan as your collaborators and coauthors also struggle to write while dealing with a global pandemic, an antiracist social movement, and keeping their household afloat.
Meanwhile, you’re exhausted — especially if you’re Black. Nothing seems easy, especially writing. It’s like you’re trying to tread water in a riptide.
But what I’ve also heard is that many academics want to keep writing, and need to keep writing. It might because your expertise is desperately needed at this exact moment (I see you, scholars of race and inequality, policing, social movements, epidemiology, and subject matters I’ve inevitably neglected to mention ). Maybe you find comfort in the writing process. Perhaps you’re tired of ignoring your book (because #realtalk, you were ignoring it way before our worlds turned upside down). Or, you’re still on that tenure clock and you have no other choice than to make it work.
And even if you want to write, maintaining a steady practice is hard right now. You have toddler interlopers and furry friends who need you at the exact moment you get into the writing flow. Your Slack writing group has fallen off, and you’re trying to go it alone. The usual avenues of accountability that you’ve relied on to write consistently have disintegrated.
I’ve decided to open my membership group called Simple Productivity for enrollment because I know academics need support right now. I also know that many of you don’t have time for an intensive productivity program. Your work time is precious, and you should be spending it writing.
What is Simple Productivity?
Simple Productivity is an online community that provides camaraderie and accountability for academic writers. It’s mission is simple – to give you just enough support to stay on track without overwhelming you by inundating you with productivity training or webinars. Instead, it offers the following features:
Daily accountability prompts: Each day you get a virtual morning nudge to share what you’re working on. Setting an intention for the day will help you focus on the 1-2 things that matter the most.
Twice weekly virtual writing sessions: Every Wednesday from 10am-11am EST and Friday from 1pm-2pm EST, you log in to the community (hosted on Mighty Networks) and write alongside your peers. These are structured as two pomodoro sessions – 25 minutes of writing, a 5-minute break, then 25 more minutes of writing. Members say this is some of the most productive time in their week!
Feedback, solidarity, and support: Members congratulate each other on achievements, share their experiences when their colleagues seek help making a decision, and trade tips about handling reviews, strengthening routines, and so much more. Seeing other people’s process is a reminder that you’re not alone. I’m also in the community responding to your daily plan, answering your questions, and offering my feedback when I think you’re being too hard on yourself or nearing burnout. It’s a form of written coaching from me that you can’t access anywhere else.
Simple Productivity is based on a simple three-step system: develop a weekly plan, create a daily accountability structure, and schedule (then show up for) focused writing time. If you can do those three things successfully, you’ll write consistently.
Simple Productivity is for:
PhD-holding academics who want a virtual community that isn’t hosted on Facebook (if you’re a graduate student, I believe you need a different level and type of support than what Simple Productivity offers). You want to be in a community without the distraction of social media.
Writers who are committed to moving their research forward in an anti-racist, feminist space. We support all academics but are attuned to the unique challenges that minoritized members of the academy face.
Scholars from any discipline where writing and publishing are important. This isn’t just for social scientists or book writers. If you need dedicated writing time and daily accountability, you’ll benefit from this space.
Simple Productivity ISN’T for:
Academics who desperately want 1:1 coaching. This isn’t an opportunity for you to receive 1:1 coaching from me.
Academics seeking feedback on their writing. There’s no editing or writing feedback available in this community.
Recalcitrant writers. if you haven’t written in months (pre-pandemic), you likely need a higher level of intervention than what this community provides. It can be a good first step in a longer journey towards establishing a consistent writing practice, but won’t be a “cure-all.”
Academics who don’t want a writing community. Some writers cherish the solitude of writing. If that sounds like you, then you probably won’t benefit much from participating in writing sessions with other writers. That’s OK!
Simple Productivity is $37/month. If you enroll for the rest of the year (6 months), you’ll get a reduced single payment of $180. To keep administrative costs (and the price of your membership) low, we are unable to work with your institution to secure funding.
Your membership will begin July 1st, 2020.