For many academics, reading is part of their writing process. You may be working on a dissertation chapter, an article, or a book chapter, and feel like you need to gather more information and data before you can begin to write. Or in the middle of the writing process the writing flow may slow down a bit, and picking up a book or article may help the writing to flow again. There comes a time in your writing, however, when taking more time to read can be a distraction to formulating your thoughts and putting your words to paper. There’s a point where you must shift the scales from reading to taking time to think through what you have read and to organize those thoughts into written text.
I regularly coach graduate students and assistant professors who are not certain if they will remain in the academy. Often their writing is suffering, and the process of moving from research to writing proves difficult. Success for academics is in our ability to be thought leaders and influencers through our writing, whether writings for academic journals, news media, or blogs. Writing and publication is a core part of PhDs’ success in faculty and non faculty roles.
What has helped you keep a productive writing practice? What do you dot get back on track when you fall off?