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Episode Info:

Dr. Al-Malood shares a few unsung tips for faculty who are struggling to find time to write.  This episode was based on a short essay commissioned by the Chronicle of Higher Education back in March 2017.  

For a copy of the transcript that accompanies this episode, please visit: http://facultyworkshop.com/finding-time-to-write/

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Transcripts:

Hello and welcome to the FacultyWorkshop podcast, “THE" podcast for college educators.  I am your host Dr. Fawaz Al-Malood with another exciting episode. In today's show we're going talk about Finding Time To Write.

Before I get into the content of this episode, I wanted to share the background behind this topic. I was contacted by the Chronicle of Higher Education to write a short essay not to exceed 300 words on what I thought are a couple of good — or unsung — tips for faculty members who need help finding time to write and research. I typically write longer articles and essays, but I thought this would be a good exercise in attempting to provide some useful information in a concise soundbite. This episode is based on the essay that I wrote for the Chronicle and it will be a lot shorter than my usual episodes. So with that background story in mind, let’s just started with today’s episode!

Like most faculty, I first started seriously writing while I was in graduate school. At the time, I was working full-time during the day and working on my studies in the evening. I didn’t have the luxury of dedicating huge portions of my day to writing. What I did have was an academic goal and a graduation deadline. With this realization, I utilized two techniques that worked extremely well for me. The first technique was mirco-writing during the week.

I began writing whenever I could in increments of 5 to 15 minutes. I did this before going to work, during my coffee and lunch breaks, and before bed. Every spare, and sometimes odd, minute during the day counted towards my writing productivity. A sentence here and there eventually adds up to a paragraph and then a page. This meant that I took my notebook or laptop everywhere. The second thing that helped me was to be intentional about writing and making it a part of my daily routine rather than a chore.

I tend to do a lot of my writing early in the morning when my family is still asleep. I typically wake up at 4am, grab breakfast and then get to my computer to begin writing. Some may prefer to write in the evening, at a coffee shop, or library. The time and location do not matter as long as writing becomes a part of your daily schedule.

So start taking advantage of every spare minute and make writing a daily habit. You may be writing in sound-bites, which may feel different at first, but you will be writing and doing so regularly.

So to recap, here are the three things that you should do:

  1. Practice micro-writing. Identify pockets of 5 to 15mins during daily schedule to make incremental writing.
  2. Take a notebook, tablet or a laptop everywhere you go.
  3. Be intentional about your writing. Make it a part of your daily routine and be consistent about writing something every day.

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