New Year Writing Reconnect

A five-week group coaching and workshop series with K. Anne Amienne, Scholars and Writers Consulting.

Applications are welcome from any ladder faculty member with a primary or fully joint appointment in an FAS department or program.

This weekly online coaching group helps faculty members transform their writing practice and make progress on what they really want to achieve. Participants will create routines to write more regularly and rituals to make writing more enjoyable. They will learn to set clearer boundaries and more motivating goals. They discover how to think like a writer as well as a scholar. And all as part of a group of engaged academic writers. Participants will be given targeted readings and a chance to try out new habits before the group next meets. They will leave meetings feeling more energized to write for a designated time each day and to engage with “big idea” writing with less worry, fewer distractions, and greater satisfaction. These habits will help set participants up for success throughout their academic career and will help them become better writers as well as better administrators, mentors, and teachers.

The group will meet for one hour a week for five weeks, beginning the week of January 10.

To indicate your interest in participating, please submit the application form by January 5, 2022. Space is very limited.

Group session topics

Group sessions may focus on the following topics, depending on participant interest:

1. Motivate Yourself

We begin by thinking about two ways to get motivated: self-talk and setting a routine. We’ll exorcise that self-defeating idea that particularly plagues self-talk in highly competitive environments: “I’m not doing enough.” Then we’ll focus on why routines help create a greater sense of calm and focus to make it possible for writers to do what they want to do. Participants will overcome the idea that writing is either all or nothing and instead learn how to make the most of smaller snatches of time before mapping out their own routine for the next several weeks.

2. Set Goals

Faculty next learn how to set motivating scholarly goals (that go beyond the corporate-speak of SMART). Participants leave with a clear idea of what they want to achieve over the next year and a clear plan for making progress on those big goals each week of the workshop.

3. Turn Your Routine into a Ritual

Having practiced their routines for two weeks, faculty will take it a step further by turning it into writing rituals that make getting words on the page something they look forward to rather than something associated with self-denial, discomfort, or guilt. Or something they easily abandon for other calls on their time. We’ll again wipe away any lingering worries that scholars must write in every available moment or feel shame for not doing so. Instead, faculty will create a more “sacred” time in which they commune with their writerly selves to generate greater focus and clearer purpose. We’ll also check in on everyone’s digital practices and make sure particpants know how to set boundaries with themselves and others so that they can do more of what they actually want to do and less of what is just a distracting habit or an unnecessary interruption.

4. Get Excited and Stay Calm

Building on the good habits of the first three weeks, this session shifts to help faculty develop a more productive mindset. They’ll come to terms with the idea that writing a book or a series of articles is hard work and that they will face difficulties, but that they can also overcome most barriers to making progress by changing how they think about those barriers. Participants will leave with a set of tools for turning anxiety into excitement, relaxing the mind before undertaking a focused stretch of writing, and regulating the highs and lows of academic writing.

5. Think of Yourself as a Writer

In our final session, we’ll dig into why it’s important to think of yourself as a writer and not just a scholar. We’ll start with “priming” and discover why successful writers avoid reading email or checking social media before writing. Participants will learn what it means to “read like a writer” in an academic context and discover how short daily or weekly reading exercises can make your first draft smoother, more polished, and better organized. Faculty learn to ask “what does my reader want?” rather than “what do I want to write?” Participants will walk away with the tools to feel more excited about the idea of being an intellectual engaged with big ideas.


Applications welcome from any ladder faculty member with a primary or fully joint appointment in an FAS department or program.

Application process

To indicate your interest in participating, please submit the application form by January 5, 2022. Space is very limited.