You will have hundreds upon hundreds of "meetings" scheduled as faculty.
But no one, absolutely no one, will schedule your time to write and think.
Here is why, as an academic, you must schedule your writing time:
Writing is ThinkingWhen I taught writing, I always told my students that writing is thinking. I still believe that.
While meeting with other scholars and faculty is exciting, fun, and invigorating, you still need to have a time where you are constantly touching base with your research, your thoughts, your ideas, and your questions.
Staying grounded in your work during your writing time will allow you focus in all your "meeting" interactions with colleagues so that you can make STRATEGIC connections to your work and, of course, how your work contributes to the larger projects around you.
If you are not grounded in your writing and thinking (and constantly refining it), then it is easy to get lost in what other people around you are trying to do, even paralyzed not knowing where to go.
Writing, Even Academic Writing, Can Be TherapeuticI spent 20 minutes touching base with my academic writing. No internet. No email. No texts. No one knocking on my door.
And I learned something new: This quiet revisit with my research fed my "research soul" which, up to this point, had been sucked dry in the midst of all the "noise" of new information thrust upon me the first few weeks as new faculty.
In summary, this time of "quiet" was refreshingly therapeutic, and I ended with a new vision and direction for my week. And it took just 20 minutes.
Writing is What is ExpectedI've said this before, but I will say it again. The irony of academia - especially if you are on tenure-track and/or trying to write your dissertation to graduate - is that you will be evaluated on your writing productivity. Yet, no one will give you the space and time to write.
Writing time and space is something you must create for yourself.
So think about this:
If you know that writing = evaluation of academic productivity, then shouldn't you prioritize writing? And if writing is a priority, then, it should be scheduled or it won't get done.
Closing ThoughtsI must admit that I wrote this blog for a selfish reason: I needed to remind myself of the importance of scheduling my writing time because I had not visited my academic writing in several weeks.
But, it happened. It is never to late to start and/or get back on the band-wagon. I am living proof.
And may I add one thing? The reason I wrote for 20 minutes today was because an old writing buddy touched base with me yesterday on the phone. As I was bemoaning not having written, my writing buddy encouraged me to write for just 15-20 minutes a day, and I agreed to send her my writing log at the end of the week. So, let's also not forget the power of accountability in our writing!
Happy writing time!