Solution to Writing Obstacle No. 45:
“My days seem to drift away doing other things.”
(This is a tough love post.)
I have noticed of some academics that they do not treat academia as a job—they live the lifestyle of the rich, just without the money.
They wake up at 10, spend one to two hours running or going to yoga class; do teaching prep for an hour or two; go have lunch with someone; run into someone else and talk departmental gossip for another hour; teach for an hour or two; then cook dinner, post on Facebook, fight on Twitter, watch late-night television shows until midnight; and go to bed.
If that’s you, stop messing around!
Start treating academia as your nine to five job. When people ask why you can’t pick them up at the airport or do brunch or go to spin class, say, “Day time is work time.”
And really make day time your work time. If morning meetings interfere with your writing time, tell people you don’t do morning meetings (you will still have to do some, likely, but it will cut down on them). If you cannot do lunches with others in 60 minutes, then stop doing lunch get togethers too. You have to protect your workday if you want to be a productive writer.
Feeling chastened? Good! Let’s get working.
Feeling like “I wish I had it that good to do so little!” I hear you.
Feeling depressed? Feelings follow actions; let’s get writing.
Solution to Writing Obstacle No. 45, in addition to the obstacles listed on page 32 of Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success (University of Chicago Press, 2019).