Making a Scholarship Plan for Written Work
Note: this is aimed at journal article submission based on the RSVPs of attendees, but many tips apply to those writing books, blog posts, or editing volumes.
Where are you in this process?
- I have an idea for a publication/showing/performance
- I have a piece of work that is started
- I have a draft/mostly complete work
What is a next step/ goal for the next 3 months?
- What are mini steps/goals to accomplish that?
- What would you need to do to accomplish this?
- What is a step you can take in the next 7 days to move this forward?
Tips for making progress/ideas for CAST support (if interested):
- Share your work. Schedule a time with a buddy to review a draft or get a few people to commit to a writing group. If meeting with a partner, I recommend 90 minutes, 2x a month or, if that’s just too hard, 1x a month (I promise 2x a month is better!). Give each person’s work 40 minutes (read 20 minutes, discuss 20 minutes). You have a little buffer for coffee/chatting about something outside the work. Set a timer!
- Create some accountability. Maybe you don’t need someone to read your work and give feedback, maybe you just need to dread a weekly phone call that gives each call participant 10-15 minutes to state: 1) my goals for last week were _______, 2) I did/did not meet them, 3) if I didn’t meet them, it’s because of _______ and 4) my writing goals for next week are _______.
- Write-on-Site. Another way to get work done is to have a designated time per week that is just dedicated to writing, but where people expect you to show. CAST is happy to supply the space (and even some coffee).
- Work on your project daily: No really. Even if it’s 10-15 minutes, have a time where your door is shut, your phone is off, your email is closed, and you just take care of some aspect of your project. The satisfaction of forward progress builds momentum. Try this: Block 30 minutes at the beginning of your day BEFORE you check emails, and promise yourself you’ll use at least 10 minutes of it toward your scholarship. After that 10 minutes, you can walk away and use the other 20 differently if you want -but you’ll find that many days you will fill this 20 or 30 minutes because you pick up steam. Always be sure to leave yourself a note at the end of each work session with where you were and what you’d do next.
- Know your target publication and prepare them for your submission. Are you aiming for the top or are you trying to get this out into something generally respectable? Is what your presenting appropriate for this journal? Check author guidelines, previous editions, and/or email the editor (yes, you can do this!). In writing to the editor, be complementary about their publication and have reasons lined up why you think your article could be a good fit for that specific journal – but ask if they agree and think it would be a work that could be considered. This puts you on the radar with the editor, and sometimes your piece may be something they’re looking for as they prepare a future themed edition. As you work on your piece, tailor your work to the author guidelines for this journal to save you time. Yes, if it isn’t accepted, you’ll need to reformat, but that’s doable. Ask for help if you need it, CAST is here to support you! If you want to request a consultation email firstname.lastname@example.org!