Episode 106: A Fresh Start in 2022

Ep: 106

Have you reflected on what you learned last year, and chosen a direction for 2022? I’m sharing all the changes that have been set in motion for me and my business and where we’re going from here. 

MORE DETAILS

Do you think of the new year as a fresh start? Maybe you’re just ready to close the chapter on 2021 and move on. I get that! It might be cliche to talk about fresh starts in the new year, but I’m going to do it anyway. I hope you’ll join me in reflecting on what worked, what didn’t, and where we’re going from here.

A Look Back at 2021

What a year! I want to share some of the highs and lows with you. 

Highlights

  • The podcast turned 2 years old, and grew to almost 120,000 unique downloads. That’s 20% growth over 2020! Yay! {As always, if you love the podcast please rate and review it on Apple iTunes to help more people like you find it!}
  • I got a book contract, and I wrote a book! (Click here to pre-order!)
  • I was chosen as the 2021 Scholar for the Helen Glass Research Symposium, hosted by the College of Nursing at the University of Manitoba, and delivered a keynote event about writing and publishing. Shout out to Tina West, a listener of this podcast, who invited me and worked with the committee to create a really beautiful and meaningful event. 

{I’m planning to do more keynote events this year! If your school is interested, write to us at writing@cathymazak.com}

“Think back on 2021…think about things that were great, think about things that were not so great…then cast your vision for 2022.” -Cathy Mazak

Challenges

  • Our business went through a pretty rough time. We had grown our team in an effort to help more people find and enroll in our writing and publication-focused professional development programs, but our enrollment didn’t grow enough to sustain a larger team. So, we had to cut back and let people go, which felt awful. This was a serious growing pain moment for me as a CEO. 

After getting through that bottleneck this summer, we have come up smaller but stronger, and more focused than ever before.

What we had to do to keep the company afloat and to create and deliver the most outstanding professional development programs was to simplify. This became our company’s word of the year midway through 2021, and has highly influenced changes we’re making in 2022. 

  • We closed the I Should Be Writing Facebook group.The group had grown to 16,000 people by the fall of 2021. As you can imagine, it was a lot of work to manage it, and with everything we learned about FB in 2021, we felt an increasing dissonance with our company values.

As a team we felt that Facebook was not the right space to be engaging in a meaningful way with academics. But this podcast is exactly the appropriate platform for that, so stay tuned for ways to keep connected. And we will continue to develop real, meaningful community inside our programs.

“What we had to do…was simplify.” -Cathy Mazak

Looking Ahead to 2022

We are excited about the year to come and have some great things in the works. We continue to hone our focus, and live out our values as a company, and we hope you’ll join us for the ride! Here are some things you can expect in the year to come.

Podcast Changes

  • New Hosts!

We’re starting to project outwardly what has been happening in the company inwardly. That means my wonderful coaches,Gina Robinson, Rocío Caballero-Gill and Thea Racelis will be joining me in hosting this podcast! 

I started this business and this podcast as a solopreneur, and even after Gina and Rocío joined the team, I wasn’t sure what the business would look like moving forward, so it continued to pretty much just be me. But as the business evolved, Gina and Rocío weren’t just helping me implement the programs, we were co-creating the programs together. And last summer, another coach, Thea Racelis, joined us in that process.

It just makes sense for you to get the wonderful perspective of these fantastic coaches firsthand on the podcast, so stay tuned! I can’t wait for you to get to know these amazing women better, and get a taste for the skills, creativity, and expertise they each bring to the table.

  • New Name!

We’ve decided to change the name of the podcast to The Academic Writing Amplified Podcast. Here’s why: the title of the podcast needs to reflect who we really serve, and “womxn” wasn’t doing that. 

As a company, we feel that it is extremely important for listeners to know that we are talking to womxn AND non-binary academics. We don’t want to emphasize an artificial gender binary. You’ll always hear this in our messaging. (And by the way, we use an ‘x’ in the word womxn to signal our alignment with intersectional feminism. We are language people and we are open to changes in language, but for now, this is how we signal that intention.)

A note on the word “amplified”:  the intent behind this wording choice is to help you make your voice louder in academia through publication, but it also has another layer of meaning. 

As you know if you’ve listened before, my husband is Puerto Rican and we have lived in Puerto Rico with our three kids for over 15 years. The word “amplify” has a Spanish cognate:“amplio” that means something deeper. Instead of just meaning bigger or louder, “amplio” means spacious and comfortable. So when we talk about “academic writing amplified,” to me this means both making your voice louder through publications and doing so with spaciousness. 

So I want you to know that “Amplified” is very intentionally chosen. We want your voice to get bigger, but not by working more hours, or driving yourself into the ground. We truly want you to have it all: more influence on your field, more control over your career, AND a relationship to your work that recognizes your humanity and emphasizes your need for restoration and spaciousness. 

Program Changes–Focusing In

First of all, know that the podcast is the outreach arm of our business, our way to connect with our greater audience, and it will always be free and provide value!

In 2022 we continue to simplify and focus in order to provide the best professional development programs for you while staying true to our values. We don’t perpetuate systems of overwork, in our programming or in our business. To that end, here is what our programs will look like moving forward. 

  • We are becoming super focused on womxn and non-binary professors in our program offerings. That doesn’t mean that if you are a graduate student, or a post-doc, or an adjunct professor that this podcast is not for you. But, we will focus our program offerings more narrowly on professional development programs for professors. 

We offer three programs: 

  • Navigate is our flagship publication program for all womxn and non-binary professors.
  •  Amplify and Elevate are our career development programs from pre- and post-tenure professors. 

We’ve made the choice in 2022 to focus on assessing, developing, and improving our three core writing, publication, and professional development programs rather than creating any new ones. And to do this successfully, we will focus on developing programs for ONE audience: ambitious and exhausted womxn and non-binary professors.

We are discontinuing enrollment in our Momentum program. If you are currently enrolled, you will be able to finish out the year, but we won’t be adding to that program. Instead, we’ll be looking for ways to incorporate key aspects of it into our other offerings in the future. 

If you’re not ready to join a program, we invite you to participate as much as possible in free workshops and this podcast.

Book Update!

We’re getting so close to having this book available to all of you! I’m so excited to say that pre-orders for the ebook version are now open! The last few steps (approving the interior design and then the page proofs) should happen in the coming weeks, and I will have copies in my hands in January! 

I’m so excited to share this book with you, friends. If you pre-order the ebook now, you will also get an invite to a free exclusive workshop I’m offering on how creating a writing plan helps get you published, and the 3 stages of planning that lead to publication.

PLUS if you buy through me, the ebook comes with a digital workbook covering mindset, techniques and exercises all designed to help you get writing! 

Thank you for going on this book journey with me. Here is the link to pre-order: https://cathymazak.com/ebook-pre-sale/.

Here’s to a 2022 full of amplified voices, focused impact, and spaciousness in our lives and careers!

 

Connect with me:

Facebook Page
Follow me on Clubhouse: @cathymazak 

 

Send me Writer's Retreat updates by email!

Send me Writer's Retreat updates by email!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Get Your Cheat Sheet!

Get the PDF Cheat Sheet right to your inbox!

Check your email to find your cheat sheet!

Skip to content
We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.
Accept
Privacy Policy