Episode 24: Three Steps to Achieving Clarity So That You Can Write and Publish More

Ep: 24

What one thing is key to writing and publishing more? The answer is clarity. Without it, you’re inviting overwork, overwhelm, and a strain on your creative output. 

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In this first episode of a three part series, I’m showing you how getting clarity around your career goals not only turns overwhelm into purposeful work, but it actually kick starts your ability to write and publish more. In order to find this kind of crystal clarity, you need an academic mission statement. In all of my programs, this is where we start, with good reason! 

In my Amplify program for pre-tenure women, we use a 9 spoke framework, with 3 main areas of focus. The first of the areas we focus on is clarity. Getting clear on your career purpose helps you define who you are as an academic, and where you’re going.

Check out this graphic to get an idea about our framework. We work through 3 steps to achieve true clarity.

Amplify Framework Cathy Mazak

3 Steps to Achieving Clarity

Step 1: Academic Mission Statement

If you don’t have an academic mission statement, you need one. This is a one sentence statement that encapsulates your mission and vision as an academic. It’s the standard you’ll use to measure every opportunity and request against.  Check out this blog post for a full description and step-by-step process to create your own using my template.

Here is the basic template, followed by my own statement from 2 years ago:

  • I use _____ to study_____ in order to _______. 
  • I use ethnographic methods to study translanguaging in Puerto Rican University classrooms in order to normalize bilingual content learning and inform theories of bilingualism. 

If you find it hard to say no to every opportunity or request made of you, your career feels lackluster and unfocused, or you are suffering from “activities creep”, it’s because you don’t have a strong point of focus to measure against and align with. This is what a mission statement can help you with! 

If you are having trouble distilling your mission statement, or feel like you need to have TWO mission statements, I want you to dig deeper into this blog post, and remember: you must align all your activities to one focus if you want to experience the fullness of your academic purpose. 

Don’t be afraid to really reflect on what you WANT. You will find that you make the biggest impact and experience the most fulfillment if you are working in ways that make you happy!

“What do I WANT my academic mission statement to be?”

Step 2: Milestones

Once you’ve drilled down to the core of what your academic career is all about and come up with your one line mission statement, the next step we use in our programs for achieving clarity is to map out your milestones. In this step, we help you to:

  • Create a unique timeline of milestones that is specific to you and your mission
  • Align your activities to your mission
  • Make a plan for how and when to change or add to your activities

 

Write More Workshop:

To experience this process hands-on and in person with me and my coaches, we have a rare opportunity for you to join us, one day only, in Philadelphia on April 9, 2020 for the Write More Workshop! 

You’ll get the rubrics for creating clarity in your career that we normally only include with our Academic Writing Roadmap course and Amplify program, as well as a walk-through to help you use them and put them into practice. There are only 30 spots at this workshop, so don’t wait to sign up. I hope to meet some of you in person! Click here for all the details.

Step 3: Strategic Pipeline

The last step in our process is to create a strategic pipeline. After your mission statement is in place, and you’ve mapped out milestones for your own unique journey, you’ll need to take a zoomed-out, birds eye look at your goals to help you decide how to get where you’re going. As always, writing is at the center. This helps you suss out things like:

  • Who do I want to be in conversation with through my work? Which publications should I choose to accomplish that?
  • Where do I put my efforts so that my research flows out in a way that accomplishes my goals (to meet tenure requirements, get a grant, etc.)?
  • What strategies will I employ to meet my milestones?

When you Have Clarity

Just like anything, getting clear on your academic mission statement, creating milestones and strategic pipeline take time. But putting in the time is so worth it! Aligning with your mission means:

  • Culling things from your schedule that don’t line up, and not feeling guilty about it
  • Freeing up time and mind space for those things that will move the needle on your vision
  • You won’t feel pulled in a thousand directions. Even if you end up with more on your plate, it feels better to be doing things that align with your vision and mission.
  • Writing is easier to center. Everything feels like it’s contributing, rather than pulling you away from writing.

“You feel busy because you’re doing things that aren’t in line with your mission.”

 

Check Out Our Programs to Help You Gain Clarity

Academic Women’s Writing Roadmap course: Opening for enrollment in the first week of May. This program is for anyone who wants to gain clarity and revitalize their writing and publishing pipelines. 

Amplify Faculty Writing Accelerator: Enrolling now. This program is for pre-tenure women who want going up for tenure to feel more like inspiration and less like hazing. Click here to find out all the details about this year-long program.

Elevate: Running now. This program is for post-tenure women who want to continue to gain clarity, work toward their goals, and hone in on their “zone of genius”. Learn more here.

And don’t forget!… Want to move the needle on your writing? Join us in Philly for our one day Write More Workshop on April 9th! Click here for all the details.

Join us in our Facebook group, I Should Be Writing, and share your academic mission statement!

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