New Writing Mindset Webinar Series

This summer I will be running a three-part series on improving your writing mindset via Proficio.

Writing is hard! Creating draft after draft, editing, responding to feedback – none of this is glamorous. Rewards are distant and producing good quality writing requires deep concentration and focus. Yet, our academic careers and reputation depend on our ability to produce manuscripts, a thesis, books, grant proposals and other forms of writing to communicate our research and contribute to a growing body of knowledge within our discipline.

The aim of this webinar workshop series is to provide a safe space to think about your writing goals, where successes and failures are part of the process. We encounter many challenges in our writing. These challenges often stem from psychological barriers which prevent us from moving forward.


Academic careers today are often dominated by performance measurement and a culture of long and unsociable working hours, constant rejection and a ‘publish or perish’ mindset. Whilst acknowledging that these systemic pressures exist, it is important to prioritise our mental health and wellbeing.

Each workshop will be useful on its own, or you can sign up to all three sessions via the links below:

25th June 2021: Writing Mindset Series (1): Overcoming psychological barriers to academic writing

In this workshop Dr Danielle Tucker will share her experience of overcoming psychological barriers to writing. We will use a cognitive behavioural coaching approach to help you avoid procrastinating, overcome perfectionism, become more resilient to writing setbacks, and manage stress.

Benefits of Attendance:

  • Help you create a nourishing writing mindset which positions writing as a top priority for your career, but does so in a why that is empowering rather than threatening.
  • Sharing the experience of writing with others demystifies the process of writing. It is an opportunity to share challenges and overcome barriers experienced by many.
  • Help you develop resilience-building strategies to help you stay on track with your writing journey

23rd July 2021: Writing Mindset Series (2): Developing resilience in academic writing 

As a junior scholar, one professor once told me that the secret to publishing a lot was submitting a lot – the more you share you work with others, the faster you will improve and find what works. Putting our writing out into the world is hard. Whether that is submitting a paper to a conference or journal or sending it to a supervisor or peer for feedback, the process makes us vulnerable. It opens us up to the prospect of rejection – that someone will tell us that our work is not good enough, that we are not good enough! This is an intimidating process, and an emotional one.

In this workshop we will explore resilience as a process of managing emotions. Using cognitive behavioural coaching techniques, we will examine some of the thoughts we have about rejection and criticism and why these impact us so profoundly. This workshop will help you to develop your own resilience-building strategies to help you to increase your tolerance of dealing with frustrations and stay on track with your writing journey.

Benefits of Attendance:

  • Increase your tolerance of dealing with frustrations without the threat of failure.
  • Sharing the experience of writing and receiving feedback with others demystifies the process of writing.
  • Help you develop resilience-building strategies to help you stay on track with your writing journey

20th August 2021: Writing Mindset Series (3): Creating habits and routines to support your writing

Writing goals require persistence and consistency. This is challenging because progress can be difficult to see and after a while, our motivation wains. In this session we will explore why the way we feel about these small actions (habits) may not be doing justice to the power that they have over our ability to achieve.

There are many schools of thought on what constitutes a ‘regular’ writing practice but we all have different constraints on our time, space, resources and level of focus. This workshop will explore a range of different strategies for building writing into our everyday lives (not necessarily every day or even every week). Building and sustaining impactful habits and routines, not only for writing, but to support our mental and physical well-being, will improve personal effectiveness and boost self-regulation.

Benefits of Attendance:

  • Help you develop routines that are rewarding and inspiring to maintain a consistent and regular writing practice.
  • Increase self-awareness of how to develop time management strategies which work for our own individual lifestyles and constraints.
  • Identify thoughts and emotions which may drain your willpower, so that you can develop routines which better reflect your values and feel rewarded every time you complete them

Further information

This course is run and managed through Proficio, at the University of Essex. This platform hosts short courses open to postgraduate research students, academic staff and professionals at universities and other organisations around the world.

This session is applicable whatever career stage you are at. As you will come to see the ‘writing process’ contains many parts, so whether you are a PhD student working on your initial ideas, reviewing literature, in the final stages of writing up your thesis, or a postdoc working on future journal articles and grant proposals, you can benefit from this session. 

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