Why You Need (and Deserve) an Academic Coach

By Kel Weinhold, TPII Productivity Coach

Getting published in academic journals is hard.

Not only does it take the heavy lifting of research and writing, but grabbing the golden ring of a published article in a top journal also requires the knowledge to navigate the unwritten rules and expectations of your field and its journal editors.

So, the question is, why do academics, unlike others in almost any field where success is based on application of talent, insist on going it alone? Why do they deny themselves the assistance that their professional peers in other fields take as standard.

Doctors, lawyers, architects, CPAs, they all take part in continuing education. In fact, most of them are actually required to seek continuing education to maintain their professional credentials.

Athletes, the very best athletes in the world, work every day with a coach. Serena Williams is arguably the greatest athlete of all time, and she got to the top with both exceptional talent AND daily coaching.

Yet, here stands the academic. Often the smartest kid in the room, but rarely taught how to apply that genius to producing the one thing that exemplifies her or his success. Would we expect Serena to win a record 23 Grand Slam singles titles by insisting that she “should” have been able to perfect her serve with only occasional comments from trusted friends? Or, say, with intermittent attention from a teacher who gets no particular recognition or capital from helping her succeed?

We don’t think so.

That’s why Developmental Editor Dr. Jane Jones (from Up In Consulting) and Productivity Coach Kel Weinhold (from The Professor is In) created The Art of the Article — to coach academics with step-by-step instruction in conceptualizing, organizing, and writing an article manuscript. Instruction that academic writers can return to time and again as they move forward toward their goals.

Here are the top five reasons you need (and deserve) coaching:

  1. Reduce your chance of rejection
    • One sure way to lose a game is to fail to understand the basic skills needed, and the rules. Many new academics lack a basic grasp of the fundamental practices and rules of academic journals, and end up making unforced errors that lead to rejection. Art of the Article teaches you the system and shows you step-by-step how to execute what editors want.
  2. Increase your motivation
    • When the going gets tough, the successful turn to a support team. Having access 24/7 to professional guidance can help you to keep moving forward, even when things are challenging. In addition to 50 lessons with specific guidance based on Jane and Kel’s extensive experience as academic editors and coaches, Art of the Article includes daily reminder emails and monthly motivational webinars. Access to the material does not expire, so you can keep coming back.
  3. Reduce isolation and thus procrastination
    • The isolation of the academy can be debilitating. Just like working out regularly, a healthy writing practice is more likely to happen when you feel like someone is joining you on the journey. The Art of the Article includes access to a private social media group where you can ask questions and seek encouragement. 
  4. Gain insight into destructive habits and how to overcome them
    • We all develop habits that turn into barriers to achieving our goals. And without guidance, it can be almost impossible to see a way around them. Art of the Article includes daily coaching videos on common barriers to success and tools for overcoming them.
  5. Stop wasting time: 
    • Just like spending hours sitting at a piano won’t make you a better pianist without some kind of guidance, spending hours at a computer trying to write an article without instruction will waste your time and deplete your energy. The Art of the Article provides client-tested, efficient techniques to maximize your efforts and, in turn, improve your results.

No coach, advisor or mentor can do what you are not willing to do for yourself, but they can support and encourage you to reach your potential. The Art of the Article provides the knowledge, resources, guidance, training and skills  – in short, the coaching – that will allow you to dominate Wimbledon (errr, we mean, get your next manuscript published!).

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Why You Need (and Deserve) an Academic Coach — 1 Comment

  1. You ask “why do academics, unlike others in almost any field where success is based on application of talent, insist on going it alone?” Certainly a lot of that comes from our training: we’re brought up on the myth of the isolated, self-sufficient, lone genius. And your resources and encouragement really help those who can to overcome the legacy of that myth.

    But the other part isn’t something you (or other academic coaches) are in a good position to address: coaching isn’t cheap, and so many of us are grossly underpaid. I’d **love** to be coached toward tenure and toward more publications, but I can’t even pay the monthly interest that accrues on my student loans. I don’t know if I’ll ever pay down any of the principal.

    So maybe if folks can get coached sooner, they can get better jobs so they can afford the coaching in their tenure-line positions? Sure, again, for those who can afford it. I come from a working-class family that never stood in the way of education, but sure couldn’t help in any financial way.

    I don’t want to pooh-pooh the excellent work you all do here. I’ve used the heck out of the resources on this blog and in the book, and I have no doubt those resources got me the job I currently have. I would like for there to be more conversation about practical ways to do better in the job so we can have more success, materially and otherwise. I am stuck between two true statements: coaches shouldn’t work for free and some of the faculty who most need coaching can least afford it.

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