Are you a tenure track professor who is struggling to reclaim your writing life from the derailment of COVID? Are you too exhausted to figure out how to prioritize writing? Do you have a book chapter languishing because the negative voices in your head are drowning out the value of the words on the page? Are you teaching on a contingent contract, devoting your limited time to everything but the publication that you need to go on the market? Are you grad student looking for that final push over the finish line with little support and a mountain of doubt? Is work life balance so far out of reach that you don’t even bother any more?
It Starts With the Truth
Academia is steeped in the lie that nothing is ever enough, that you should always be doing more, like every good academic already is. Maintaining a productive writing life in the face of that level of demand in the ongoing shadow of a global pandemic is not only exhausting, it’s an effort based on a lie. The TRUTH is that most people in the academy struggle mightily to overcome the 1) emotional, 2) psychological, and 3) logistical barriers to a productive writing life. In other words, if you are struggling, you are the norm. The answer is not work harder. The answer is find a work process that matches your actual life.
Unstuck: The Art of Productivity helps you dismantles the lie and build a system that works for you
Unstuck is a self-directed course divided into Twelve Steps to Productivity (Think recovery from bad habits!). Each step moves you methodically through the steps of an academic project while challenging you to examine your writing process and identify your mental roadblocks.
Then We Develop New Habits
You will 1) effectively and efficiently tackle the key parts of an academic project, 2) acquire the tools and practices of a productive academic writing practice and 3) apply the new practice to producing future academic publications. In other words, you write your project AND rewrite your negative habits.
Unstuck can be done from scratch or with a rough draft. The only thing you need is a desire to break through being stalled and get to submitted.
Find What Works, Build Community
Unstuck membership includes access to daily coaching videos, blog posts, checklists, and live webinars with Productivity Coach Kel Weinhold as well as interaction with a private Unstuck social network and small writing groups.
(NOTE: The content is “dripped” M-F over 12 weeks, but your access to the course and the community does not expire.
Start the week off with a plan!
A new session of Unstuck: The Art of Productivity begins each Monday.
Registration deadline is the Friday before at 5 p.m. Pacific.
Click here to join Unstuck
Cost: $600 Purchase here.
Note: This is price for those with academic funding. If you do not have funding and have limited economic resources that make the price prohibitive to participation, please feel free to use this 50% off coupon.
Find out how to ask your department for funds.
“UNSTUCK completely rewired my physical and emotional approach to writing. It taught me how to set-up an everyday practice that in the long-term will allow me to reach my writing goals without the guilt and drama that used to surround writing for me, and this in itself is a miracle. It is the single best investment I could have made to teach myself the tools I need to attain tenure.”
It is no exaggeration to state that Unstuck has changed my academic life. I was ready to leave academia as toxic working practices were taking over, and I had imported self-doubt and anxiety into my writing practice. I believed that writing was, and would always be, a miserable experience for me. Unstuck changed all that: I treat writing as an automatic part of my job (like service and teaching) and no longer attach unnecessary emotional baggage to it, or the inevitable rejections and set backs that are part of academic life. Unstuck has enabled me to reclaim writing as a pleasure that fits within the 9-5 contractual obligations and not within holidays, weekends and in place of my actual life. The core benefits of Unstuck has been a rewiring of my writing brain, and a recognition of where I have not always been my own best advocate (setting down those rocks, and staying in my own lane). I now have a regular writing practice (5 days per week); i produce more work than I ever have in my 13 year career (since Unstuck in 8 months I have submitted 3 journal articles and a book chapter). Most of all, I am happier in my job. It was the worth every penny!
First and foremost, I am much more honest to myself about the time I need to write stuff. I plan much more realistically than before and connected to this is learning to say no to invitations to write chapters or articles.
– Second, I discovered the pleasure of starting the morning with a delicious cup of coffee in the café where I try to start the day writing (when possible). In other words, I have learnt to save time for writing and to have a space for writing different from my office, where interruptions are recurrent.
– Third, I take more care of myself, I sleep more hours, do more sport.
– Fourth, I gained a cool friend from the small group with whom I talk every week over skype despite the 6 or 7-hour time difference. We talk about academic writing projects, we exchange tips and establish SMART writing goals but we also talk about personal stuff. We know each other pretty well by now and hope to meet each other in person pretty soon.
– Five, I started a weekly writing meeting with a colleague in my city whom I would probably have never met without Unstuck. And we commit to one hour of writing every week.
I totally recommend the programme, it definitely changes one’s approach to writing.
When I started the UNSTUCK program in October 2017, I came into it with a certain level of skepticism. In fact, I believe I sent you an email stating that I did not think the program was for me. You convinced me otherwise and I stayed with it until the very last lesson in December. I have little doubt that the experiences of others in the program differed from mine, but for me, the videos that accompanied each lesson became a fountain of reassurance and inspiration. So, on January 13th I received notice from the registrar at the university that my Ph.D. in Psychology had been officially conferred! Please accept my sincere appreciation for helping me believe in myself to the extent that I was able to achieve such an important academic milestone.
Former ABD, now PhD
I joined Unstuck last summer. Since then, I have submitted my book manuscript for review and submitted an article manuscript for review. Prior to that I was in a book revising funk for about a year. still tying up loose ends with the book and article but inching towards writing new material too. Most of all I have moved into the slow and steady wins the race philosophy thanks to Unstuck – without the feeling of panic or impending doom I once felt.
I chose a project in July that was competing with two others and is still in progress, my book proposal. I learned from Kel that it’s incredibly difficult and frustrating to try to keep three projects in the air at the same time.
That said, I finished 2 of the 3, a book review and the critical introduction to a special issue of a journal I have co-edited. I’m really proud of the second. And did this all while adjusting to being the new chair of my department (44 faculty members total).
In the seven months before I joined Unstuck, I fretted a lot. And didn’t submit anything other than a conference abstract or two.
I now take weekends completely off and don’t look at work stuff after I get home. I also write everyday, sometimes only morning pages, but that’s writing.
I’m an assistant professor on the tenure track. I participated in “Unstuck” over a year ago and I continue to practice things I learned from the meetings and activities.
I particularly benefited from what I learned about time management. I used to work on projects in long, unpleasant jags that would be too unfocused and haphazard to move a piece forward in a clear, strategic way. I don’t do that anymore, and have gotten better at putting in short, focused effort on projects so I can to move forward coherently and with purpose. In the past, I didn’t trust myself to get things done unless I worked on them in a compulsive and unsustainable way. I now know from experience that if I break a task into achievable pieces, it is inevitable that I will finish the job.
As a result of revising parts of my approach to time and work, I am much more efficient than I used to be. At the same time I have a work-life balance that is sustainable. This year I wrote four grant proposals, published two articles, designed a new course, began a new research project, passed my second-year review, and began work on a book proposal. I also started a new hobby, made it to the gym regularly, and invested time in my recently minted marriage. I work hard, but I do not feel overwhelmed all the time.
Most significantly, I found “Unstuck” to be a great counterpoint to the tendencies that I absorbed in graduate school – overwork, insecurity, and unhealthy identification with work products instead of process. Kellee really understands the psychological and emotional dynamics that make academics unproductive, and she has solid and practical suggestions for replacing them in your own work process. Additionally, she has a well-founded critique of how academic institutions encroach on the time and happiness of grad students and faculty, and her productivity coaching is not just about being more productive and successful. An important goal of “Unstuck” is becoming a mature and self-respecting person with good boundaries – not just a better worker.
I just wanted to drop you a line to honor how incredibly helpful the Unstuck program has been. I can hardly believe that in the last 16 months I have:
1. Taken a sprawling dissertation and brought it to the point where I am now looking at the copy-editing notes from the publisher;
2. Going over final edits for a chapter in an edited volume, the proposal for which I wrote in mid May 2018;
3. Preparing to attend an international conference to present a scholarly paper (a first for me, and this is a top-tier venue), the seeds of which have been germination for almost 2 years, but which really took off over this past summer.
4. Awaiting decision on grant application for said international travel, which, short though it was, required a somewhat substantial narrative.
This is just incredible productivity considering I carry a 3/3 load in an environment that is not particularly supportive of scholarship (although it makes high demands).
I read about UnStuck at a critical stage of my PhD program. The timing of the UnStuck course coincided the approval of a second extension for my PhD program. I was exhausted. Over the previous six years I juggled responsibilities as a part time PhD student, a full-time non-tenure track faculty, and a Faculty administrator. My original plan was to complete the PhD in 3 years. Get in. Get out. That didn’t happen. I felt like I failed. Even though I was determined to focus on writing, even when teaching or other responsibilities were no longer in the way, other burning issues emerged (anything but writing). I had to admit it to myself: I was stuck.
I decided to register for the first UnStuck course beginning in May 2017. The course provided structure, inspiration, and support. Over the first few weeks, I identified practices that were preventing me from meeting my goals, such as binge writing and not scheduling time off. After 2 weeks in the course I began to enjoy writing again. I was writing each day and accomplishing other tasks. I was meeting regularly with a small group as well as interacting with the larger group taking the course. The feelings of failure and isolation diminished.
By July, I wrote the final three chapters and submitted a full draft of my dissertation. I completed my PhD a few months later. The UnStuck course created an environment I needed to achieve this goal and feel very,
very good about it. For me it was all about community. I revisit the course often and remain in contact with members of my small group. My approach to writing continues to evolve.
Thank you Kellee!
Former ABD, now PhD
Kellee is, by far, the best mentor and writing coach I’ve ever had. The UNSTUCK program has encouraged me to reach out to colleagues, it’s provided me with an excellent group of scholars who offer daily support and encouragement and it’s forced me to be honest about what I can and should accomplish this summer. Overall, the last 6 weeks have been (realistically) productive and a pleasure. Can’t say enough good things about Kel’s program and guidance.
I have always had issues with writing to the extent that I have questioned my choice of profession. Last year, which was my second year in a TT position, was specially challenging due to some life events. When the opportunity came to take this seminar, I took it with some enthusiasm but also doubt. I am a professional slacker! Can a weekly hour long writing workshop actually change habits that took almost a decade and a half to solidify? The answer is a very strong yes! I have written and worked more on my research in the last six weeks than in the last several months combined. The wonderful coach that Kel is, the very structured approach to writing she teaches, the methods I learned on how to approach writing when it appears to be a very angry Hulk, have indeed changed my work habits. I still get anxiety about writing, I still get the nagging feeling that my work is not good enough, but now, I work as opposed to just worrying and being anxious about tenure. When I read my paper now, I see progress. It is not a paper I have been sitting on for a year now, it is a project that is getting close to submission. I write and I make lists and approach the paper from an entirely new and much improved perspective. I have also noticed an improvement in my non-work related habits. I have just become so much more proactive about so many other things.
I might actually stop seeing my therapist as regularly so it saves money too!!