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Another CareFull Scholars “Curriculum”

Today’s topic is another from our CareFull Scholars “curriculum” where generative scholarly productivity and radical self-care are not antithetical but actually possible. We have touched briefly on the major aspects of our programs, writing every day, M-F for a minimum of 15 minutes, optimum of 30 minutes and creating structures of support (SOS). Based on our conversions over the next year we will keep updating and revising our curriculum outline. We will base the revisions on what we learn from scholars like you, who are ready to give this a try. So today we take up the idea of a writing log. I was talking to my colleague, Dr. Avis Jackson, who thought this to be a novel idea. Making a checklist, of course, is not a new concept. However, where do you keep your list of your writing projects and how do you keep up with them as they progress from idea to submission. The Structures of Support that may help with this are a daily writing log, a weekly planning time and quarterly taking stock. The ways to do each of these is an individual choice. My daily writing log is at the back of the PLANNER PAD. I have reproduced the year’s calendar with each day being a block. I write the current work’s name in pencil but when it is submitted or completed, I write that in red pencil. The goal is to have something marked in red pencil every month, at least one thing. There are arrows to indicate that the same piece of writing is taking up multiple days and some days are blank where I forgot to enter it but the red item MUST show up at least once, every thirty days. Another structure is the weekly planning time. I learned the importance of weekly planning time from the Faculty Success Program bootcamp. They suggest a weekly 30 minute dedicated time for planning your week. I learned from them the necessity of scheduling my writing time as a commitment or it won’t get done. I had a brilliant FSP coach who would take stock of her life, not annually, but quarterly. So now I do the same. I mark the days of the Spring and Fall equinox and the Summer and Winter solstice as days when nature is shifting from one thing to another. So, I reflect on whether I need to do the same. I ask myself what is working? And what is not working? I examine the evidence from my writing log and from my schedule. (Personal care activities should NOT be rare!). I carefully consider if this current trajectory is propelling me in the direction in which I wish to go. So, here they are again- keeping a daily writing log; planning your week; noting monthly accomplishments and making time for quarterly reflection. A SOS doesn’t have to be difficult. The ones outlined here don’t require anything but a calendar…and perhaps a few gentle reminders until you get into the habit. Until then, what’s stopping you from giving them a try. You have a calendar. You have 15 minutes. You have a community that affirms your greatness….and reminds you to START TODAY.

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