Managing regular writing when you are busy: Invitation to join the CUTLA Virtual Writers

January 13, 2015

Welcome to a new year and a new term!

Did you make a New Year’s resolution this year? Did you promise yourself that you would exercise more? Loose that weight you gained with holiday indulgences? Did you resolve to get back to that manuscript you set aside when the Fall Term got too crazy and deadlines started piling up?

Sadly, as popular media writers discuss every year in the post-New Year’s euphoria of resolutions, the best intentions have short lives.

We break promises we make to ourselves more often than we break promises we make to others.

If you struggle to hold yourself to your resolutions and Writers receive a survey in their email every Thursday. The Virtual Writers completed and submitted conference proposals, manuscripts for peer reviewed journals, grant proposals, and other scholarly writing. Members reported in the end-of-term evaluation that participating in the group helped them increase their productivity as writers.

If you are mentoring a student on a thesis or dissertation, create a timeline with milestone goals. If students can meet the milestone deadlines, they will be prepared to defend their thesis proposal, gather data, and complete their thesis on schedule. Ask your student to set specific writing goals with weekly accountability check-ins to document progress toward meeting each milestone. A weekly meeting with an advisor works well but students who cannot travel to campus will benefit from weekly virtual check-ins through email. You can also encourage your student to join the Virtual Writers group to manage the writing aspect of a thesis or dissertation.

Joining the Virtual Writers is easy. Send an email to Claudia Stanny ( to request the Virtual Writers emails. Members can join at any time. The initial survey will ask a few questions about you, when you plan to write, and your writing goals. After enrolling, you will receive a follow-up survey once a week, in which you will report on writing tasks you completed during the previous week and identify specific, manageable writing goals for the next 7 days. 


1/13/2015 cma