My Academic Writing Routine

About Us

Our Story

Dr. Patricia Virella's Writing Journey

I have always been fascinated with writing. In third grade, I would write stories. In middle school, I discovered the news and was the editor of the school newsletter. In high school, I was a poet. I tried on so many writing hats, always intrigued with words and wordplay. As an adult in my 20’s, I would write blog posts for a food blog and authored a chapter in a book. To me, writing has always been a way to express the bottled-up emotions I held onto. I have gravitated to the written word since I was young. I played with writing and was always pretty good at it. I was confident about my writing until I entered my Ph.D. program. That’s when what I thought I knew about writing all crashed, burned, and eventually rebuilt.

In 2017, I became a Ph.D. student in the Learning, Leadership, and Education Policy Program at the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut. I will never forget receiving the day a professor handed back my first paper with 117 comments on it. I began to feel small and inept. I thought that I didn’t have the chops to write. As the years passed, my peers began writing and getting published, accepted to conferences, but I was shut out year after year. At the end of my third year, I slowed down and began to assess my writing. I searched the Internet for writing advice and clear examples to improve. I also wanted to know about writing routines, practices, and processes but couldn’t find one central space to learn from other academics. A place that offers advice so that writing can become liberation instead of a burden.

I began to conceptualize this project in the final year of my Ph.D. studies. At the time, I was working with a writing coach to help me along. I also worked very closely with three professors at UCONN who refined my writing. Their patience and dedication impacted my writing on many levels. However, I am often and sadly reminded that access to writing coaches or dedicated faculty during your graduate work could set you back in many ways. I hope that this space allows academics to see themselves as writers who have narratives and empirical understanding to share.

Writing can be isolating. We create, revise and refine all by ourselves in our minds, making decisions about every syllable, consonant, and predicate used in our writing. This site is a space that I hope will support the growth of academics as writers. I also hope that much is learned from the corpus of writing routines and practices collected in this space.

don't forget the essentials

What's in a Routine

Authenticity

Create a routine that works for you in your current phase in life.

Consistency

Develop a practice that you can accomplish regularly.

Goal-Oriented

Identify the goals you want to achieve with your writing and strategize the steps to get there.

Writing is really a way of thinking — not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic, or just sweet.

Toni Morrison

Want more writing advice?

Stay tuned for the book coming February 2022