100 Mistakes Academic Writers Make

…and How to Fix Them



Welcome to 100 Mistakes Academic Writers Make …and How to Fix Them, a podcast for academics and other writers who need to get work done.

In spite of setting aside ample time to write, do you find that you’re not as productive as you’d like to be? This episode explores the dual mistakes that might surreptitiously be eating up your writing time.

  • It can seem difficult to find time to write when your schedule gets busy, especially if you believe that you can only get substantive work done if you have large, uninterrupted blocks of time to commit to it. But there’s real value in making use of random short bits of time for writing even on your busiest days. In this episode, we’ll explore why.

While we’re away for Labor Day, we’re rebroadcasting one of our most popular past episodes, Being Seduced by the Finished Page. In the new intro, there’s information about my consulting webpage, stephaniedunson.com, where listeners can learn about my group workshops and advising services.

  • In the spirit of spreading news about support available to faculty writers, we have special episode this week to promote another podcast designed to help you face the demands of scholarly life. It’s called “The Academic Imperfectionist,” and it’s hosted by our special guest, Dr. Rebecca Roache. She brings a philosopher’s perspective to bear in her exploration of many of the same challenges I aspire to address here on my show. 
  • In this is a continuation of my conversation with Dr. Rebecca Roache, she talks more about her podcast, “The Academic Imperfectionist,” including discussing plans for upcoming episodes.

Have you had that holy-cow-where-did-the-summer-go moment yet? Are  the long days of summer giving way to the creeping angst of August? If you’re concerned about the effect the transition to the school year will have on your writing routine, tune in.

  • Let’s be honest: for most of us, doing research is just more gratifying than writing. But a problem arises when the joys and safety of research eclipse our efforts to get writing done. If you commonly feel like Alice tumbling down the old research rabbit hole, you’ve found the right episode.

Episode 6

Fearing Reviewers’ Comments

So a journal or publisher is interested in work that you’ve submitted. That’s great! But now you have to face the reviewers’ comments. Maybe you’ve had bad experiences in the past, but shifting your perspective can help you learn to actually embrace the review process.

  • The topic of process/metacognitive writing has come up in a few episodes, and many of you have made it known that you’d like to learn more about it. So in this special listener-request episode, I do a deep dive into the topic with Erica Kaufman, poet, writer, and Director of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College. 

In psychology, they call it optimism bias—that is the tendency to project productivity based on hopes for the future rather than on evidence from the past. And if time allotted and writing produced rarely line up as you plan, you likely to suffer from it. For those of you who are among the multitudes who routinely overestimate how much writing you can get done in a set amount of time, this episode is for you.

Throughout the academic year, it’s easy look at the summer as the time when major writing will get done. The problem is that summer almost never seems as long as we expect it to be. In the discussion, I’m joined by Professor Cynthia Core from George Washington University.

For this bonus track featuring my continued my conversation with Professor Cynthia Core, she shares how she’s supporting her fellow faculty writers at George Washington University.

We spend so much time reading published writing that we forget that the finished product generally comes at the end of a necessarily messy process. Learning to expect, accept, and embrace imperfect writing as a meaningful part of the process can have a surprisingly positive effect your productivity.

  • In a world of writing that for most of us is fraught with messiness and uncertainty, books about writing seem to have all the answers. But you’ve not found one that works for you – or more to the point, if you’ve accumulated many that seemed like they’d help you but didn’t – this episode is for you.

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