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COVID-19 Pandemic Challenge: How Many Pages Can You Write ?

The world is in the grips of an unforeseen Coronavirus pandemic that has completely changed our lifestyles, work habits and ability to socialize for the near future.

However, the silver lining in the cloud is we are now free from the academic demands on our time: we have no conferences to attend, no meetings or classes to rush to, no office hours to hold and, in some cases, no experiments and tests to run in labs. Yet, we still have our computers, ideas, research and ways to gather via technology!

So, what can we do??? Research and write!

While in a quasi self-quarantine, I have committed to finishing a book project and working on other professional goals that I have not made time to do in my schedule, like recording webinars on scholarly writing development!

I challenge each of you to take the next few weeks to maximize the time and space you have to write! Decide how you can be productive with the unusual gift of time we have been given in a most inconvenient, unconventional way. Rather than focus on the negative, choose to focus on the opportunity!

Will you join me? If so, see the writing challenge and guidelines below:

I challenge you to set aggressive writing goals for the next few weeks then work and be willing to be accountable to others and/or me. I'm in it with you!

I have the pleasure of working with various universities to support writing productivity among scholars. One great partner is the University of Florida Graduate School; three times each year, they host a week-long writing boot camp for late stage doctoral students who remove themselves from their usual obligations for at least four hours (and some a full eight hours) each day for an entire work week. Most participants graduate within two semesters of participating.

We just did a boot camp the first week of March; as always, the results were amazing: entire dissertation chapters and drafts were completed; research results were completed and written; projects that had been stalled for months were re-ignited and writing motivation and momentum were gained.

My part in the boot camp is to facilitate writing through coaching and instruction. Below are some things I do to ensure writing productivity for that week that I challenge you to do:

1. Have participants establish and send me clear writing goals

2. Have participants send me a writing schedule with dedicated time to write daily

3. Speak with each participant about his or her writing/dissertation challenges and support each one in developing a strategy to move forward

4. Provide resources about problematic sections of the dissertation and research-based writing (lit review, intro, conclusion, methods, etc.)

5. Provide daily writing techniques and strategies and do a daily "check in"

6. Conduct individual coaching sessions throughout the week

Let’s be productive together virtually and see how many pages we can write in a few weeks! Be sure to tweet me @meetdrv or email me at with your goals, questions and progress!

Who knows? We may start a writing movement!

Happy Writing,

Dr. V Writing Coach-Editor-Speaker Author of I'm Not a Writer...I am Just in Graduate School (order your copy at

Available in hard copy and on Kindle

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