The Writing Project Pipeline

The realities of the academic publishing process demand that academic writers become adept at managing multiple writing projects at the same time, constantly developing new ideas and shepherding each of them along the path to publication. Erin Marie Furtak (2016) offered practical tips and strategies for managing this process in an article that appeared yesterday in The Chronicle of Higher Education.  She identified 11 stations along an imaginary pipeline that a writer can use to track his or her progress, along with suggestions for how to keep projects moving forward to the next station. I have captured her 11 stations in this graphic:


What I especially like in Furtak’s suggestions is her focus on making progress (or lack thereof) both visible and tangible by moving markers that represent each project  (e.g., magnets, post-it notes) along a visual representation of the 11 stations. I have found that moving writers out of their screens and into embodied, physical play with ideas can be immensely helpful in fighting writer’s block and other barriers to productivity. The tangible nature of locating writing projects along a pipeline like this can also flag for the writer where he or she tends to get stuck, which could indicate where the assistance of a writing coach is needed.

Furtak, E.M. (2016, June 6). My writing productivity pipeline. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from

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