Outsourcing for Writing Productivity – The Why?

Of course, if you are an academic, you cannot fully outsource writing up your work for publication.  The original ideas, research analysis, building of an argument, the implications that you choose to highlight – those require your creative mind!  Only you can maintain an intentional and consistent voice throughout a manuscript.

On the other hand, there are many other aspects of a writing project that may be standing between you and project completion.  These “other” tasks may also be your dreaded tasks (I’m thinking of you – reference list checking!) or perhaps just not your best skill set (I still have not mastered Adobe Illustrator).  Often times, such less-creative tasks can lead to procrastination.  Even worse, these procedural tasks may be preventing the world from getting access to your ideas and findings.

Furthermore, beyond convenience to you, finding qualified freelancers often enhances the quality of your product.  You are looking to hire someone who is more qualified than you are to do that particular task.  For example, rather than struggling with creating a flow chart on Power Point to summarizes the key findings of your research, hiring a graphic designer gives you access to their expertise and more powerful software.  The final product should be superior than what you could do on your own. 

Think now to all the remaining tasks in a current project, even small tasks.  List them out and consider – Which ones would I really like to get off of this list? Then ask yourself – Which ones can I feasibly outsource?  Some candidates for potentially outsourcing include: a) grammar checking, b) preparing figures and graphics, c) formatting tables, d) adhering to APA, Chicago, MLA or other citation styles, e) following publisher requirements, f) seeking permissions to reprint figures from other sources, g) indexing a book … and many others.

Now consider, how much would it be worth to you to get these off your list, and move onto your more creative and inspired writing and research goals?

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