Successful Academic Writing ‘Finishing’ System Now Available for Creative and Non-Fiction Writers

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A spin-off of a successful academic writing system designed to help writers overcome common obstacles to writing, build good writing habits, and see their projects reach completion is now available for non-academic writers.

While aspiring writers dream of completing novels, memoirs, and scripts, doing the day-to-day work required to reach the finish line is another thing altogether -- the distractions and obligations of regular life take over all too easily. Help is on the way, however: A new online writing system that was previously accessible only for academic writers is now available for creative and non-fiction writers -- such as novelists, memoirists, screenwriters, poets, songwriters, and self-help authors -- as well.

In 2007, Dr. Gina Hiatt created an online “Academic Writing Club” to combat the typical problems all writers face -- procrastination, writer’s block, anxiety, isolation, distractions, and more -- but with a special focus on academic writers. Since its inception, the successful system has helped thousands of academic writers finish their dissertations, articles, and books, get published, and reach for the golden apples of academic tenure, career positions, and promotions.

Now through a licensed spin-off program called the “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle -- aka the Writer’s Circle -- screenwriter and creativity coach Jenna Avery is meeting the same needs for creative and non-fiction writers.

Avery says, “As soon as I saw that this system was available, I knew I had to have it, for myself and for all the creative writers who struggle to make the daily commitment to their writing and navigate the challenges of putting writing first.”

Hiatt comments, “It’s been incredibly rewarding to know that my system has helped thousands of academics get out of terrible writing slumps and depressions to surmount their obstacles and successfully finish their Ph.D.s and get tenure by using my Academic Writing Club.”

She continues, “I’m thrilled to see Jenna providing the same opportunity to writers outside academia -- that’s a group of people who can really benefit from this approach.”

Avery is equally thrilled. She relates, “When I saw the ingenious support system Gina designed for writers -- not to mention all those little green check marks -- I knew it was just what I’d been looking for.”

Those “little green check marks” refer to the system’s progress grid that allows writers to visually track and celebrate their daily writing. They work in small groups centered around the principles of social accountability, peer group support, and goal-centered coaching. Writers are consistently delighted to see their work progressing day after day after day, session after session.

Jill Winski, a repeat participant in the Writer’s Circle, used the system to complete two “unfinished novels” that had been gathering dust for years, to her great relief. Winski has since become a small group coach for the system, helping other writers to finish their own projects. She notes, “It's an amazing feeling to have actually completed drafts that I'd practically given up on. I still can't believe sometimes that I've done such a huge amount of work in such a relatively short period of time.”

During recurring four-week sessions of the Writer’s Circle, members log on to a unique website where they publicly announce their writing goals to their small group of peers and coaches and report back about their progress by answering a series of questions at least 5 days of every 7.

Their peers and coach respond with support, guidance, and encouragement. Visual graphing allows them to see not only their own progress, but the progress of others, and the shared community around writing increases productivity and commitment levels dramatically. Issues like perfectionism, creative blocks, negative thinking, and anxiety are all addressed by the coaches.

Hiatt says, “One of the biggest things that keeps writers from succeeding is procrastination -- they either don’t write at all or they don’t write enough. The problem is that although they want to write, their daily life gets in the way and they don’t make the time to write. Or they wait until they have long blocks of time to write, which rarely happens. This system makes it relatively painless to develop a regular writing habit. And it provides an instant support structure that’s completely unparalleled in any other venue.”

Terri Fedonczak, another repeat user of the Writer's Circle system recently completed the first draft of the parenting book she's had on her plate for 10 years -- and did it in just three Writer’s Circle sessions. Now she's hard at work on the second draft, incorporating suggested structural changes from her editor, still using the system. Fedonczak says, "I've had this book brewing in me for 15 years. I started writing it 10 years ago when I had a toddler and two kids in elementary school. I kept adding to the book bit by bit, but I never thought I could finish it . . . it seemed too big. After joining the Writer's Circle, I tamed the book beast in 3 sessions,15 minutes at a time. It is so satisfying to finally turn my dream into reality.”

Avery notes, “It’s amazing to see so many writers finishing projects and taking the steps needed to get there. I couldn’t be happier with the results we’re getting using this system.”

The next session of the “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle starts June 11 and runs through July 8. Registration closes June 7. For more information, visit

Jenna Avery is a screenwriter, Certified Life Coach, and creativity coach who devoted the last year to redesigning her life to support her passion for writing. Her most recently completed project is a sci-fi action script called "Progeny." She is the founder of the “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle and loves to support writers to take daily, regular action on their writing projects. Jenna blogs about writing, creativity, and life purpose at She offers a free e-course on “How to Stop Making Excuses and Start Writing” at, which will soon be made available as an ebook.

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