What scholars call “writing” actually involves writing, reading, talking, thinking, and engaging. Yet how academic writing develops through this recursive, social process, is imperfectly understood. Although participating in academic gatherings like colloquia and international conferences can help researchers find a scholarly voice, not all new scholars have the opportunity to participate in such gatherings and the learnings they offer. Especially for those scholars, their academic writing must be consciously developed. We examine the process by which a new South African management scholar, supported by his writing coach, developed an academic voice. Analyzing their 15-month long communication (emails and summaries of conversations), we find three interweaving processes. Coaching guides the new scholar first to learn to fit in by becoming aware of genre conventions through practical writing-to-learn and show-and-tell coaching tactics. Then the challenge is to stand out by forcing tough trade-offs and intensifying the focus on novelty. Ultimately the scholar must do both, negotiating the tension between them. Our article provides evidence of how the emergence of self-reliant scholarly writing can be supported. This process is especially salient in developing country contexts with few enculturating opportunities, but we suggest that it applies more broadly, opening avenues for future theorizing.