TAA’s new book, ‘Guide to Making Time to Write’ now available for pre-order

You know you should be writing at least 15 minutes a day. But with all the demands on your time, how can you find 15 minutes or more to spare? And when you do find the time to write, it’s often hard to break free of the distractions and build momentum in the time that you have. We get it. Making time to write–and doing it productively–can be challenging.

So, to help you succeed, we’ve collected 100+ successful tips and strategies–and a lot of inspiration–from authors who have made the time and made it work. In TAA’s forthcoming book, Guide to Making Time to Write: 100+ Time & Productivity Management Tips for Textbook and Academic Authors, you will find just what you need to boost your productivity, adjust your routine, and focus on your writing efforts once and for all. Isn’t it time for you to make the time to write?

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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 10, 2020

“Every writer I know seems to agree on the same thing: You need to write, a lot.” This unattributed quote could be attributed to nearly every aspiring author who has received advice from a successful one, but as much as we know that we need to write, a lot, it’s certainly easier said than done, most days.

In this collection of articles from around the web this week we have found some specific advice on how to get stuff done, how to write your first few pages, how to overcome the lure of planning, tips for sticking to a writing routine, writers’ tools for better productivity, and how to harness the power of coauthoring. We’ve also found guidance on writing blog posts, organizing digital files, and creating a memorable virtual book launch. Finally, we close with some industry news on bringing diverse perspectives into scholarly marketing and communications and a forthcoming Plan S Journal Checker Tool.

As you prepare yourself for the week ahead, we hope you find inspiration and guidance in the resources below to put you in a mindset where you can write, a lot. Happy Writing!

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Open up to open access

Join Danielle S. Apfelbaum, Senior Assistant Librarian, Farmingdale State College and Derek Stadler, Assistant Professor at CUNY’s LaGuardia Community College as they take our TAA Summer Webinar Series participants on “A Crash Course on Open Access” next Thursday, July 16th.

Although open access publishing has been around for years, misconceptions about what “open” is and what it means for authors’ works continue to persist. This session aims to demystify this multifaceted concept.

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Conducting online research

On June 26th, TAA hosted an #AcWriChat Tweetchat event focused on online research strategies. Resources were shared relative to conducting online research, specifically on validating sources, collecting primary source data, qualitative and quantitative research practices, and online research tools.

Below is a summary of the discussion.

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Writing stalled? Send yourself a letter

When I scanned the mail the other day, one letter caught my eye. I couldn’t quite place the handwriting and tore open the letter. To my shock, I saw I’d written it to myself.

Maybe I should have recognized my own handwriting, but it was like seeing yourself reflected in a window. Even though certain aspects look familiar, we often don’t have a clear picture of what we look like—or write like.

Three weeks earlier, I’d received a rejection for a particularly important writing project. After I poured out my despondency to a friend, she suggested writing a letter to myself venting my frustrations, extolling my virtues, and declaring my writin goals and mailing the letter without a second glance or draft. It should be postal mail, she emphasized—email wasn’t quite the same. I thought this idea a little hokey, but desperate followed her advice.

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Why you should be podcasting. Right now

TAA Vice President, Kevin Patton, is an award-winning professor and textbook author in human anatomy and physiology (A&P). He has a podcast and several blogs about teaching and writing, including TheTextbookAuthor.org. On Thursday, July 9th, as part of the TAA Summer Webinar Series, he will relate his podcasting experience, outline many different benefits of podcasting, and give you loads of practical tips for starting and running your own podcast in his webinar session, “Why Textbook & Academic Authors Should Be Podcasting. Right Now”.

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Jumpstart your writing productivity this summer: Join the TAA Writing Gym

Flex your writing muscles in the TAA Writing Gym! This 6-week work-out-on-your-own gym time will serve as your writing accountability partner as you work to achieve your writing goals. The gym is open to those writing textbooks, scholarly journal articles, and dissertations.

Here’s what previous Writing Gym participants have had to say:

“The writing gym was fantastic. It raised my commitment to writing productively.”

“I loved the opportunity to change my writing habits. Now I am feeling guilty if I don’t at least find 30 minutes to work on a project!”

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Strategies for revising and editing

During our last #AcWriChat Tweetchat event on June 12th, we discussed the difference between revision and editing in addition to strategies for completing both of these essential elements of the academic writing process. Chat participants Marc Ouellette and Sonal Mehta added their perspectives to the discussion.

Below is a summary of the ideas and resources presented during the event.

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TAA Council issues statement on racism

In a statement issued on June 19, 2020 – Juneteenth – the Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TAA) Council has resolved to lead its members in establishing short term and long-term goals that affect positive change toward social equality in textbook and academic authoring as we move forward.

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How two co-authors have worked together successfully at a distance

All writing projects have their own challenges and opportunities. When working with a co-author, there can be additional challenges to ensure that the manuscript is completed in a way that ultimately reflects a single published voice while covering all of the required topic areas.

In this article, Rex Hartson and Pardha Pyla, co-authors of the award-winning textbook, The UX Book 2 (Morgan Kauffman Publishing, 2019), share our experience of success working together at a distance. We have offered the following insight on how to manage issues of version control, file sharing, managing “pen” ownership, change tracking, handing off the pen, and organizing difficult text.

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