I spent a good 40 minutes writing this week’s lead in paragraph. It was slightly witty (or at least I’m telling myself that it was) and related to one of the articles highlighted this week. In the end, it was crap. There was simply no point. I was trying to explain the stress June brings and how it is a struggle to fit everything into my day and how that relates to you, as a writer, with a job and a life trying to squeeze in writing time. Alas, there was no amount of editing that could save it. Had it been written on paper it would have been crumpled up and tossed in the direction of the garbage can only to, as if in one last laugh at me, land a full foot away on the floor. Instead, it’s forever going to sit in a word document highlighted in awful yellow (something I do with text I wish to change before finalizing a post). All I can say this week is, I hope your writing endeavors have been more accomplished than mine. And whether they have or haven’t been, the articles below will at least give you advice and encouragement that tomorrow is a fresh start. Or, if nothing else, that you aren’t alone in this struggle.
How Do We Write? Dysfunctional Academic Writing
This is a lovely piece on the writing process and how all writers approach the process differently. The biggest takeaways from this piece are to embrace whatever process works best for you and know yourself as a writer. There are too many wonderful quotes that I would love to pull from this piece and display here, but you’ll just have to read it instead.
Hack Your Research: Voice-to-Text in Evernote
If you loved the voice-to-text feature of Evernote and you’re looking for a solution to the recent updated version that changed this feature, read this step-by-step piece by Kevin Gannon.
The Professor Is in: I Know What You Need to Do This Summer
If you are preparing for the academic job market this fall, you’ll appreciate this summer ‘to do list’ by Karen Kelsky.
How to Talk to a Writer
As is Rachel Toor’s style (and what I love about her writing), she gives honest advice laced with wit that makes her writing such a pleasure to read. This particular piece is one that you’ll not only relate to as a writer, but one you may also want to share with all of your friends and family that need advice on what not to ask a writer.
Writing in the middle
“Short, focused pieces of writing, like blog posts, are great intermediate steps to larger projects.” Calvin Ho, in his guest blog post for The Thesis Whisperer, explores yet another benefit of academic blogging. He explains that even if a post is a failure and forever stays in draft mode, there still something to be learned from it.
Plotting a paper out of the PhD
This piece highlights some of the struggles of post-PhD year one and writing a second paper for publication based on the PhD research. I just discovered this blog, How to Write a PhD in a Hundred Steps (or More) created by Sherran Clarence. Her more recent posts are probably relatable for many of you that have just finished your PhD within the last year or so. Well worth exploring her blog if you have the time!
Ten ways To Write Every Day | January 14, 2012
“Write every day” is advice many academic writers receive over and over again. In her post, Tanya Golash-Boza explains why you should write every day and how to actually accomplish doing so.
Introduction | 2011
This particular piece is on writing the introduction for your journal article, which any novice would appreciate. In fact, this entire site is dedicated to writing a journal article and the various steps in doing so. If you are writing your very first journal article, you may find this website helpful.
Twenty Tips for Senior Thesis Writers (and other writers, too) | Revised 1996
This is a PDF download of twenty tips for thesis writers and getting words down on the page. This download also includes writing prompts and worksheets.