About Libby Becker

Libby Becker is the Content & Community Manager for the Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA).

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: February 19, 2016

“Like stretching before exercise, I start my writing day with a heavy edit and rewrite of my previous day’s work. That seamlessly catapults me into today’s writing.” – Jerry Jenkins
What sorts of strategies do you use to catapult you into your day’s writing? Do you do as Jerry Jenkins does and start the day with “a heavy edit and rewrite” of the “previous day’s work”? Maybe you do as Rachel Toor suggests: “leave off at a point where it will be easy to start again.” Rachel adds: “Some writers quit a session in the middle of a sentence; it’s always easier to continue than to begin.” Various other writers suggest using bullet points at the end of a writing session that point them in the direction they want the writing to go when they next return to it. Perhaps you have a completely different method altogether. If you do, I hope you will share it in the comments below this post. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: February 12, 2016

Roses are redAcademicValentines_TAA blog
Violets are blue
‘Revise and Resubmit’
Roses are a prickly bush or shrub
Violets are a herbaceous plant
Watch for more #AcademicValentines on Twitter throughout the weekend—you don’t even need a Twitter account to see all of the hilarious tweets!

Happy writing! [Read more…]

10 Reasons why academics should blog [Infographic]

How can you improve your writing and productivity, collaborate and network more easily, find new and unexpected experiences, disseminate your research more widely, and build your reputation? Start a blog. Academics can realize many benefits from blogging. This infographic shares ten of those benefits: [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: February 5, 2016

“I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it W. Somerset Maugham — 'I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o'clock sharp.'strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
—W. Somerset Maugham

Do you sit and write religiously at the same time every single day? Disciplined like a marathon runner is to running every morning? Sometimes discipline and routine come easy. We have a goal that we want to achieve or a passion we are pursuing. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to be disciplined. We have to force ourselves to show up every day. Rewards and fast approaching deadlines do this well. Even frequent breaks and a change of scenery can help. But what other strategies do you use? What do you do on those days when anything at all seems more appealing than sitting to write?

Happy writing! [Read more…]

Is digital really better than print? Authors share their perspective

ebook tablet on bookshelfWhile the debate over print versus digital textbooks (etextbooks) is not new, the content of that debate has shifted in recent years to which is a more effective learning tool for students. As publishers, instructors and students push towards offering more digital textbooks and learning products, will the benefits outweigh the negatives? Several studies have found that it not only takes readers longer to read text on a screen, they tend to skim much more and thus absorb and retain less information than reading from a physical book. Other etextbook readers have reported the tendency to multi-task while reading. One study reported that 90% of students said they were more likely to multi-task when reading onscreen versus 1% who said they multi-task when reading a print book.

In a recent discussion in CONNECT, TAA’s online member community, members shared their experiences with textbook publishers’ trend toward more digital products: [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 29, 2016

As an author you have to have a thick skin. You have to be rejected pieces aren't failures_blogboth patient and persistent. You have to be brave. Lacking in any of those qualities is sure to leave you feeling inadequate and even paralyzed to get words on to the page. It is imperative that you remember, as Greg Daugherty reminds us, “rejected pieces aren’t failures; unwritten pieces are.” If you finished a marathon but didn’t win, are you a failure? No. You put in the hours, you showed up, and you finished. If you fall, you get yourself up, dust off, and continue—just as you should with any rejection you receive in your writing career. The only sure way to fail is to not try at all. [Read more…]

How to start writing again after a break

Taking a long break from anything,Mahatma Gandhi — 'The future depends on what you do today.' writing included, can make it difficult to know how or where to start again. Two of the biggest hurdles to overcome are allowing yourself to let go of any guilt you have from not writing and putting to rest the infinite “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality. Of course that isn’t to say that breaks are often necessary. They allow you to come back to your writing rejuvenated, more motivated, and re-inspired. However, when a break turns into weeks and months without writing, the daunting task of how and where to start again is often suffocating.

So what can you do to get back into your writing routine? [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 22, 2016

Benjamin Franklin — 'Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.'It’s so easy for us to say, “I’ll do that tomorrow”, “I’ll start on my writing projects, tomorrow” and tomorrow keeps getting pushed further and further away. Procrastination is easy. Yet, never satisfying. Chances are you have the time to get started today. So start! End the infinite tomorrow and do as Benjamin Franklin reminds us, and, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 15, 2016

“Every moment offers a great opportunity to write.” ― Rob BignellThis week brings you a unique mix of topics. From Bringing Your Own Work Into the Classroom to Writing: How to Take Care of your Hands and Wrists. From How do people read mathematics? to How to Focus: 5 Research-Backed Secrets to Concentration. All of the articles below are insightful and full of useful advice. Is there an article you read this week that you think should be on this list? If so, share it in the comments section at the bottom of this post!

Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 8, 2016

You always get the best ideas when there is no pen or paper around.The holidays are over and it’s time to get back into the swing of work, writing, and finding balance. Did you set any writing resolutions or intentions this year? As is typical this time of year, many of the posts below are focused around writing resolutions. There are, however, other excellent articles on textbook proposals and contracts that are a must read.

Happy writing! [Read more…]