Become a more productive writer: 5 Tips from authors

Productivity is key for any writer looking to stay on Beomce a more productive writertrack and complete their writing project on time. These authors share five tips to help you become a more productive writer:

1. Jump-start the process instead of staring at a blank screen or page.

“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

See all of Jerry Jenkins’ tips here. [Read more…]

How to write clear, concise (and more enjoyable to read) scientific academic articles

Scientific writingAcademics are often trained to write in a way that actually runs directly contrary to the principles of effective scientific writing, said Kristin Sainani, an associate professor at Stanford University, who has taught a popular open online course on writing in the sciences.

“What we need to do in science and academia is to convey our ideas in a clear, concise, and even enjoyable way,” she said, during her TAA webinar, “Principles of Effective Scientific Writing”. “Even if we are talking about complex ideas, we don’t need to use complex language. I think a lot of times when academics sit down to write we don’t really have in the back of our minds, ‘oh, I want to make it enjoyable for the reader’. But we should think about that because we do want people to read what we write, and if it’s very hard to get through and not enjoyable, people aren’t going to read it.” [Read more…]

Featured Member: Textbook author shares how to maintain enthusiasm, organize production process

Robert ChristophersonRobert W. Christopherson is Professor Emeritus of Geography at American River College (1970-2000). He is the author of the leading physical geography texts in the U.S. and Canada all published by Pearson Prentice Hall. He and his nature photographer wife Bobbe have completed twelve expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions since 2003, gathering information and photos for his books, Geosystems, 9/e, Elemental Geosystems, 8/e, Geosystems Canadian Edition, 4/e, and Applied Physical Geography, 9/e.

Here Christopherson shares some of the secrets to his success, including the value of building an integrated web for your work, maintaining enthusiasm, and organizing for optimal production. [Read more…]

5 Strategies to move your writing forward after rejection

Rejection can be devastating and even crippling leaf on a beachfor a writer after pouring hours, months, or even years into a manuscript. Having strategies in place to help you cope with the sting of rejection will help move your writing forward. Here are five such strategies to use:

  1. Allow yourself to be upset. No matter how far you are in your career, rejection will always hurt. The key here is to only allow yourself a short, defined amount of time to be upset. Take the afternoon off. Go for a walk. Sit at your favorite coffee shop and read. Talk to a colleague. Whatever it is you have to do to feel and let go.
  2. Focus on another writing project and start working on it immediately. Focusing on a new project, or another project that was in the works before the rejection, will help you stay in the writing habit and focus your attention away from the rejection and on to this other piece.
  3. Recap all that you have accomplished to this point. Reminding yourself of all your past successes will help keep you positive and ease the emotions of rejection. Make a list or a file full of accepted papers to turn to anytime you need motivation or receive a rejection letter. If you are yet to be published, look at all of the comments from professors or colleagues that have been positive.
  4. When you are ready, create an action plan for revisions. When you can approach the reviews less emotionally, read through them and determine how you can use them to make your work better for resubmission.
  5. Join a writing community for support from follow authors that know what rejection feels like. Belonging to a writing community can help ease the sting of rejection, offer encouragement, and ways to address the reviewer comments for revising.

[Read more…]

3 Steps to consider when crafting an article introduction

writingtreeThe introduction is perhaps the most important section of an article, but unfortunately it can be notoriously difficult to write. To help make the process less painful and more productive, Meagan Kittle Autry, the Director of Thesis and Dissertation Support Services at NC State University, shared advice for writing exceptional introductions in a recent TAA podcast entitled How to Write an Introduction That Will Get Your Article Accepted. [Read more…]

5 Tips for Kickstarter success for writers

Earth Joy WritingI recently completed my third successful Kickstarter campaign to help promote my new book, Earth Joy Writing: Creating Harmony through Journaling and Nature, which will be released on Earth Day, April 22nd.

In all three cases, my books were published by small, independent presses that didn’t have funds for promotional campaigns, publicity, or book tours. So I used the Kickstarter funds to promote my books in these ways.

Often people shy away from Kickstarter and prefer to use other crowdfunding programs because of the requirement that the funding goal be met in order to get any funds at all. In my experience (and we know this as writers), having the goal of completion can spur us to take bolder action. A half-written book isn’t really a book, is it? [Read more…]

6 Tips for finding writing time

Every day can feel like a whirlwind with little time toold fashion clock_square fit anything in, especially your writing. So how can you find time to write? One way is to be creative and open to change. If your life is busy than you have to get creative with how you can fit writing into your day. Being open to change means you know that something in your daily routine is holding you back from achieving your writing goals and you’re willing to try something different. Although ultimately the key to finding time is different for all of us, the end goal is the same: writing more.

So to help you, here are six tips on how to find time to write: [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: March 6, 2015

Wednesday was National Grammar Day.talk grammar to me, baby Twitter was abuzz with grammar haikus, pet peeves, and funny cartoons. It’s a day filled with fun to remember all we love, and maybe hate, about grammar. Why you ask is National Grammar Day different than say any other day? No one explains it better than Dennis Baron in his article, “Why is National Grammar Day different from all other days?”

So without going on and on, and in fear of making too many grammatical errors, I leave you to read all the great articles I’ve gathered for you this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Creating balance through writing and nature

Creating Balance Through Writing and NatureAs a writing coach who works with academics, one of the stumbling blocks my clients come up against at a certain point in their career is what I call “path block.” This usually happens, ironically, after a big success: finishing the dissertation, getting a new job, or having a book published.

I understand this block and I have experienced it myself. Nature even gave me a literal experience of this block one day many years ago when I was walking in the woods behind my house and the briars and brambles around me stopped me in my tracks. I thought to myself, “It would be so much easier if I had a path.” I looked down and there on the ground was a hawk feather. I picked it up and realized I must make my own path. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: February 13, 2015

“Don’t be afraid to write crap because Don't be afraid to write crap because crap makes great fertilizer.crap makes great fertilizer.” This quote by Jessica Brody not only put a smile on my face but also rang very true for me. Sometimes our words barely flow or are incoherent in those first drafts, but that’s okay. As John Dufresne says, “The purpose of the first draft is not to get it right, but to get it written.” It’s easy to use perfectionism as an excuse not to get words down. Maybe the “crap” that you write will not be salvageable even for fertilizer, but even so, it will get the words flowing. So next time you sit down to write, remember, even “crap makes great fertilizer” and allow yourself to just write. Happy writing! [Read more…]