Call for Proposals: Textbook and academic authoring conference

TAA’s 31st Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference will be held at La Fonda on the Plaza, Santa Fe, NM, June 15-16, 2018. The conference is attended by authors and aspiring authors of textbooks, journal articles, and other academic works, as well as by industry professionals from across the country.

TAA invites the submission of presentations relevant to authoring and publishing textbooks and academic works (journal articles, books, and monographs). [Read more…]

7 steps to creating a new writing habit

Are you struggling to make writing a habit? Do you keep pushing it off until tomorrow? Too many times when we try to create a habit or a change in behavior, we try and create or change too much at once. Unfortunately this overreach is often not sustainable and we crash and burn in failure.

Fall is a great time to start fresh and focus on forming new behaviors. With the right steps to follow, along with determination and commitment, you can work to create a new writing habit that sticks.

Step 1: Focus on one habit only. This step is extremely important! When you focus on forming a single habit, versus multiple at a time, your likelihood of retaining that habit for a year or more is around 80 percent. Try forming even two habits at once and your success rate drops to as low as 20 percent.

Step 2: Define your goal—make it measurable! Just saying, “I want to write every day” is not enough. You need to make your goal measurable so that you can successfully track your progress (see step 5). Your goal can be word count or time based, whichever you believe to be more effective for you, it doesn’t matter.

Step 3: Acknowledge that this is a process. New habits take time to form. Research indicates it takes 21 days to form a simple habit, and longer to form an activity habit. There is no magic time-frame, you simply have to commit yourself to the process.

Step 4: Determine your trigger. Having a trigger will help you make sure your habit sticks. A trigger can be anything, like a specific time each day or a constant in your life that will provide consistency. Here’s a simple example: Every morning, regardless of the time, before anything else you sit and have a cup of coffee. Immediately following this “sit and have a cup of coffee” time, you then sit at your desk and write for an hour. Your trigger would be “I just had my cup of coffee.”

Step 5: Track your progress. This step is crucial. Not only will tracking your progress keep you accountable, it will help motivate you along the way. Plus, how will you know how far you’ve come if you don’t track your progress? Tracking should be done daily.

Step 6: Anticipate roadblocks. Another key to forming a habit is to know that roadblocks and challenges will arise that will try to steer you off course. Luckily, you anticipated these ahead of time and made an action plan for how to overcome them.

Step 7: Don’t get stuck on one missed day. Even if you plan for roadblocks and have strategies in place to overcome them, you still may slip and miss a day of writing. Don’t get bogged down in self-blame, this will only set you back further. Instead, forgive yourself and focus on tomorrow so that you don’t miss a second day in a row.

Now that you have the steps, what are you waiting for?  Best of luck and happy writing!

Give your faculty authors a boost: Host a TAA sponsored writing workshop at your institution

During the 2017-18 academic year, TAA will help sponsor a limited number of faculty writing workshops at universities and colleges across the country. TAA’s sponsorship covers the majority of the cost of bringing a presenter to your institution. The host institution is responsible for a fee of $1,650, which includes up to 75 TAA faculty memberships, available to faculty whether or not they attend the workshop. TAA provides an online institutional membership application process that makes joining TAA easy for both the institution and faculty. [Read more…]

5 Strategies for using social media to promote your writing

social media strategiesThe purpose of using social media as an academic is to do more than spread the word, it is also a way to develop readers and relationships, said Janet Salmons, an independent researcher, writer and consultant with Vision2Lead, Inc., in a TAA webinar entitled, “Six Strategies for Using Social Media to Promote Your Writing.”

“What’s unique about the social media networking environment is the ability to find groups of people of like mind and interact with people and get their perspectives and engage with them because they are able to produce content as well,” she said.

Here are five strategies she highlights in the webinar: [Read more…]

The not-always-obvious ‘infrastructure’ of journal articles: Abstracts and textual linkages

Journal article infrastructureNot all who wander are lost. In fact, some who wander are not lost but just exploring the terrain. Yet, when I read a journal article, I do not want to wander and wonder where the work is headed. Partly because of my busy schedule and largely because I am seeking ideas, information and even inspiration, I want to know right away what the scholarly work is about. Scholars can guide readers along a smooth reading road by paying attention to the not-so-obvious infrastructure of typical journal articles and writing their submissions with this structure in mind. [Read more…]

Productivity tips for authors ‘on the go’

Q: As a “pro on the go” what do you do to ensure you can stay productiveEric Schmieder

A: Eric J. Schmieder, author, presenter, and computer technology instructor:

“As a corporate trainer and adjunct instructor, I am always on the road and find myself relying more on my mobile device to stay connected, stay productive, and better prepare me to get things done when I do find a place to land with my laptop. I find it important to arm myself with the best tools to keep moving on my long-term projects.” [Read more…]

Meggin McIntosh to present 2-hr webinar on marketing for academics

Meggin McIntoshImagine having people read your writing! Imagine having others interested in your work and talking about it! Imagine your efforts receiving recognition! Guess what?! You have to market yourself and your work and you don’t have to spend a lot of money or hire a PR firm.

Join us Monday, May 8 from 2-3 p.m. ET, for this two-part (the first part will be available on-demand here) focused and practical TAA webinar, “Marketing? You’re Kidding Me! I’m an Academic! Marketing that Matters (Lessons from a Puffin)”, where you’ll learn: [Read more…]

Executive Director’s Message: Stand strong in support of education, science, pursuit of knowledge

With the new administration in Washington, I anticipate that the scholarly community will face challenges unlike any it has seen before. The community’s skill at communicating scholarly findings and values, and marshalling public support for them, will be tested.

To cast a light on the immediate and long-term disruptions we are facing, I will focus on just one current policy controversy. As I am writing this message, only a few scant weeks into this administration, universities around the country have joined amicus briefs, issued cautionary advice to their communities, and taken other public stands against the President’s Executive Order banning most travel from 7 predominantly Muslim countries. And things are moving unnervingly fast. The ban has been temporarily halted by courts, but the ever-present threat that it will eventually prevail in court, or be reissued in revised form, creates a dampening effect on scholarly exchanges, while instilling fear and uncertainty among visiting scholars. [Read more…]

Tip of the trade: The role writing environment plays in productivity

Q: What roles do the writing work space and environment play in productivity?

writingA: Noelle Sterne, author, editor and writing consultant:

“As an academic and mainstream writer and editor, I firmly believe that one’s writing work space and work environment tremendously influence productivity. To discover your best writing environment requires self-analysis and candid (if uncomfortable) answers to several important questions:

1) What is your optimal time for a work session? An hour, three, fifteen minutes? My optimal session is about an hour and a half. But sometimes my brain bubbles like a hot spring, and I can work for three hours straight without hearing my stomach growl. [Read more…]

Speaker spotlight: Rubin, Ulrich, and Wakely to speak at TAA’s 2017 Academic Authoring Conference

Sean WakelyPublishing attorneys Zick Rubin and Brenda Ulrich, and publishing industry expert Sean Wakely, will present “The Life Cycle of a Textbook: Psychological and Legal Challenges,” at TAA’s 30th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, June 9-10, 2017. The panel will discuss the psychological and legal issues that should be addressed at different states of a textbook’s life cycle, and what pitfalls should be avoided.  [Read more…]