The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: May 8, 2015

If you find you are stuck, that the words just will not flow, focus onFocus your attention on writing-and, if necessary, on why you write and on what inspires you to write-and you will write. why you write. Focus on what inspires you to write. Remembering why you started is a great way to get re-inspired and back to putting words down on the page. Nina Amir’s quote, “Focus your attention on writing—and, if necessary, on why you write and on what inspires you to write—and you will write”, is spot on. When the journey gets tough—when you want to give everything up—remember why you started this journey. Maybe the textbook you wanted to teach from did not exist and you knew you could create exactly the version your students needed. Maybe you are on the tenure track and getting published will fulfill your goals and dreams. Whatever it is, let that be your inspiration to move your writing project forward this weekend. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: May 1, 2015

The semester is rapidly coming to an end, with some ofWrite until it becomes as natural as breathing. you already finished. Have you given thought to your summer writing goals? Do you write more or less during the summer months? I love this quote, “Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious.” I’m not really sure if writing will ever feel as natural as breathing, no matter what amount of writing I do. However one thing is for sure: not writing does make me anxious. I have to get the thoughts out of my head and onto my computer screen (and sometimes paper). It’s like the throbbing pain in your knee, slightly annoying and always at the back of your mind. But, the only way to cure it is to keep moving, keep running, or it gets worse. Just like the only cure for that anxious feeling of not writing is to keep writing. I’m curious what you think: Is writing as natural as breathing for you? Does not writing make you anxious? And as always, happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: April 17, 2015

There are SO many great articlesdon't give up on your article in this week’s most useful textbook & academic writing posts! I’m so excited about what’s below that I’m not even going to write a long introductory paragraph. I’m just going to say, I hope you enjoy these articles as much as I did and of course: Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: April 3, 2015

Can you believe it is already April"Write 1000 wrods a day, five days a week, before you do anything else. If you do it first thing in the morning, then you won't get distracted by all the things that tempt you not to write." -Lisa See and Easter is already this Sunday?! I love the warmer weather and the ability to sit on my deck and write. This week’s most useful posts have two sort of unintentional themes: peer reviews and productivity. There is also a sprinkling of other posts worthy of your time. One of my favorite posts this week is, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Writers, Courtesy of Alexis Landau.

Speaking of productivity, do you like to write first thing in the morning before anything else so you don’t get distracted but rather get things accomplished as Lisa See suggests in the quote I choose for this week? If you could give one tip for being productive, what would it be? Share it with me in the comments below.

Happy writing! [Read more…]

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

I’m excited for a few reasons this week. You fail only if you stop writing.First, spring-like temperatures have arrived and stuck around for multiple days. (Woot!) Second, this week’s most useful post is jam-packed with articles I think you’ll enjoy. Topics range from knockoff rating companies to massive open online courses (MOOCs). Third, I found this great quote by Ray Bradbury, “you fail only if you stop writing,” that I couldn’t wait to share with you all. This quote is so simple, yet so powerful.

We all define success differently but ultimately failure, that is no longer writing, is the same. If one journal or publisher rejects your writing, you don’t stop writing, you either tweak what you have, find a better fit, or start on another project. You haven’t failed until the moment you stop writing. In a bicycle race you haven’t failed unless you stop pedaling. Of course not everything we write is worthy of being called a masterpiece, but I don’t think that just because a piece of writing isn’t our best that it should be considered a failure. Isn’t it by writing and rewriting that we discover those masterpieces?

Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: February 20, 2015

Another chilly week here in Wisconsin,if you're tired of starting over, stop giving up and more snow for the east coast—both great excuses to stay in and write. Did you accomplish your writing goals this week? What about your writing resolutions? Have you stayed on track or have you veered off onto a side road where the going is slow? It’s never to late to get back on the main road; to get back on track with your writing and keep working towards your goals.

One of my favorite quotes is one that pertains to all aspects of life and that’s why I’m sharing it with you this week: “If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.” It’s that easy and it’s that hard. You can do it, though, just refocus and recommit to your goals. And, as always, happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 16, 2014

“Writing: somewhere between torture and fun.” writing-somewhere between torture and funI’m not sure about you, but this is how I often feel about writing—more specifically the writing process. Writing can often be pleasurable and fun, but at times it can be torture to try and get words down on the page. Even more torture is the feedback and rejection that can come after pouring everything you had into a piece. Yet with all of that, I dare to say that the pleasure outweighs the torture and that true writers, whether textbook, academic or otherwise, can never stop because it is how they interact with the world.

My hope is that the articles below will help aid in making writing more pleasurable. And, as always, happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving edition: I’m still in shock that we are First Drafts Quotealready in the middle (now almost the end) of November. The Thanksgiving holiday is already next week, which means time to reflect on all the things we are thankful for this past year. Maybe you are thankful to have completed your dissertation, maybe your journal article got published, maybe you got your first post-doc position or gained tenure, maybe your textbook got published, or maybe you made progress on a writing project. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: October 17, 2014

It is hard to believe it is the middle of October already. Make writing a scheduled part of your day.Hopefully you have settled back into a routine; most importantly a writing routine. The posts I’ve gathered for you this week focus on a variety of topics, from journal submission to author branding, to textbook prices and crowdsourced editing. If you are struggling to write daily and need an excuse to set goals, be social, and write, I strongly encourage you to participate in Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). If this sounds like you and you only have time to read one thing, read the first article on my list. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Stretch, reach and fall back: Targeting your submission to the journal

Deciding where to submit your journal article can be a indexingdaunting task. Not all journals are created equal. Journals differ in content and, of course, in the more elusive, status within the discipline. What I will write about here is how to select and refine your submission based on the journal’s status within your discipline. Two strategies can smooth out the submission process. The first strategy illustrates one way to decide on the journal in which you want to publish. The second strategy is how to analyze the articles within that selected journal to focus your writing to that audience. [Read more…]