The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: February 26, 2016

Print this quote and keep it next to where you write. This way, you will the first draft is nothing more than a starting pointalways be reminded, “The first draft is nothing more than a starting point,” as Andrew Stanton urges. You do not have to get the words out perfectly the first time; you just have to get them down. Remember, editing (and editing over and over again) exists for a reason! Below you’ll find excellent articles from around the web this past week. From the future of textbooks to how to get your first academic paper published, and so much in-between, I know you’ll find an article that is useful to you. And, as always, happy writing! [Read more…]

Join us 3/10 for the TAA webinar, Get Organized With ‘OneNote’

Eric SchmiederLearn the power of Microsoft OneNote 2013, an unsung hero of Microsoft Office that can be used to organize your thoughts, ideas and projects in one place, accessible whenever and wherever you need them. Join us Thursday, March 10 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET for the TAA webinar, “Get Organized With ‘OneNote”, for an overview of OneNote 2013, its features, and the ways to access and edit your OneNote notebooks from a PC to web browser, or mobile device. Register [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…]

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 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…]

Tips & tools to reach your writing productivity peak

productivity peak“I’m master of my universe.” This is a mantra that Kathleen P. King, author of more than 30 books, including 147 Practical Tips for Emerging Scholars and The Professor’s Guide to Taming Technology, both practices and encourages fellow academics to use when deadlines or writing anxiety start to set in. Have a plan, set deadlines, and be flexible—be master of your universe. You are in control of the deadlines you set for yourself and how dedicated you are to your writing. However, she says, you also need to reflect on what your writing habits are, how you can improve them, and how you can leverage your strengths and preferences to be most productive. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: December 11, 2015

'A writer never has a vacation. For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.' Eugene Ionesco This week brings an early Christmas present in the form of so many great articles on academic and textbook writing! Speaking of the gift-giving season, have you seen my Top 10 gift ideas for writers? Perhaps one of the greatest gifts family and friends can give you this time of year is a quiet space for you to write to keep your writing projects on track. Although that would be a great gift, it isn’t always possible with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. So what strategies do you use to find writing time during the holidays? Or, do you allow yourself to take a break from your writing?

As always, happy writing! [Read more…]

[FEATURED MEMBER] Keeping chaos at bay: Deliberate strategies to improve your productivity and sanity

Meggin McIntosh with MicMeggin McIntosh is a Professor and Director Emerita of the Excellence in Teaching Program at University of Nevada, Reno. In 1996 she founded Emphasis on Excellence, Inc., a company dedicated to providing productivity and organizational resources to faculty, individuals, and the private sector. With topics ranging from writing productivity and professional development to children’s and young adult literature, McIntosh is widely published with nearly 50 scholarly articles, two academic books, 29 curriculum publications, 14 instructional guides, textbook and scholarly book chapters, a teaching guide, and more than 1,500 blog and online articles.

Here McIntosh shares deliberate strategies to help improve your productivity and sanity. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: December 4, 2015

"Writer's block is for people who have the luxury of time." - Jodi PicoultDecember is here! As much as I’m not a winter person, I do love the month of December—Christmas lights, cookies, family, and eggnog are just a few of the joys of this time of year. The start of December means the end of November and #AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month). Did you reach all of the goals you set out to reach during November? With the holidays and the end of the semester in full swing, your writing may take a bit of a back burner. However, if you prioritize and make the time to still write, your writing won’t have to simmer on that back burner for long. And, as the wise Jodi Picoult said—in regards to writer’s block not the holidays, but the same principle applies—“Writer’s block is for people who have the luxury of time.”

Happy writing! [Read more…]

Holiday strategies to honor your all-important academic project

Holiday InvitationThe holidays can be wonderful times for reconnecting with family and friends, taking breathers from the daily-weekly-yearly chase of accomplishment, kindling or rekindling feelings of love, warmth, and generosity even to those who have published much more than you, and indulging in delectable seasonal goodies. But we academics often feel conflicted about how much time to “take off.” Maybe we’re feeling the pressure of having to participate in holiday events. Maybe we’re worried about being grilled by well-intentioned family or friends about the progress of our dissertation, article, or book. Maybe we’re very aware of the dangerous loss of momentum from our work. Maybe we just don’t like all those jolly gatherings.

Here, from clients who have suffered through such “maybes,” I suggest three holiday strategies you can apply, depending on the severity of your “maybes” and your fortitude. We don’t have to be at the mercy of the holidays!  [Read more…]