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The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 9, 2014

Winter break is rapidly coming to an end for there is no perfect time to write_kingsolver quotemany of you. Soon you will have to try and find that work-life and writing time balance. For some, you may find that a daily schedule offers more structure in which you can more easily build in writing time. Others may find it more freeing to write whenever the feeling or time seems right, something that winter break allows. I personally, although my writing is focused on blogging (professionally and personally), seem to do my best writing when struck by some sort of feeling. Inspiration for me often comes when I’m thinking of nothing at all and too many things at once—when I’m running, when I’m in the shower, driving my car—all moments when I can’t be writing. But, like the quote I’ve selected for this week from Barbara Kingsolver says, “There is no perfect time to write. There is only now.” We have to stop waiting for that perfect time and just make time to get words down on the page. Hopefully some of the articles below will help you do that, or at least distract you long enough to get the juices flowing again. Happy writing!

‘It’s Really Good, but …’
Rachel Toor is back with another brutally honest piece. This time rather than focusing on writing and publishing, Toor focuses on the culture of academia and peer criticism. She poses the questions, “What’s wrong with going all fangirl over someone else’s work? What do we lose if we focus our talk on what’s excellent about a book rather than what’s not? What would we lose if we didn’t view good as the enemy of perfect?”

How to get published in an academic journal: top tips from editors
This article is this week’s must read. Journal editors share their advice on structuring a paper, writing a cover letter, and dealing with reviews. Many of their comments will reinforce what you may already know or be a good reminder for you, while others may be completely new pieces of advice.

4 Quick Tips for Better Writing in any Discipline
As the author of this piece notes, this is a great “refresher” on practices to sharpen your writing. I often fall victim to number three. How about you? Do you catch yourself making these mistakes in your own writing?

How to Curate Your Digital Identity as an Academic
There is no escaping the digital era that we live in today. Chances are if you are up for tenure or out in the job market, your name is being Googled. Are you taking control of how the internet portrays you? If you’re not, you are leaving search engines to define you. Jason Fitzpatrick may have said it best, “You want search engine queries to direct to you and your accomplishments, not your virtual doppelgangers.”

writing a journal article? start with the So What question
For those new to writing scholarly papers for publication, this piece offers some useful questions to ask yourself. Pat Thomson uses an editorial written by Neil Selwyn to help pose these questions to her audience and to academics. This is a short, yet well worth it, read.

Kip Jones’ Ten ‘Rules’ for Being Creative in Producing Research
Kip Jones’ list for being creative in producing cutting-edge research is right on. Number ten is my favorite. Which number do you find is the best piece of advice?

23 Powerful Quotes To Inspire A Successful Year
This time of year is when most of us are in overdrive trying to stick to resolutions we’ve promised ourselves we’d meet this year. For inspirational quotes to keep you motivated this year, check out this list (shared over 1,200 times on social media) by Kevin Daum.