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

“The only writer to whom you should compare The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday.yourself is the writer you were yesterday.” –David Schlosser

Simply put, I love this quote. (Added bonus: Many of the articles below tie into this quote, making it an even more perfect fit for this week’s post!) It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others, in all aspects of life, but especially in our professions and our passions. Maybe in our professional lives it’s easy to excuse this as a way to get ahead in our career, that we have to compare ourselves to our peers because if we don’t we won’t be successful or we won’t be “better.” I wonder though, if we focused on our own self if we would reach that success anyway and ultimately be happier by not making those comparisons? My writing style is different than your writing style, just as your writing style is different than your colleagues and peers. Does that mean that my style is less because I write differently? Does it mean that your colleague is better than you because she writes differently? No. All that matters is that you are better than you were yesterday, not better than the person in the office next door or the author of the published journal article you read this morning.

As always, happy writing!

Handling Rejection in Academic Writing
This is an excellent piece on rejection in academic writing with sound advice for handling it. I highly recommend reading this article.

Four More Reasons People Quit the Ph.D.
Rejections, emotional challenges, activist components, and research qualms are all reasons why someone might not be able to move forward with a writing project. Hillary Rettig does a fantastic job explaining what these feel like and how to overcome them to move your writing forward.

Responding to Your Graduate Advisor’s Negative Feedback
If you’ve recently received negative feedback from your advisor this is your must read. This article has multiple tips for handling negative feedback. My personal favorite (that also ties in with this week’s quote!), “No one—absolutely no one—is a perfect writer.”

Journal Management Best Practices: Tales from the Trenches
For the editors out there that read our blog, this article (actually ebook) is for you. This nineteen-page ebook is packed full of useful tips on topics like handling workflow, best practices for screening submissions, improving your journal and more. Oh, and also, this ebook is free!

Japanese historians contest textbook’s description of ‘comfort women’
Academics and historians are calling attention to recent attempts by the Japanese government to suppress statements in history textbooks. I think this is an important industry news piece that many of you may find of interest. A letter written by historians at the American Historical Association annual meeting, is also an important piece to this that I suggest reading: Standing with Historians of Japan.

China probes college textbooks for ‘Western values’
If your textbook—especially if it’s a journalism, politics, economics, sociology or history textbook—has been published in China, it may soon no longer be used in the classroom.

Free American History!
If you are curious about open-access textbooks, including how they are created and if it is a viable business, you’ll want to read this piece. Even if you aren’t interested in open-access this piece is still worth the read for its useful information on collaboration.

why you should start an academic writing group
This is a guest post by Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs, on Pat Thomson’s blog, patter. This is an excellent piece on writing groups, the structure they provide for your writing, and how to format your writing group.

Publishing Philosophy: A staff Q&A
In all honesty the first two questions and answers can be skimmed over (unless your discipline is philosophy in which you may then find these of interest), but the third question and answers offer some really great advice for academic writers. And, because I didn’t sell that well, here’s another shot at it: Three editors give their top tips for aspiring academic writers.