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The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: March 27, 2015

“You can’t think yourself out You can't think yourself out of a writing blockof a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” ~John Rogers

At first thought, I had mixed feelings about Rogers’ statement, thinking that at times it’s nearly impossible to find the right words to get them down on the page. Then it struck me. The thinking is precisely the thing that often gets in my way of getting those words down. My mind is trying to get it just right before allowing my fingers to type the words. I get lost in my head and that causes me to get stuck. Do you find that this too is what happens to you? Do you get lost in your thoughts or lost in trying to get your writing perfect before getting anything down on the page? Rogers’ words are pause for thought, to really analyze why it is that we get blocks. Sure, there are also many other factors that may come into play that deter us from writing, but you may also find, as I did, that the root of many of those are due to overthinking. Next time you have a block, stop thinking and start writing. Sometimes all it takes is allowing for your fingers to start typing to get the words flowing. Happy writing!

Four questions researchers need to ask before using the web to communicate their research
Social media has many advantages for academics (see my 8 Reasons academics should be on social media). Before you start any kind of social media account ask yourself the four questions that Andy Tattersall does in this article.

Starting an Online Writing Group
If you are interested in forming a virtual writing group, you may find this approach worthy of exploring. Some valuable takeaways are given, such as how to encourage consistent participation. Be sure to read the comments below the article for more insightful thoughts and takeaways.

Assessing your research and publication choices
What if you thought of your research and publication choices as a business model? That by applying this “business model canvass” you’d be able to asses the risks and returns of various projects you wish to pursue? An interesting concept and well worth the read.

The Digital Academic: Blogging tips from Thesis Whisperer Inger Mewburn
This is a quick read with tips for academics on blogging. I’m a huge supporter of social media and blogging (obviously), and I think the easiest way for you, as an academic, to jump into the social media realm is to start a blog. These tips will help you get started or re-inspire you to get back to blogging.

The Academic Book of the Future: exploring academic practices and expectations for the monograph.
A look into the future of the academic book and an introduction to a two-year project, The Academic Book of the Future Project, that will explore this topic further. Mark your calendar for November 9-16, 2015 when Academic Book Week will be held so you can join the conversation on the future of these books.

Writing Deadline Dos and Don’ts
Excellent advice for when you have a deadline fast approaching and need to get your writing complete. The second bit of advice is gold and the last is a great reminder. Is there any other advice you would add to this list?

Admitting failure in academia (and learning from it)
Raul Pacheco-Vega gives an honest and raw piece that is not only relatable but, also, an important reminder for us all. Instead of giving anything about this piece away, I’m just going to say: read it.

How Academic Writers Lose Confidence
This piece by Amy Benson Brown for the Academic Coaching and Writing blog, explores, as the name suggests, why graduate students and early career academics lose confidence in their writing. Although no answers or solutions are given in this piece, in her next post she will provide solutions to aid in overcoming this lack of writing confidence.

How to be a Digital Academic 1
This is a short read with a few takeaways that reinforce why and how academics should be on social media or blogging. If you only have less than five minutes, read this article.

Visions of the future for academic publishing
This is an interesting read because it has four different perspectives packed into one article. Will other factors be used to measure impact? Will writing articles even be important in the future?