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

Writing is like exploring a new place you’ve never been to before. If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.As with exploring, writing can be exciting and fast paced, but it can also be scary and difficult, or it can cause you to pause and reflect. Some explorations are done alone, while others are done with a companion or a group, just as writing can be done in solidarity or in a group setting. By exploring or writing with others, they are there to push you, to focus you, and to help you along the way. You might tread carefully along the path unsure of where it is taking you or what might be around the next corner. Just as often, writing can leave you feeling unsure and where to go next on the page. Although you may walk this path alone, you aren’t the first to travel it. Then, when you are starting to climb and feel that you can’t go any further, you realize your strength and continue on. You keep writing. It starts to become exciting and you relish in the moments when this overtakes you and you start to run—just as when the words start to flow easily on to the page. Finally, you pause and you reflect on all that you have seen, all that you have written and know that no matter how difficult the journey has been, the end result is always worth it.

Happy writing!

Productivity: An Ethical Response
Do you ever read a piece that wows you? One that really causes you to pause, to read it fully and really contemplate what is being said and asked? This piece by Rachael Cayley in response to her student, Ann Sirek, does just that. You will find yourself questioning your own writing productivity and how your writing is an expression of yourself. This is your must read this week.

Managing the Sluff
Are you engulfing yourself in references or note taking “sluff”? The Thesis Whisperer explains how endlessly just popping a reference into a bracket with a note and other endless note taking can soon bog you down and hinder your productivity. You will find several useful takeaways in this piece to put to practice in your own writing.

Writing retreat: Dedicated time away to write and revise
Have you ever participated in a writing retreat? What about creating your own just a short drive from your home? It could be a write-cation! Anyway, this is an excellent read on the benefits and struggles a writing retreat can offer.

When Two Heads Really Are Better Than One
This piece explains the joys and benefits collaborative writing can bring. If you haven’t considered a co-author before, maybe this piece will have you thinking differently by the end.

Leisure activities: The power of a pastime
An interesting read originally published in the journal Nature. It is, if nothing else, a reminder that it is perfectly okay to have a life outside of academia.

7 Ways PhD Students And Academics Can Deal With Stress, Anxiety And Depression
Did you know that, according to a study published by the Guardian, two-thirds of academics suffer mental health problems? If you are experiencing stress, anxiety, or depression this article may help you overcome some of those. If you are experiencing these issues, first of all know that you are not alone and that additional resources are available to you from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Article Throwbacks

Twitter and blogs are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it.July 28th, 2014
This piece is brilliant and well worth taking the time to read. There are so many quotes I’d like to put here, but I’ll just give you this one: “The best (and most successful) academics are the ones who are so caught up in the importance of their work, so caught up with their simple passion for a subject, that they publicise it with every breadth.”