Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 22, 2020

“Make your life a masterpiece; imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do.” ~Brian TracyThis week’s collection of articles from around the web is filled with hope and encouragement for writers. Despite many still being locked down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the posts we found this week explore ways of strengthening writing habits, enhancing productivity and creativity, and recognizing the vast amount of work done by authors beyond the published production counts.

There are resources on self-care, fresh perspectives, and cutting yourself some slack. There are also guides for mixed methods research, issues related to scholarly communication, the problem with enhanced ebooks, and a new milestone in open access publishing by Springer Nature.

Especially in uncertain times, it can be easy to focus on the lack of opportunity, the disruptions to our normal way of life, or the seemingly insurmountable challenges we face, but if we choose to do so, we can find hope and encourage ourselves to explore new perspectives for even greater results ahead. Brian Tracy suggests that you “Make your life a masterpiece; imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do.” Happy writing!

Developing a writing practice, part 7: Engrained

Because the science behind engrained suggests that there are ways you can make a new practice like writing reach the “second nature” part of your brain sooner, and therefore become a habit that’s actually hard to break. Here are some ideas about how to apply the brain science behind the principle of engrained to establishing or strengthening a writing practice.

Creativity vs. distraction: 13 tips for writers in the age of the internet

In short, if the astounding technologies of our lifetime have given us countless good things, they have also given us… Internet brain. This creates concerns for any human anywhere who uses a screen (and, honestly, for those who don’t too), but as writers we must confront special challenges in protecting and empowering our creativity in this Age of the Internet.

How deep work can enhance your productivity and creativity during the summer of the pandemic

Fortunately, I know from both research and experience that it is possible to have a summer that is both productive and relaxing. Today, I will share some strategies with you that will also help you to have a productive and relaxing summer.

Best writing and productivity tools for authors with Joanna Penn and Orna Ross

You can write a book with just a pen and paper, but that’s not how most of us run an author business these days! In this discussion, Orna Ross and I talk about the best tools we have found for writing, editing, formatting, productivity, marketing, sales, and accounting.

Author-friendly journal websites

How long can I expect the review process to take? What is the journal’s acceptance rate? If the paper receives a “revise and resubmit” decision, what are my chances of having the revised version accepted? Prospective authors in my field of sociology — and I suspect in many other fields as well — often ask these questions. I would like to suggest that journal webpages routinely provide answers to these and related questions in real time.

What writers have to learn from the 10x rule

The 10X Rule, published in 2011, is a business book that can supercharge your writing confidence and productivity. In short, Cardone wants us to live in an atmosphere of perpetual drive and shares three compelling reasons why.

A typology of academic (daily) work: “runway work”, “grunt work”, and “writing/research” work

I think sometimes, in our institutionally-induced anxiety to “produce more, more, more” we devalue other kinds of work we do. In another thread, I distinguished 3 types of work.

Mental wellness and writing

In this episode we’ll be talking about the things we do to stay creative, productive, healthy, and happy. For the purposes of this discussion, “mental wellness” is not about coping with mental illness, it’s about self-care.

Lockdown diary

I notice that some academic habits have become glaringly obvious. I find it hard not to notice that I’ve got a case of what I could acronym FONDA – Fear Of Not Doing Anything. I see much more clearly now how I am prone to think I have done absolutely nothing at the end of the working day, when I have in reality answered emails, checked the latest journal articles, made contact with people on social media, reviewed a paper, written a reference, given feedback on some text, written a blog post. What’s that FONDA about then?

Holding pattern

A forced pause, a safe disruption, may be just what some of us need to gain better perspective of our work, and, perhaps, ourselves. But right now, with so much loss, some of us are just stuck, unable to concentrate on scholarship, and justifiably so.

Working from home during covid-19

Maybe when you saw the title of this post, you expected some peptalk from Auntie Eva. But this time, I have only one message for you: cut yourself some slack.

Can you provide a proposal guide for mixed methods research?

We asked for your questions as part of the webinar with Dr. Michael Fetters and Dr. Tashane Haynes-Brown (see recording here.) One participant asked about a proposal guide for mixed methods. In addition to Fetters’ The Mixed Methods Research WorkbookSAGE has published an excellent step-by-step book, Developing a Mixed Methods Proposal: A Practical Guide for Beginning Researchers. I interviewed the authors, Jessica T. DeCuir-Gunby and Paul A. Schutz, about the thinking behind the book and its use by students and others interested in designing mixed methods studies.

Utility, morality, strategy, and scholarly communication

It’s basic questions like these — how can we do the most good, and where do our most fundamental moral obligations lie? — that keep coming back to my mind as I wrestle with various issues related to scholarly communication.

The problem with enhanced ebooks

Enhanced ebooks aren’t going away; the technology is compelling, as are the opportunities it offers for new kinds of books. But as happened with television, which Philo Farnsworth invented (in a San Francisco neighborhood that’s now home to dozens of tech startups) twenty years before there was a market for it, it may be a while until we have the content and the audience to make them worth producing.

Springer Nature reaches new milestone with publication of 1000th open access book

Springer Nature has reached a new milestone in open access (OA) publishing with the release of its 1000th open access book. With 84 million chapters downloaded across the portfolio, the company is advancing discovery by offering the possibility to publish scholarly books open access so they can be immediately and freely accessed by readers worldwide.