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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 12, 2020

“Be stronger than your excuses.”Someone once said, “Be stronger than your excuses.” It is certainly easy to make excuses for not writing, not moving forward on our projects, not accomplishing our goals – especially in a time of disruption like we have faced for the past few months. Or in time of “vacation” if we have the summer “off”. But to be successful, we have to be stronger.

Our collection of articles from around the web includes an 11-year-old’s advice on busting excuses, summer planning strategies, and actionable steps for developing a routine, being creative, and training your brain. There’s also information on how to improve the academic writing process, to make your research meaningful, and to be excited by the practices that have emerged from the pandemic. Finally, we have questions to ask before signing a publishing contract and useful websites for writers.

Explore the links below, refuel your passion, and be stronger than your excuses! Happy writing!

6 Writing excuses busted (or how an 11-year-old published her first novel)

Writing excuses are easy to come up with. Easy to justify. But to publish, you’ll need to learn how to avoid using at least six of them—maybe more.

Summer planning strategies

For so many graduate students, this summer has already proven itself to be unlike any other they’ve encountered so far; and with ongoing global crisis, graduate students should feel no guilt for prioritizing their personal well-being over their productivity. Whether this summer has been particularly disruptive for you or whether summer always proves a time of uncertainty, here are some strategies for making progress in your work, however small.

On the importance of routine in academic writing

Because of the pandemic, I am now shuttling between Aguascalientes (where I live) and Leon (where my parents live). Any kind of inter-city movement should be stressful enough. What keeps me more or less grounded is that wherever I am (and have been – including Paris, last year), I always have more or less the same routine. For life and for work.

Five productivity practices that helped me finish my dissertation

The last two years of my doctorate, I had a side hobby of researching and experimenting with productivity tools and teaching others to apply them to their own lives via my blog The Tending Year. I started The Tending Year to manifest personal accountability to accomplish big goals; as a result I learned how to focus my labor so I could accomplish my to do list in less time and with more intention.

Creativity, artificial intelligence, and time off with Max Frenzel

As writers, we use tools every day — from the laptop we write on, to the internet we research with, and the social media sites we use to reach readers. We are used to using digital tools to enhance our author life, but could we really work with artificial intelligence to push our creativity to new levels? I talk to Max Frenzel about AI in today’s interview.

Keep your mind sharp – Tips to train your brain

Research has shown that certain activities can strengthen your mind and even boost intelligence. So if you want to care for your brain’s health, you might want to give these tips a try.

Why academic writing sucks (and how we can fix it)

Academic writing, as a genre, is ritualised, peculiar, archaic and does almost as much to hide knowledge as it does to share it. Mastering academic writing is just as much about signalling you are the member of an ‘in-group’ as it is about conveying ideas.

Research about meaningful work

You have choices when you are standing at a crossroads. Try to move forward on the path you were on before disruption occurred, or try something new? Keep working in your “day job” while developing your side hustle or wild ideas into paid work? Do research and write independently to develop your credentials so you can land an academic or research-oriented position?

Learning from live pandemic research

Right now we can actually see sciences plural, and researching and interpreting results as knowledge making practices. In real time. How exciting is this! Our colleagues are not only talking to each other in laboratories and in academic journals – much of their conversation is now in public.

Questions to ask your publisher before you sign the contract

While this is a long article, it’s still not an exhaustive list of questions, and it so far remains a general list that could be used by any author. I welcome advice and insights from BIPOC to help me improve this; moreover, I grant permission to anyone who would like to build on it, revise it, and republish it elsewhere with their additions and experiences.

18 Worthy websites for writers

Apart from your desire to be an author and determination on this thorny path, what makes a successful writer? According to veterans of the industry, it’s lots of reading, writing, and a supportive community. The sites from today’s selection can provide you with all the three. So, without further ado and in no particular order, let me introduce 18 worthy websites for writers.