Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 27, 2020
As we close out AcWriMo 2020 and enter the holiday season and end of semester processes and events, it’s important to examine what we want to accomplish and how to do so without added stress.
In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find examples of creativity, collaboration, defining expectations, reducing the tendency to overthink our writing, and ways to reboot, cry, move, or pivot in our career paths. We’ve also found resources in the form of a webinar on open access publishing partnerships and some Black Friday deals for writers to support your efforts.
Jack Kerouac once said, “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” Don’t overthink your writing or the process. Keep it simple this week and see what comes. Happy writing!
When MethodSpace contributor Jane Shore sent me this “Creativity through Community” graphic, I thought it would an interesting springboard for a shared post. I invited Narelle Lemon, co-author on Reframing and Rethinking Collaboration in Higher Education and Beyond, to discuss her response. I wrote about how the graphic spurred my thinking. I sent both of our pieces to Jane, who elaborated on her model with a new introduction. This longer-than-usual post contains all three of our contributions.
My life changed right about March of 2020. Well, yes, there’s that pesky thing called a lethal global pandemic, SARS-CoV2, that also changed the lives of absolutely everyone on this planet. But I also feel changed through the work I have been doing with two amazing writing groups: one led by Dr. Amanda Bittner (Memorial University of Newfoundland) and the other one organized and shepherded by Dr. Mirya Holman (Tulane University).
Last time I coached on Writers Helping Writers, I talked about 6 Tricks to Layer on Stakes, in it, I explained how I like to think of stakes as potential consequences–what could happen if a certain condition is (or is not) met. For stakes to be most effective, they usually need to be specific and often on the page. They should follow a cause-and-effect trajectory.
Writers are often known as thinkers. Indeed, we’re often proud of the connotation. We spend a lot of time in our heads. We love to read. We research like we love it (because we do). And we know a lot (though usually not quite as much as we think we do). However, thinking and writing—especially creative writing such as storytelling—can sometimes seem strangely out of balance.
At this past the middling point in #Acwrimo2020, it’s good to pause and think about what you have achieved so far. If you have managed to get some writing done most days, then it is worth giving yourself a metaphorical cheer or two – well you can actually cheer out loud if you feel so inclined. And when looking back to see what you’ve done, it’s important to be kind to yourself. Given the times we are living in, and how long we have been living with risk, fear anxiety, grief, it is understandable and OK if we haven’t done as much as we’d initially hoped.
In fact, put it on your to-do list. Cry in the shower every morning. Cry in bed wrapped up in your blankets. At a minimum stop trying not to cry. Tiredness isn’t the only reason you might want to cry. I know some of you have students with Covid, students whose parents have Covid, students who’ve lost parents, grandparents or friends to Covid. Some of you have lost family or friends to Covid or something else. You might be lonely. You might be upset about how this whole situation is affecting other people (known or unknown). There are good reasons to cry.
The path the University is on wasn’t created by the pandemic, it simply sped up the journey down that path. More demands have been made on professors’ time, more unpaid admin work expected, the exploitation of adjunct and grad student labor has become prevalent, support roles have been eliminated; we have been seeing the capitalist system at work, squeezing us for every drop of labor it can. When the pandemic hit, the process sped up. Now we’re seeing furloughs, lay offs, universities questioning the idea of tenure, institutions closing altogether. Higher Ed is in crisis. But what does it mean for you? I want to suggest that you get to decide.
How can you prevent self-doubt and fear from blocking your creative expression? What if you’ve built an audience for your books, but then you want to change direction? I discuss these issues and more with Holly Worton.
The scholarly journals market has undergone huge transformations in recent years with the biggest one being the move of open access from a small radical movement to becoming a core part of scholarly publishers’ journal strategy. In collaboration with Maverick Publishing Specialists and GeoScienceWorld, panelists on the webinar will discuss: the benefits derived from publishing partnerships when transitioning onto an open access model, the services currently offered in the market, and different publishing partnership models currently available.
Black Friday is
coming here and so now is a good time to think about how to invest in our writing career and save money doing it. Here are some of the best writerly deals we’ve uncovered.