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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 18, 2020

"As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand." ~Ernest HemingwayErnest Hemingway once said, “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” In our academic writing, there are certainly a number of places where understanding is important.

Seen in this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we must understand how to develop a first draft, what questions we need to answer to move forward, what our research data tells us, what makes writing worthwhile, how to maintain a productive schedule, how to balance work with periods of rest, how to survive through crisis, and the general state of the publishing industry.

Without judgement of yourself or others, as we begin to close out the year that was 2020 in the back half of December, reflect on your academic writing efforts, not with judgement, but with understanding of what has been, what is, and what you hope will be moving forward. Happy writing!

Working up a first draft: a twelve step strategy

If you are the kind of person who has a notebook, or who jots down a few random thoughts when you are starting to work on a paper, then this low key, note-based twelve step strategy might work for you – and for some of the things you need to work on. Like all writing strategies, it’s not a one size fits all approach, it’s a start-small-start-with-bits-and-build-up. Here’s how it goes.

Is your writer’s block really writer’s indecision?

Some questions have to be answered before I can make any progress with a draft. But others are simply the result of indecision; I could simply make up my mind and move on, knowing I can always change my mind later. Now I am convinced that two things can hold me back…

The devil in the data

The pandemic and its attendant challenges present opportunities to explore important questions in medicine and other sciences. In publishing, too, economic and professional disruption is opening new paths for information access. In the first edition of a three-part review for 2020, we learn why “data analyst” may be the year’s hot job title.

What makes writing worthwhile

If you need a reminder, here are five reasons that writing is worthwhile for me, even when it feels like trying to walk up a down escalator.

Q&A on consistency in schedules

I just want to know that how do you maintain consistency in your schedule?? If experiments get down, it affects the entire schedule. What do you do to make sure that you follow your daily routine?? There’s a number of things to address here.

Prioritizing rest over the winter break

Rest becomes lavish or reckless. Taking the time to enjoy decorating for a festive season, perhaps with others, becomes lavish or reckless. Sitting in front of the fire with a drink and a snack, enjoying solitude and staring blankly becomes lavish or reckless. Valuing productivity can tarnish your holiday even when you create a boundary and set your work aside.

Surviving 2020

It has been an awful year. Many of us are grieving for different things…. We thought that we would use our last post of the year to reflect on what sustained us.

The state of not-for-profit publishing today

Today’s piece synthesizes several probes that we have conducted in recent months. The first examined university presses, looking at how they have been navigating current challenges and also how they are looking ahead to a very different future. Subsequently, we examined scholarly societies, looking across an array of fields not only at their publishing but also membership and meetings. For these probes, we conducted candid interviews with an array of executives. Today’s piece draws from the findings of these projects.