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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 4, 2021

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.” ~Buckminster FullerAs textbook and academic authors, we often know where we want to go, perhaps have some idea of how to get there, but are often caught with feelings of ill-preparedness, lack of knowledge or resources, and a general sense of self-reliance to produce our results. From the outside looking in, we may appear to be working hard with nothing to show for the effort.

In our collection of articles from around the web this week, we find advice on how to properly manage our internal and external resources – beginning with things like energy, time, relationships, social media, mindset, and the words we use or eliminate from our vocabulary.We also find practical tips on concluding a paper, writing an impact statement, maintaining copyright, and asking for help where needed.

Whether crawling across the ground, tucked safely in a cocoon, or preparing to spread your wings and fly, persevere through the challenges you face. After all, Buckminster Fuller said, “There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” Each step is essential to transform from where you are to where you intend to be – even if you’re the only one who sees the future potential of your work. Happy writing!

Time, energy and health: Three considerations for academic commitment and project planning

I’ve been working through some ideas on planning and project management for academics, as I’ve been asked to deliver more project management and planning workshops for academics over the past few months. Thinking deeply about these things allows me to consider how different elements play out in how we manage our academic commitments and how we do project planning. This post outlines my reflections. As someone who suffered through chronic pain, chronic fatigue, psoriasis-eczema-dermatitis, I have become keenly aware of 3 things that we believe are in infinite supply: Energy, Time and Health.

What Writers Can Learn from Runners

Roger Bannister was able to fit his running practice into a little under four hours a week, and it took him just about two years to reach his goal. What could you accomplish in four hours a week, if you gave your best to crafting a story in those bursts of time? What might you have to show for it in two years?

Building Your Writing Support Triangle, Part 1: Critique

As writers, it’s important to have a support system, and it’s just as important to enlist the right people to that inner circle. Jessica Conoley is sharing the first post in a three-part series on what this support system should look like and who it should include.

Using Social Media for Research Podcast

In this episode, podcaster Suzanne Albary and their guest will thinking about how we might use social media to gather research data. They’ll also talk briefly about netnography, and in our interview for this week, with Kerry Jordan-Daus, we’ll hear some of the issues with this particular methodology.

The project finishing mindset

Last year I wrote a post called While you scream inside your heart, please keep working about how to deal with different kinds of project uncertainty. But getting a research project done before the money runs out takes more than clever strategies. You also need what I’ll call, for lack of a better term a ‘project finishing mind-set’.

Two Words that Will Supercharge Your Writing Career

Over the years I’ve gotten to know many writers and have noticed certain things about those who see their careers take off. No matter what their age, country of origin, or genre, they have a boatload of passion, tenacity, humility, and grit. But there’s something else as well, two words missing from their vocabulary: good enough.

Concluding a paper

Conclusions can be hard. There are a few big traps that conclusion writers can fall into. In order to avoid them, try the following three things.

The Prickly Impact Statement

Increasingly, impact statements are integrated into funding applications. The impact statement should be a standalone snapshot of your project. Impact statements are a genre of writing and, once you have a handle on the components that make up a persuasive impact statement, they’re much less daunting to generate.

Best of VOC: Pirates and Publishers

Forget what you learned about the origin of printing. Movable type using Chinese porcelain pegs was invented by Bi Sheng in 1040, four centuries before Gutenberg and his press. And where there is printing, there is copyright, too. So, yes, you can also forget that other myth, the one that says China and copyright are incompatible.

Writers: Ask for What You Want

In order to ask for what you want, you have to know what you want. Sometimes this is clear. Other times, you have inklings and intuitions. Trust your worthiness, even when you can use a little help. Especially then.