Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 14, 2022
Why do you write? Are you writing to share you knowledge with others? Are you writing to get the thoughts out of your head and onto paper? Perhaps, here at the start of the year, you are writing (or not) because you have resolved to do so. Or are you like Flannery O’Connor who said, “I write to discover what I know.”
In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find insight on new years’s resolutions for authors, writing deadlines, writing strategies, the end of writer self-doubt, and the future of open access. Whatever your reasoning, we encourage you to write every day. Happy writing!
Another new year brings another new opportunity for reflection and re-centering. As I talk about nearly every year, my preference for the New Year is to focus less on resolutions for the year ahead and more on reflections of what I experienced and gained in the year past.
Happy New Year! Many of us feel a sense of renewal in January, and it’s tempting to resolve, “This year I’ll start a brand-new writing habit!” The power of resolution has worked for me exactly once. In 2008, I decided I wasn’t going to be late any more. That’s mostly held true. But sustained behavioral change is genuinely difficult for all of us, and roughly 90% of New Year’s resolutions fail. I haven’t chosen a behavior-change resolution in a while, but I do make yearly goals.
To state the obvious, writing deadlines often feel different than other deadlines. I almost wrote, ‘writing deadlines often feel different than real deadlines’. Which probably tells you everything you need to know about how well I manage my writing deadlines.
There are several strategies that you can use to generate novel possibilities – the most obvious are brainstorming and free writing. And variants on these. Another approach is cubing. Cubing is a strategy which encourages you to rethink. Cubing is generally attributed to Cowan and Cowan (1980) but has been adapted numerous times and in different ways. (And yes, I’m a cubing adapter too.)
Maybe you’re in the thick of things right now. Maybe you’ve got a baby and a job and any number of balls in the air. But you want to write; you’re dying to write. Then try your own version of this approach in 2022. Maybe you can carve out thirty minutes rather than an hour. That’s fine, better than fine. Once you’ve established the routine, once you’re writing on a regular schedule, you will be surprised by how much you accomplish—both at the desk and away.
How can we recognize self-doubt and create alongside it as part of the author journey? How can we write with confidence and double down on what we love the most? William Kenower talks about these aspects and more.
Open access can be easily but not precisely defined. At the nucleus of open access is the uncomplicated idea of a means of access free of cost and with permissions clearly outlined by an open license. Yet surrounding this central concept is a dense and active cloud of values, motivations, and incentives knit so closely to the nucleus as to be indistinguishable from open access itself. What open access actually is — its opportunities, challenges, and prospects for the future — remains highly dependent on one’s vantage point within this cloud. There is value in exploring the concept of different perspectives on open access in more detail to begin to develop a “unified approach to open”.