Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 26, 2021

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” ~Mark TwainWhat are your writing goals? And, more importantly, what are you doing to reach them? According to Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

For many authors, the first step is a shift in mindset to seeing yourself as an author. In addition to facing this potentially overwhelming task, our collection of articles has advice on taking other steps along the way too. Whether defining a writing agenda, exploring the process of writing a book, figuring out what to do, writing and revising, or planning the next phase of your academic career, we have posts to help. There’s also information on joining a writing community, rights and royalties for spoken word, and the democratization of knowledge.

Whatever the task ahead, break it down, focus on the first step, and get started. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 19, 2021

“Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” ~David M. BurnsHow do you define success? As you refine your writing practice, especially in an environment constantly changing, it’s important to be able to answer this question. David M. Burns cautions, however that success does not equal reflection. “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” Success requires overcoming fear and moving forward.

Our collection of articles this week includes some practical advice on common challenges academic authors face. First is the challenge of knowing our readers, their preferences, and their expectations so we can meet them. Second is designing the research and dealing with a revise and resubmit decision on a submitted manuscript. Third is employing new tools and methods to our work. Fourth is maintaining successful habits and avoiding the effects of burn out. And, finally, is the need to deal with changes in the industry as they relate to publishing processes, book proposals, rights retention strategies, and self-publishing options.

There is no shortage of challenges authors face in the writing process, but the way forward is to move through the challenges and to define success somewhere short of perfection. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 12, 2021

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” ~Malcolm XAcademic writing is a process of education both for the reader and the writer. You preparation and dedication to your writing efforts prepare tomorrow’s research and writing efforts to move us forward.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we see advice on building momentum, getting started with topics and methods, overcoming jealousy of other writers, and building a network of support. We also explore ways to establish the future of your authoring brand including social media strategies and valuing your book for the long term. Finally, we explore transformative models and book writing software.

Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Spend this week preparing for your future and the future of your readers. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 5, 2021

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~Arthur AsheNo matter where you are in your writing career, I can promise you two things: 1) you have the knowledge and experience necessary to move ahead from where you are and 2) you still have further you can go. Early career writers have a tendency to look at themselves as anything but a author and remain paralyzed by imposter syndrome. Veteran authors often question how much more they have to contribute. Arthur Ashe reminds us that no matter the current situation, you should “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

In our collection of articles from around the web this week, we have advice on finding the angle and argument for your current manuscript, choosing methodologies for online studies, writing more compelling sentences, and triumphing over writer’s block. We have some resources on qualitative methodologies and journal impact factor rules. Finally, we look at author issues related to book marketing and publishing contracts.

Wherever you are today, start there, use what you have, and do what you can. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 29, 2021

“Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” ~Chinese proverbThere’s a Chinese proverb that says, “Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” Whether advancing our field of research or honing our craft as an academic author, the goal for each of us should be one of continuous learning and advancement. This may involve learning new skills, changing our perspective, revisiting things that have worked in the past, or exploring challenges and setbacks as opportunities.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find advice on all of these aspects of advancement. We begin with advice for those new to essay writing and a method for skimming articles and note taking that can benefit even experienced students and authors. We then look at identifying our perspective on research questions, revisiting the tools that have been successful in the past, and the benefits of academic reading groups. Finally, we identify challenges associated with different styles of writing, setbacks and mistakes, COVID-19, and digital services provided by publishers and academic libraries.

As you face new challenges in the week ahead, look at them as opportunities for advancement. Keep moving forward even if you feel like you’re fighting the current. It’s the only way to avoid dropping back. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 22, 2021

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.What a week! As we seemingly race to the end of the first month of a new year, most new academic terms are in full swing and this week in the US it has been a week of emotion and words for many. The week began with the celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and peaked at midday on Wednesday with the inauguration of the 46th president, Joe Biden. Through it all, one thing is certain – words matter, your voice as an academic author matter, your contribution to the education of our society matters.

King once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Are you meeting this goal in your education or the education of others through your work? In this week’s collection of articles, we share advice on restarting an unfinished book, getting your “Creator” and “Editor” on the same page, and how “Words Matter”. We continue with practical strategies for hypotheses, use of ethnographic field notes, and facilitating group discussions online. Then we close with industry and social interests related to publishing, sharing your research with others, and perspectives amidst the ongoing pandemic.

As you approach the week ahead, know that words matter and, more specifically, your words matter. Choose them wisely. Think intensively. Think critically. And build both intelligence and character through your words. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 15, 2021

“A man's mind, stretched by new ideas, may never return to its original dimensions.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, “A man’s mind, stretched by new ideas, may never return to its original dimensions.” As textbook and academic authors, our writing should not only stretch our minds, but the minds of our readers.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore what it means to write an academic argument, practical advice for conducting research, and differences in editing processes. We also found information on industry trends regarding publisher relations with libraries and higher education, a call for acceleration of open science, social and economic changes in publishing due to the pandemic, and why and how authors should build their own email lists.

This week I encourage you to stretch your mind with new ideas so you can better serve to stretch the minds of others. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 8, 2021

“You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.” ~Ted TurnerWhat goals have you set for yourself in the past week? It’s the New Year, the time of resolutions and planning, so I know you have set them – even if you have creatively named them something else because “you don’t set resolutions”. As you define your goals, whether for the new year or simply for the new day as you continue to grow and develop as a writer, I encourage you to consider the words of Ted Turner who said, “You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.”

As we look back, there are lessons to be learned from where we’ve been (especially in 2020), and opportunities for where we are heading in the future. As you set goals, consider the advice below on taking more risks, selling books, being a healthier writer, finding ways to overcome your “if only” excuses for not writing, and managing your anxiety as a writer. Additionally, this week’s collection includes academic writing choices and how to think about research questions.

Set your goals beyond your reach this year and then stretch yourself to meet them. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 1, 2021

“A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.” ~Burton RascoeAs you turn the page on a new year today, reflect on your accomplishments in the year that was, dream of opportunities in the year ahead, and design a plan for action to move you forward each day. Take time to reflect, dream, and plan. Writing is a creative process that requires learning from what was in order to create what will be. In fact, Burton Rascoe once said, “A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.”

As is often the case during the holidays, the Internet gets quiet as people take breaks from the normal routine of work and academic life, but we did find several posts worth sharing this week as you seek balance, refine your writing practice, evaluate your work, and breathe new life into your writing style in the new year.

As you move into the new week, and the year ahead, reflect, dream, plan, and perhaps take some time to stare out the window. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 24, 2020

“I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.” ~Peter De VriesAs we near the end of 2020, a year filled with disruption, change, and challenges resulting from the pandemic, inspiration can be hard to come by. It’s in these times that we must rely on our identified goals, routine practices, and positive experiences to move forward and stay the course. Peter De Vries summarized his writing habit as follows, “I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.”

Whether a daily routine or simply a mindset of perseverance in weathering the storms that have been and are sure to come in the future, success will be found in finding your own writing inspiration. As we see in this week’s collection of articles, we’re all facing challenges together – some new and some old – but the only way forward is through.

This week, reflect on what you have been able to sustain throughout 2020, what you want to achieve in the new year ahead, and which voices in your circle (or your own head) are ones that you should listen to in an effort to move forward with your writing efforts. Then move forward and we’ll get through this period of disruption, change, and challenges – together. Happy writing! [Read more…]