How a personal writing team can increase your productivity through accountability

Writing TeamAt the 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Santa Fe, NM, panelists at three different career stages discussed how they came together to form a “personal writing team” that supports writing goals, productivity, and accountability. Unique to this group, said panelist Felicia Moore Mensah, an associate dean and faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University, is the support that women of color can provide and need for increased mentorship for early career scholars.

The complete recording of their presentation, “A Personal Writing Team for Productivity and Accountability,” can be found in TAA’s library of Presentations on Demand. [Read more…]

3 Tips for writing an effective figure caption

Research with figureIn a recent post on constructing effective tables and figures, I noted the need for figures to include captions that “succinctly describe the accompanying content.” In this post, we will discuss the purpose of captions and how to write one that is effective.

It is important to remember that figures should be clearly understood, even in isolation from the rest of the manuscript. The caption provides an opportunity for the author to provide context and connection to the rest of the article, as it relates to the visual element. [Read more…]

Time and friendship and writing

friendship and writingAs I’ve chosen to reduce socializing in favor of more writing time, I’ve also chosen to keep up or reconnect with a very few friends and realize an essential characteristic of friendship: time doesn’t matter. However long the moments, weeks, or years between contacts, real friendship knows no steel-banded boundaries of time, distance, erratic mobile phone connections, or sporadic emails.

I recall a friend of twenty years ago who lived nearby, and I still cherish our many calls and visits. When we both moved, our interests diverged, and contact ended. [Read more…]

Exercises in writing accountability – The TAA Writing Gym

TAA Writing GymThe TAA Writing Gym has officially opened its doors for the first time and we are excited to announce that 173 TAA members have committed to a six-week workout regimen in writing accountability.

From July 16 through August 26, TAA Writing Gym participants will be held accountable for their weekly writing goals by logging hours as they work on their individual writing projects. To support and encourage their progress, the gym provides weekly motivational writing classes, writing stations filled with exclusive TAA resources, and a listserv for communication with other gym members. [Read more…]

A delicate balance: Humility and self-respect

FeedbackWhether you are a doctoral student wrestling the drafts of your dissertation or an academic author wrestling with the drafts of your book, you have encountered, or will, the often-intimidating presence and feedback of your chair or editor. As with any interpersonal relationship, it’s advisable to steer between abject obeisance and independent arrogance. Neither will get you what you want—approval of your dissertation or publication of your book.

In my academic editing and coaching profession, I suggest to clients that an optimum way to establish and maintain a good working relationship is a combination of humility and self-respect. Whatever your past accomplishments, humility before the perceived power of the chair or editor is required. [Read more…]

How to smash an unexpected block: When the writing’s going well

No negative thoughts allowedWe’ve all probably read articles about writer’s block that stumps and paralyzes, but several writers I know have experienced another unexpected and surprising block. One described it: “My fingers play the computer keyboard like a concert pianist, my pages pile up like gold. ‘Wow, I think, I’m gonna go all night!’”

Then he confessed, “‘Faster than a form rejection, more powerful than an editor’s frown, able to freeze me in a single flash, a horrible thought darkens my brain: I can’t stand it anymore!’”

What? The writing was going just too well. [Read more…]

Your writing accountability partner this summer: The TAA Writing Gym

Writing GymFlex your writing muscles in the TAA Writing Gym. This 6-week work-out-on-your-own gym time will serve as your writing accountability partner as you work to achieve your writing goals. The gym is free with your TAA membership, and is open to those writing textbooks, scholarly journal articles, and dissertations.

The gym will be open 24 hours from July 16-August 26, 2018. The deadline for signing up is July 9. [Read more…]

#AcWriChat TweetChat: Not on Twitter? Watch live here on 5/4 at 11 a.m. ET

acwrimoJoin TAA on Twitter on Friday, May 4 at 11 a.m. ET using the hashtag #AcWriChat for our latest TweetChat focused on presenting your work.

Not on Twitter? Not sure what a “Tweet Chat” is? Follow us here (you won’t be able to actively participate, but you will be able to follow the chat live).

[Read more…]

5/1 TAA Webinar: ‘Demystifying the Literature Review’

Literature reviews are one of the more challenging genres of academic writing. Join us Tuesday, May 1, 3-4 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “Demystifying the Literature Review”, presented by Dr. Daveena Tauber, Founder of ScholarStudio, to talk about strategies for reading, making sense of, and writing about the literature. Whether you’re writing a literature review for a dissertation, an article, or the introduction to your book, you won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to get clarity on this important part of your project. This webinar will help you understand not only what it means to synthesize the literature, but will also give you tools for doing it.  [Read more…]

The interconnectedness of you

The interconnectedness of youCongratulations. Another article accepted. Plus, you have that book chapter to work on. And you are waiting to hear from that acquisitions editor on your book idea. A lot going on.

Many authors and academics, however, see their scholarly output in silos. Seeing the panoramic view of your work can create the interconnectedness of you. [Read more…]