Confronting the anxiety of academic writing: Tackling the intellectual and practical difficulties

The first article in this series, based on Rachael Cayley’s October 19, 2022 TAA webinar, “Confronting the Anxiety of Academic Writing”, covered the concerns of writing product and writing process and how they are so deeply rooted that they start to feel inevitable.

In this second article, we discuss some of the ways that Cayley suggests tackling the intellectual and practical difficulties associated with writing. To tackle the intellectual difficulties, she says, you need to reconceptualize writing: “Writing is not a simple matter of writing up something that has already been created. Prior to writing, for most of us, there’s not much there. And that creative process—the process of getting words out of our inchoate minds and on to the page—is an intensely difficult one. No matter how much underlying research, or note taking, or outlining, or thinking you may have done.”

Check the Authors Coalition of America’s author list: You could be owed royalties

Authors Coalition of America, LLC, has identified a number of American authors who may be due royalty payments from non-U.S. sources. These royalties have been received to compensate authors for the foreign reprographic use of U.S. copyrighted materials.

While the majority of reprographic royalties distributed to ACA are the result of surveys and samplings in foreign countries done on a non-title specific basis, and therefore are remitted to organizations representing the categories of authors for whom the funds were collected (like TAA), ACA also receives royalties due individual authors from select countries that collect by title-specific methods.

Want to feel more joyful when writing? This 2023 TAA Conference session is for you

“I want to feel more joyful through the process of my writing.” If this statement resonates, you will not want to miss the 2023 TAA Conference session, Empowering Joyful Writing, by Dr. Tracy Hodges, Owner and Chief Creative Officer of The Empowering Advocate LLC.

The stressors of current life are pushing more and more people to seek joy in their work. Writing is one task that may not spark joy for many of us— it is challenging, vulnerable, and time-consuming.

Registration is now open for the 2023 TAA Conference on Textbook & Academic Authoring

Network with other textbook and academic authors and gain knowledge on writing and editing strategies, writing productivity, textbook contracts and royalties, and much more! You will leave inspired!

You’ll have the opportunity to participate in more than two dozen educational sessions, one-on-one mentoring sessions with veteran textbook and academic authors and industry professionals, and plenty of networking and information-sharing sessions.

TAA’s 35th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference will be held online, June 9-10, 2023, on an interactive virtual conference platform.

Observations on teaching and textbook writing

During a career spanning several decades, I have often reflected on the relationship between teaching and textbook writing. Indeed, in my experience, every successful textbook author I have met or read about has always been a very accomplished—often a prize-winning—teacher. The reverse does not seem to be the case, however. I know of excellent teachers whose textbooks never gained traction. And there are thousands of great teachers who do not have the slightest interest in writing a textbook. (I too never aspired to textbook authorship until a publisher approached me about becoming the junior author of the leading introductory art history textbook. I eventually consented because I found enormously appealing the prospect of extending my teaching nationwide and reaching tens of thousands instead of hundreds of students every year.)

Why start a writing journal?

If you’re having trouble getting serious about writing in the new year after all the holiday time away, consider a writing journal. It’s an almost painless way to sneak back into writing and a longstanding writer’s tool to record and develop ideas, work out projects and plots, and save meaningful aphorisms and perfect overheard phrases. Whether you’ve kept a journal for decades, or have never started one, a journal not only can help you write more but also make your writing more effective.