Finding time to write: Important, yes! Impossible, no! Reviewing your student assignment practices

The best insurance policy for success in academe is to write (and publish) your work. Yet, you say, where or where do I find the time to write, especially with all the feedback and grading I have to do?

This article is the first in a four-part series focused on finding hidden pockets of time for your own writing. This article will reflect on one aspect of your teaching practice: the assignments you have students complete.

What happens when you hand out your syllabus in that first face-to-face class? The students breeze past your well-crafted course description, clearly written objectives, and inspiring teaching philosophy to one place in the syllabus—the assignments.

UPS, FedEx, and You: Goal setting by deliverables

The beginning of a new academic year is a great time to set intentions and think about goals. Goal setting can seem arbitrary or ambiguous, particularly for large projects that take months or years to complete. What if you thought about your goals in terms of the final product of a semester? Deliverables. Deliverables are the concrete items you will deliver to yourself or others at the end of a period.

New TAA eBook Download: Writing Accountability – Productivity Through Partnership

Download this 17-page eBook, packed with helpful information for textbook and academic authors on how to be more productive through writing accountability, including:

  • How a Personal Writing Team Can Increase Your Productivity Through Accountability
  • How to Be an Effective Writing Accountability Partner
  • Writing Groups: When, Why, How, and Best Practices
  • Developing Healthy Collaborative Relationships: Why and How

Download

Spring Your Writing Forward: Get a Month of Motivation in April

Accomplish your academic writing goals by focusing on two areas of academic writing that many authors tend to struggle with – isolation and accountability – with TAA’s new Month of Motivation program.

To combat the challenges associated with personal goal setting and accountability felt by many academic authors, we have developed a month-long motivational email series that begins with a personal pledge to meet your writing goals. Simply share with us your goals, anticipated challenges, and what TAA can do to help you succeed, and we’ll help move you forward with daily email messages containing motivation, encouragement, and resources to advance your writing efforts all month long.

Project management: Two free tools to increase efficiency in your writing projects

Project management was originally developed for civil engineering, but even if you are writing a book instead of building a bridge, there are useful approaches to borrow that will improve your work flow. In a previous article, I described that within project management, tools can be roughly divided into “project definition tools” and “implementation tools.” Project definition tools are those that help you determine the scope, the tasks, and the budget (i.e., time), whereas implementation tools are those that help you conduct the work. Here, I focus on the latter, and present two tools from the lens of project management for writing.

What is your dream worth?

It’s one thing to have a dream. It’s another to do the things needed to achieve it. Every dream, including your dream of publication, comes at a cost. That cost will be different for every dream and every dreamer, but there are some common realities to all of them, perhaps the most important being that it is possible to pay too much for your dream.

To avoid paying too much, you must first identify what your dream is worth and measure the likely costs of achieving it.

So, what is your dream worth? Unfortunately, only you can determine the answer to that question. And you must answer that question before you can answer the bigger cost question of “Are you willing to pay the price for your dream?” To help you evaluate the value of your dream, let’s explore how to measure the costs of pursuing a dream.