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.

What is critical race theory and why it should matter to academic authors

Recently, since the popularity of the 1619 project and its connection to critical race theory (CRT), there has been significant confusion about what CRT is. CRT used to be only known and debated by scholars in law, education, sociology and other related fields, but now it is troubling the minds of the parents of elementary students, among others. Let’s start with what it is, talk about what it isn’t and end with discussing what academic authors need to know about it.

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.

Need help with a writing project? Apply for a one-hour editing or coaching session from TAA

What could you do with one hour of editing or coaching?

TAA members can apply to receive a one-hour editing or coaching session from one of our professional editor or coach partners. You can accomplish a lot in one hour! Get a partial copyedit or developmental edit of several pages of your academic journal article or book chapter, or receive one-on-one coaching to help you over a hurdle with your project.

Members must be in good standing to apply for a session. Applications are being accepted between September 1 and December 31. The September application deadline is the 30th and sessions will be awarded October 11. Learn more or apply

Your own writing room(s)

My writing buddy’s face turned dark pink as she shouted over her latté. “No one can write anything decent without a private place!” She jabbed with her finger. “It’s gotta be your own!”

I was as adamant. “Oh, come on! All you need is the desire, will, and your stone tablet and sharp tool. It doesn’t matter where you write!”

Our little debate embodies two often-discussed viewpoints about writing. My vehement response to my friend brought up again my long puzzlement about the most effective place to write. Other writers have explored this topic, with many suggestions. They are all fine, but I believe something is missing. Especially if you’re in a quandary about where to write, I’d like to help enlarge your perceptions of your own physical and mental writing places, spaces, and times.

Don’t want to write? Rev up your intentions

These languid summer days, after some necessary business with my dissertation coaching and editing clients, I resist doing my personal writing. Generally, I manage to balance (or struggle with or squeeze) the ever-ongoing writing projects—novel, stories, essays, poems—with the client work. If I don’t do something on my own writing, the day will feel wasted and I didn’t fulfill at least a little of my writing promise to myself.

To tease myself into writing on a particularly steamy day (despite the air conditioning), I remembered a technique that academic and creative coach Dr. Dominique Chlup (2016) teaches her clients. This is to first set your writing intentions: ask yourself how you want to feel writing during this session or having written.