What is this business we’re in – the business of education? John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” For textbook and academic authors, I think we’d certainly agree. We live both to educate others and to continue our own education in our discipline. But how do we make education more than a tool or career and rather a lifestyle?
Right off the bat, my answer is a likely no. But I have to confess I am a writer, author, librarian, editor, publisher, book lover and book collector, so maybe I am not the best judge.
Perhaps you think you have too many books at work or at home. Perhaps you have had an “intervention” by your spouse, officemate, or friends. In that case, read on. Perhaps with the holidays upon us, new books as gifts from friends might put you over the top!
Here are some questions to think about as you ponder your books:
Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Writing is a continuous search for the right word, the right fit, and the right connections.
As textbook and academic authors, that search for what’s “right” may be in the relationships with co-authors and editors. It may be what’s right from a social justice perspective. It may be what’s right in our preparation, process, and delivery of content. Or it may be what’s right for publishing our work.
Samuel Johnson once said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” Our collection of articles from around the web are ones worth reading, beginning with a typology of books you may want to read to improve your writing craft.
Next, we have content on FAIR data principles for promoting open research data, ways to deal with writing tasks in college, and methods of addressing life’s challenges that may be affecting your writing practice. Finally, we explore qualitative research in a digital world, dealing with rejection, defeating self-doubt, and the function of academic book publishers.
This week’s collection of articles from around the web contains many strategies for writing that can make your writing process more effective and your results more powerful.
We begin our collection with misconceptions about being a writer, tips for reaching your writing goals, and being a trustworthy researcher. We continue with advice on writing what you want to know, writing imperfectly, organizing your writing, improving your essays, and reading to improve your writing. Finally, we explore revision strategies, tone, writing with a busy schedule, blogging, and fostering racial empathy through your reading and writing practices.
According to the University of Richmond Writing Center, “Reading and writing are very closely related. If a writer doesn’t understand the material they are reading, chances are they will not be able to write about it successfully.” This premise was the foundation of our May 15th AcWriChat discussion on Twitter where we discussed effective reading habits of academics.
Event participants, Danielle Apfelbaum, Marc A. Ouellette, and Sonal A. Mehta added personal perspective to the discussion. During the TweetChat event we asked about ways to make reading efforts more effective, strategies to improve notetaking, post-reading processes, and how reading outside your discipline can improve your academic writing. Below is a summary of key insights from the discussion.