Q&A: What techniques do you use to cut clutter, wordiness, jargon, etc. from your writing?

Q: “What techniques do you use to cut clutter, wordiness, jargon, etc. from your writing?”

A: Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor of Holistic Education, Department of Special Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN:

“What you don’t include in is just as important as what you do include. Splash your words on the page. Write your draft without regard to length or redundancy. Get the whole mess out there. First focus on and revise sentence-by-sentence. With each, only include the information that needs to be there to communicate the idea. NO EXTRA WORDS.

Q&A: Strategies for bringing your writing projects to completion, overcoming writer’s block, and managing your time

Q: “How do you bring your writing projects to completion? Do you write daily, in large blocks? What strategies do you use to overcome ‘writer’s block’? What have you done to improve your writing skills? How do you manage your time so that you find time for writing?”

A: Joan Carnosso RN, PhD(c), CCRN, Associate Professor, Nursing Department, Boise State University:

“I am new to authoring and writing for that matter. I am working on finishing my dissertation and it has been a struggle for me since I really never believed that I liked to write and I sure didn’t believe I was good at it. So I knew that I needed to do something to boost my confidence. I applied and got accepted to two workshops. One is Writing Across the Curriculum, and the other is the National Writing Project. Both of which take place in the summer.

Q&A: What are some of the rewards of textbook writing?

Q: “What are some of the rewards of textbook writing?”

A: Erin C. Amerman, author of Exploring Anatomy & Physiology in the Laboratory, 1e (2010):

“Authoring a textbook from scratch is, naturally, an incredibly laborious process. It means often working 80-hour work weeks, giving up weekends, and facing occasional scathing comments from one’s peers. For me, it also meant that my daughter’s first intelligible sentence was, ‘Mommy, work, book.’ Without a doubt, textbook authoring demands sacrifices. Given all of this, one may wonder why anyone ever bothers to undertake such a massive task. The answer lies in the many rewards of textbook writing. In my opinion, the biggest such reward is the ability to create something brand new, something that will enhance the learning experience of students and make a positive impact on their education. As professors, we all have the opportunity to touch our students’ lives, but textbook authoring offers one the opportunity to do this on a much grander scale.”

Q&A: How to write a stellar book proposal and get published

Q: “A publisher has expressed interest in my ideas for a book, and has asked for a proposal. What goes into a good proposal?”

A: Michael Lennie, Authoring Attorney and Literary Agent, Lennie Literary and Authors’ Attorneys:

“A proposal should be as good as or better than the book itself because publishers sign non-fiction books based on the proposal and one or two sample chapters, not based on the completed book itself. Do not short change yourself by slapping together a generalized proposal. Read the book(s) and relevant articles, and do your best work!”