Tips for anxious writers: You are not an imposter

Many academic writers fear that their work is not good enough and not important enough, and also that they themselves are not good enough. Such doubts are well-known in academia, and recognized by the phrase “imposter syndrome.” Trying to write often triggers such doubts and their subsequent anxiety, which interferes with the focus needed for good writing. If you’re thinking “I’m not good enough” or “I don’t have anything worth saying,” your focus is being drawn away from the things that you do have to say, and how to say them effectively to reach your audience.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 20, 2022

Ray Bradbury once said, “Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.”

The type of career you make for yourself as an academic author is made up of many factors. In our collection of articles from around the web this week, we find posts addressing several of those affecting today’s academic writers including: finding your motivation, establishing an ideal writing space, managing your time, building community, and the future of conferences.

No matter where you are in your career as an academic author, know that you are not a failure as long as you keep working toward your goals. Happy writing!

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 1, 2022

Jane Yolen once said, “Love the writing, love the writing, love the writing… the rest will follow.” As authors, hopefully we all “love the writing”, but that doesn’t mean that writing is easy or that the things needed to support our writing efforts come naturally.

In this collection of articles from around the web, we found advice on common essay writing mistakes, time management processes, and tackling writer’s block. We also found a review of open data in research over the past decade and funding advice for using kickstarter as authors. Finally, we found marketing tips for assessing the competition on Kindle and examples of quality book trailers.

As you write this week (or support your writing with other authoring tasks), love what you do! Happy writing!

4/7 TAA Webinar – Beyond Productivity: How to Build a Joyful Writing Practice

Are you tired of feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or unconfident as a writer? Do you long to recover your love of inquiry and cultivate a joyful relationship with your writing?

Join us Thursday, April 7, 2022, 1-2 p.m. EST, “Beyond Productivity: How to Build a Joyful Writing Practice”, presented by Michelle Boyd of InkWell Academic Writing Retreats. In this one-hour webinar, she will explain why writing is so emotionally taxing, describe how scholars can use social writing to overcome their writing fears. By the end of the session, each scholar will better understand their own barriers and have a step-by-step plan for implementing their personalized social writing strategy.

Feedback on student work: a sinkhole or an opportunity – Finding time to write (part 2)

Students expect and need feedback on their work. The basic goal of feedback is to enhance student learning. An anomaly of feedback is that more is not necessarily better. Research tells us that students may not even read your copious feedback (sigh) and may not understand what to do with statements like, “cite more references” or “this is confusing”. However, giving a judicious amount of feedback in a timely manner will make a difference in student learning. The purpose of this article is to describe how to refine, clarify, streamline, and improve your feedback practices with an eye toward spending less time on the task.

Six reminders to help you and your students get to the writing

It’s no secret that writing is hard, whatever our experience, stage, or state. Academics aren’t the only ones who abhor writing. It’s likely that anyone who ever had to write anything abhors writing. With academic writing, as any other kind, it’s usually hard to get started. Even if we’ve had an initial flush of enthusiasm and are amazed at having produced the first few pages, it’s too easy to sink into a frozen torpor.

Yet writing represents some of the most important aspects of our professional work. And too often we avoid, procrastinate, and rationalize why, instead of writing, we must polish the car or clean out the refrigerator.