The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: September 7, 2018

"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." ~Russell BakerRussell Baker once said, “The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any.” As writers, we can certainly acknowledge the work such a craft requires, and in the genres of academic and textbook authoring the wide range of additional concerns for balance, accuracy, research integrity, and innovation in our writing efforts.

This week our collection of posts from around the web begins with a question, “Are there only four kinds of writers?” inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s book, The four tendencies. This evaluation of a writer is paired with authoring benefits, ways to improve academic output, time and energy management, research methods, diversity in peer review, critical and creative thinking, and privacy in user research – all factors of consideration for the academic author, regardless the type. Finally, we close this week’s list with considerations of the future of our profession, with new approaches to textbook development and e-book potential, the realities of open source and scholarly publishing, and significant changes in the trend toward open access in scientific publishing.

As you embark on your writing efforts in the week ahead, I encourage you to recognize and embrace the real work involved in the writing process and to find encouragement and support to continue those efforts. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: August 24, 2018

"A professional writer is an amateur who never quit." ~Richard BachIn this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we’ve found some helpful tips for academic researchers related to digital workflow, free writing, note taking, and time management. We’ve also found information on how openness influences research impact, things to avoid when developing surveys, and reasons one researcher would unfollow you on social media.

Richard Bach reminds us that “a professional writer is an amateur who never quit.” We hope that this week you can apply some of these tips to improve your writing practices and success. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: June 29, 2018

"I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged." ~Erica JongThis week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a variety of topics of interest or concern to authors. If you’re considering tools to support your scholarly writing efforts, there are articles related to Revision Assistant, Google Drive, and the latest in search. Ethics-minded? We have articles on using tweets as data, sharing story ownership, and interpretation of results. Thinking about your publishing options? There’s continued discussion on open access models. Just trying to move forward in your scholarly writing? We also found time-saving tips for writing papers and methods for being a “star PhD student”.

Erica Jong once said, “I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.” This week we encourage you to finish something. Be brave. Be brilliant. And write without fear of judgement. [Read more…]

Finding your flow: Establishing a pace that works for you

Establishing a pace that works for youIn my academic coaching and editing practice, I have many clients voicing a similar concern: that they’re not working as hard as their colleagues. They tell me stories of colleagues who show up on weekends, or work with their doors closed for 10 hours or more on the weekdays. My clients repeat these stories of their colleagues often. From my observation, these stories serve several purposes: [Read more…]

How to minimize distractions and disruptions while writing

Do not disturbUnlike most writing disciplines, textbook and academic writing must be balanced with the distractions and disruptions of the many demands of academic life, including teaching, committee assignments, and research.

Five TAA members share how they minimize distractions and disruptions while writing, including how they eliminate electronic distractions, make time for writing, use music to focus, and edit later. [Read more…]

6 Ways to take control of your day

jugglingIn her TAA webinar, “The Academic Juggle: Managing Your Writing in a World of Commitments”, Dr. Jane Jones, an academic editor and consultant at Up In Consulting, shared the following six strategies for taking back control of your day, reducing the overwhelm, and feeling more accomplished professionally.

1) Track your time. Take inventory of your daily activities. You may find that you spend too much time on activities with lower return or that you have long stretches of time throughout the day that are unaccounted for. [Read more…]

Time management strategies: Take a time inventory

Time managementHow do you get long-term projects done, given day-to-day realities? It can certainly be a challenge, especially if you suffer from procrastination and disorganization, says William Weare, Access Services Team Leader at the University Library at Indiana University-Purdue, and author of several journal articles, conference papers, and a book chapter on time management for academic librarians.

One of the strategies he has used to become more productive is taking a time inventory to visually see where his time goes. [Read more…]

5 Textbook authoring time management tips

Good time management skills are crucial for authors. Manage your old fashion clock_squaretime well and you can maximize your efficiency, allowing you to meet or beat deadlines and still have time for other activities. Five successful textbook authors share the following time management tips:

  1. Prioritize writing and other work and life commitments. “Ask yourself: What’s most important? If family life ranks highest, then set aside writing in favor of spending time with loved ones. When you return to your desk, you’ll focus far more effectively and get more accomplished because you will not be distracted by thoughts of having sacrificed life experiences that are deeply important to you.” —Laura Berk, author of Exploring Lifespan Development [Read more…]