How a personal writing team can increase your productivity through accountability

Writing TeamAt the 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Santa Fe, NM, panelists at three different career stages discussed how they came together to form a “personal writing team” that supports writing goals, productivity, and accountability. Unique to this group, said panelist Felicia Moore Mensah, an associate dean and faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University, is the support that women of color can provide and need for increased mentorship for early career scholars.

The complete recording of their presentation, “A Personal Writing Team for Productivity and Accountability,” can be found in TAA’s library of Presentations on Demand. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: June 26, 2015

Can you believe that we are already at the end of June? "Don't wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect."Have you found yourself sticking to your writing goals or does hearing that it’s the end of June make you want to run screaming in panic? You might not be screaming in panic, but you might be quickly assessing all that you have and have yet to accomplish this summer to meet the goals you set for yourself this past spring. Luckily, many of the articles below are focused on summer writing. Some reassuring there is still plenty of time to be productive and others on productivity and realistic writing schedules.

Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: June 11, 2015

I think it’s safe to say that summer has write. finish things. go for walks. read a lot & outside your comfort zone. stay interested. daydream. write.arrived—hot sunny days filled with the sounds of kids outside playing (or at least that’s what I imagine I would hear if I lived in a neighborhood and not in the middle of nowhere). Summer is by far my favorite time of year. I feel much more motivated to reach all of the goals I’ve set for myself when the sun is shining and the temperature outside is nearer to 80°F than 0°F. How about you? Do you feel you accomplish more in the summer? Do you stay on track with your writing? A few of the posts this week will, I think, help you stay on track with your writing this summer, while still actually enjoying summer. And, as always, happy writing! [Read more…]

5 Approaches to writing group success

Writing GroupWriting groups offer their members a wealth of benefits. In fact, studies indicate that membership in a writing group can actually help boost your publication rate. In an examination of the publication rate of 48 female medical school faculty before and after participating in a writing group, Sonnad et al. found that the professors’ average publication rate increased from 1.5 papers per year to 4.5 papers per year after joining the writing group. Cumbie et al. also describe increases in productivity among writing group members, reporting “significant and positive writing outcomes in the form of manuscripts submitted for publication, abstracts submitted for conference presentations, [and] grant proposals developed.” [Read more…]

8 Strategies for writing group success

Writing groups provide an opportunity for you to connect with your peers, create a sense of community, and find collaborators for joint projects. By meeting regularly as a group, you can provide one another with peer support and accountability while sharing advice that can help improve writing skills and lead to greater publication success.

Writing gifts: Blogging about academic writing

Patricia Goodson

Patricia Goodson

Maggie Huerta

Maggie Huerta

Peter Elbow once recommended that authors should try to write for non-evaluative audiences; they should experiment donating their writing as precious gifts to readers who would not judge, evaluate or critique, but would merely enjoy the words and ideas1. For academic writers like us — subject ad nauseam to evaluations and tearing apart of our writing – having a venue where we write merely for the pleasure of writing what others enjoy reading is strong medicine. Medicine that can heal the handicap of destructive feedback, nourish the “writing soul”2, prevent abject loneliness during the process, and restore the hope that, yes, we can, in fact, write something others might actually want to read!

Here is the story of how a group of graduate students and faculty at Texas A&M University began heeding Elbow’s advice. [Read more…]

12 Strategies for writing group success

writing groupWriting groups provide an opportunity for faculty authors to connect with their peers, create a sense of community, and find collaborators for joint projects. By meeting regularly as a group, author members can provide one another with peer support and accountability while sharing advice that can help improve writing skills and lead to greater publication success.

Providing valuable resources and grant funding, TAA’s Chapter Program offers an excellent foundation for establishing a successful faculty authoring community. Following are twelve TAA Chapter Program strategies designed to increase the power and success of chapter writing groups. [Read more…]

Learning as we go: Establishing a writing community

Alexandria Wolochuck

Alexandria Wolochuck

In 2011 Pat Mason and I set out to establish a TAA chapter writing community at Molloy College. Making the time to come together during a semester to share our work is an awesome task for many of us, but we try to make it interesting for our colleagues by providing writing sessions, newly published books, and refreshments. In addition, we have adopted various useful mottoes—the best being “Less surfing and more writing!”

Pat and I seek to provide opportunities to the writing group that would be the most beneficial to our members. Recently what worked for us was to offer a 50-minute workshop on “Strategies to Improve Your Writing.” We got off to a really great start with a group of faculty representing nursing, theology and communication who seemed eager to learn. The workshop was very interactive and the time was well spent. [Read more…]

The writers’ workshop at work

Rachel Toor

Rachel Toor

When I first went back to graduate school in creative writing, after a lifetime in the publishing ‘hood, I told my friends that if they ever heard me use “workshop” as a verb, they should shoot me.

But now, with one foot in the academic world and the other in the muck of teaching creative writing, I think the writers’ workshop is an appropriate model for academics who want to make their manuscripts better. Creative writers have been “workshopping” each other’s stuff for a long time. The workshop model can lead to tears, to bruised egos, and, occasionally, to black eyes. But the right group can produce better work.

The first thing to do is to gather people who are serious about giving and receiving help, and then to decide what the process should be: how often to meet, what kinds of work to be submitted, who will bring the food. My own model is like Ben Franklin’s Junto. He limited the number of members in that mutual-improvement club to 12. More than 12 in a writers’ workshop is difficult, and I think six to eight is best. [Read more…]