Finding your sweet spot

Where is the best place to write? In some people’s mind, they will find an idyllic location. Quiet. All your resources and materials at your fingertips. Maybe a good view. Or a great one; a mountain view or the ocean. No phones. No email. No meetings or interruptions. No needy kids or pets. This place likely exists, but only in the movies.

Back in the real world, mere mortals must wrestle with the reality of the day-to-day challenges.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 25, 2021

Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows once said, “I think you learn more if you’re laughing at the same time.” Right or wrong, it never hurts to laugh and can add to the experience. In fact, emotions of many kinds are essential elements to our learning and academic writing efforts.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we see examples of emotion as it affects word choice, research strategy, racism and social justice issues, and more.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 16, 2021

As we enter the back half of April, many of us in academia are finding students nearing the end of their academic term looking at their grades and considering what it will take to pass the class and avoid failure. Many of us, also as writers, may be facing deadlines or revisiting our goals and expectations for our writing during the same time and feeling this same sense of success or failure in our own efforts.

The spirit of academia, of learning, and of writing is one of process more than events.

Permission granted! But not the kind you think.

Permission conjures up the image of asking a publisher to use a table or a photo from their publication in your next journal article. This post is not about those types of permission, but rather about the permission you give yourself.

We have all read too many articles (including mine) about how things have changed over the past year. Time challenges. Financial challenges. Changing and increasing demands in the classroom. Emotional rollercoasters. Pressure. The ground under us appears to be constantly shifting.

You need to take this all into account and be good with giving yourself permission.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 2, 2021

What are you planting today? As you research, write, teach, learn, and market your work, what is your long-term objective for future harvest? Is it a reputation? Position? Legacy?

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore topics of ethics, the benefit of PhDs, resilience, self-improvement, self-promotion, and mentoring.

Og Mandino once said, “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 12, 2021

What part of your writing makes you feel uncomfortable? Do you sometimes feel silly trying something new like building a writing habit or saying the word “Pomodoro”? Oftentimes our self-doubt or fear will increase these feelings as well.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we look at where to put our focus while writing, facing down fear, overcoming the blank page, and habits of a successful student. We look next at research ethics, editing your writing, and treating networking like something familiar – a research project. Finally, we explore support for authors in open access publishing.