Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 26, 2021

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~Dorothy ParkerHas the pandemic life got you bored? Are you seeing a wealth of new challenges to your writing practice or are you exploring new opportunities and remaining curious about what the future (post-pandemic) research and academic environment will look like? Dorothy Parker once said, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

I challenge you to be curious this week – whether looking at new paths to success, new opportunities for collaboration, new topics to research, new ways to edit or market your work, or new technologies on the horizon that may impact your academic writing. If your writing practice is growing stale or you are becoming bored with your academic efforts late in the term, change your mindset and get curious instead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

In between writer and author

writing deskHave you heard the recent song from American Idol and country music singer, Scotty McCreery? It’s called “In Between” and it’s a fun song that I think a lot of people can identify with because we tend to see ourselves as not all of one particular thing or another. It’s also quite fitting in a world where we often label people in a specific way and once identified as such, find it that much harder to see them as anything different.

As many problems such thinking can cause in our world of relationships, it can be that much more devastating when labels or identification is self-imposed, especially when that assigned identity is less than what we want to be known for. This is particularly true for authors (whether early in their career or even sometimes after being published) where we are quick to claim the title of “writer” but slow to call ourselves an “author”. Even more often, it seems that we identify somewhere “in between”.

So what are you? Are you a writer? Are you an author? Or are you somewhere in between? [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 19, 2021

“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.” ~James DewarWhat are you open to this week? New opportunities? New writing practices? New perspectives? James Dewar reminds us that “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.”

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find encouragement to be open to new mindsets, time management strategies, and motivation elements in our writing practice. We also find information on research methods, open science, and sociocultural frameworks. Finally, we explore topics of diversity and transformative agreements in scholarly publishing.

If you want greater opportunity and success in your academic writing, I encourage you to focus on being open to new ideas this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]

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

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” ~Malcolm XAcademic writing is a process of education both for the reader and the writer. You preparation and dedication to your writing efforts prepare tomorrow’s research and writing efforts to move us forward.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we see advice on building momentum, getting started with topics and methods, overcoming jealousy of other writers, and building a network of support. We also explore ways to establish the future of your authoring brand including social media strategies and valuing your book for the long term. Finally, we explore transformative models and book writing software.

Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Spend this week preparing for your future and the future of your readers. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The power of words

“A word after a word after a word is power.” ~Margaret AtwoodYesterday, January 20, 2021, we witnessed the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States and of Vice-President Kamala Harris. The ceremony was filled with messages, constructed by words, shared by many people in positions of power – both in our national government and in the entertainment industry – through speech, recitation, song, and poetry. These messages and the effect of the words delivered throughout the event caused me to revisit a quote from Margaret Atwood who said, “A word after a word after a word is power.”

In this post, I want to highlight some of the words that resonated with me from yesterday’s event, other historical instances of the power of words, and advice for how you can ensure that the words you use in your writing exhibit the power of your message. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 1, 2021

“A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.” ~Burton RascoeAs you turn the page on a new year today, reflect on your accomplishments in the year that was, dream of opportunities in the year ahead, and design a plan for action to move you forward each day. Take time to reflect, dream, and plan. Writing is a creative process that requires learning from what was in order to create what will be. In fact, Burton Rascoe once said, “A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.”

As is often the case during the holidays, the Internet gets quiet as people take breaks from the normal routine of work and academic life, but we did find several posts worth sharing this week as you seek balance, refine your writing practice, evaluate your work, and breathe new life into your writing style in the new year.

As you move into the new week, and the year ahead, reflect, dream, plan, and perhaps take some time to stare out the window. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Writing under duress (or, Writing 2020!)

Books by Janet SalmonsOn one hand, with social isolation and no distractions from travel, concerts, theatre, or friends, it has been a productive year. I’ve completed three short books, and two more are in press. Writing has given me focus and kept me busy. (Alas, no sourdough…) On the other hand, it has been extraordinarily difficult.

My writing practice is centered on books and blogs. This year I discovered a big difference—besides the obvious one of length. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 4, 2020

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself." ~Albert CamusWhat’s your purpose as an academic author? According to Albert Camus, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Our work as academic and textbook authors can have significant influence on our colleagues, our field, and society at large. So, do you know your purpose? And, are you fulfilling it?

We begin this week’s collection of articles from around the web with questions that probe the concept of purpose as researchers and authors. We then explore topics of support for our writing, pursuit of relevance, societal impact, and trust & credibility. Our list continues with practical advice on writing practices including note-taking, scheduling, literature review, perseverance, visual communications, writing groups, and a recognition that today is yet another opportunity to do more and to do better.

This week I challenge you to define (or refine) your purpose as an academic author and align your writing practice with that purpose for the remainder of 2020 and into the new year. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 6, 2020

“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” ~Annie DillardIt’s November! And for academic authors that means it’s time to write. Not that it isn’t always time to write but November, specifically, is Academic Writing Month or AcWriMo for short. In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have some advice and resources for rekindling or maintaining your writing practice into this month focused on academic writing.

Included in the list are ways to get back into a writing practice and some step-by-step persuasive writing techniques. Also included is how to handle email distractions and manage your social media efforts. Finally, we share some current issues and trends in the publishing industry.

No matter what you are writing this month, give it your all. Annie Dillard once said, “Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” Pour it out in the weeks ahead. Give it all. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Are you good enough?

writing doubtWe all have a little voice inside our head. Sometimes it is a coach, or a bully, or a nag, or a guide. The voice can be the driving force behind some of our decisions, fortunately or unfortunately. It can guide relationships, career choices, and inevitably, our writing.

Writing, editing, and researching are solitary pursuits by nature. They can be driven forward by passion and curiosity, or promoted by achieving greater heights. But they can also be way laid by self-doubt. [Read more…]