2018 Textbook award-winning insight (Part 1): Deciding to write and getting the interest of a publisher

2017 TAA Textbook AwardsWe recently reached out to winners of the 2018 TAA Textbook Awards and asked them to answer some questions about how they made the decision to write their textbook, how they interested a publisher, what they do to boost their writing confidence, how they fit writing time into their schedule, and more. We will be sharing their answers in a series of posts over the next few weeks.

This first installment of the four-part series focuses on why they decided to write their textbook, and how they got the interest of a publisher. [Read more…]

Rejecting the premise of writer’s block: Write your way out

When you talk with academic writers about productivity, you are likely to hear the term ‘writer’s block’. Despite the prevalence of this term, I am resistant to identifying common academic writing difficulties as writer’s block. Most writers who are struggling with their writing are actually struggling with their thinking. That isn’t just a semantic quibble: it matters that we grasp exactly what is inhibiting our writing processes. When we diagnose ourselves as having writer’s block, we can start to believe that we aren’t currently able to write. If you find yourself with a sore leg, it may well be that avoiding walking is a sound strategy. If you find yourself unable to write, might it be a sound strategy to avoid writing? The answer to that question is almost always no. Not writing has little-to-no curative power, in my experience. [Read more…]

5 Key principles for a sustainable writing practice

Why write? The old adage, “publish or perish” is alive and well, and there can be negative career consequences resulting from not publishing. In addition, writing and publishing bring career-enhancing rewards, visibility among our peers locally, nationally, and, even, internationally, and, as Boice (1990) underscores, writing is a form of “self-education.”

The expectation that faculty write and publish presents a number of challenges, not the least of which is fitting writing in with the other [Read more…]

32 Tech tools you want in your 2018 writer’s toolbox

When you hire a professional to do any work, you not only expect them to have the knowledge and experience necessary for the job, you also expect them to have the right tools. For example, if a carpenter showed up to the job site without a saw, you might question their abilities. By the same token, there is more than one type of saw available and having the right saw for the job is equally important. [Read more…]

Scholarly Kitchen founder Kent Anderson to keynote at 2018 TAA Conference

Kicking off TAA’s 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference this year is keynoter Kent R. Anderson, CEO of RedLink, a past-President of the Society for Scholarly Publishing, and the founder of “The Scholarly Kitchen” blog. In his keynote, Anderson will discuss how scholarly practices are of critical importance as we face an information economy that has become increasingly overwhelmed with self-interested distortions of fact presented on an equal footing with facts and research findings. As the current environment evolves, scholars who seek to express and share findings based in observable reality are increasingly challenged or, worse, dismissed. He will argue the need for new approaches, governance, and practices by researchers, educators, and publishers in order to preserve quality information, the relevance of science, and the ascendancy of objective reality.
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TAA #AcWriChat re-caps on getting organized, writing productivity, and more!

acwrimoJoin TAA on Twitter every other Friday at 11 a.m. ET for a series of Tweet Chats to exchange ideas and resources about academic writing and publishing using the hashtag #AcWriChat. See a recap of past Tweet Chat events:

11/3 Tweet Chat – Getting organized
11/17 Tweet Chat – Writing productivity
12/1 Tweet Chat – Finalizing and publishing your work
1/12 Tweet Chat – Setting goals and planning a writing project
1/26 Tweet Chat – Making time to write within the busy-ness of work & life
2/9 Tweet Chat – Being productive writers
2/23 Tweet Chat – Getting feedback while work is in progress [Read more…]

How to explain complex ideas in a simple way

Explaining complex ideasAs teachers and authors, we are often faced with the challenging task of conveying information that, although second nature to us, is completely foreign to the students learning the material. Several experienced textbook authors share their best practices for explaining complex ideas in a simple way, including the use of metaphors, visuals, procedures/processes, and hands-on multisensory activities to improve learning success. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: January 19, 2018

"Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself." ~M. KirinThis week’s collection of textbook and academic posts from around the web begins with predictions and strategies for the coming year. It provides resources for jumpstarting book reviews, improving your writing, understanding research ethics, and protecting and expanding the public domain. Finally, it explores the impact of new initiatives like RA21: Resource Access for the 21st Century, a new open access megajournal from UCL Press, Digital Science’s new citation database – Dimensions, and the Open Access Journal Finder (OAJF) from Enago.

With so many changes in sight, it’s anyone’s guess where 2018 will take us, but as we explore the potential ahead, keep in mind the words of M. Kirin. “Writing is an adventure. There is no way to know where it will take you, and what you will find. You could find success. You could find fans. Or, best of all, you could find yourself.” Wishing you many great discoveries in the week ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

#AcWriChat TweetChat: Not on Twitter? Watch live here on 1/12 at 11 a.m. ET

acwrimoJoin TAA on Twitter on Friday, January 12 at 11 a.m. ET using the hashtag #AcWriChat for our latest TweetChat focused on setting goals and planning a writing project.

Not on Twitter? Not sure what a “Tweet Chat” is? Follow us here (you won’t be able to actively participate, but you will be able to follow the chat live).

[Read more…]

Become the master of your writing universe

We are all up against a relentless stream of competing demands when we are trying to write. These demands often seem urgent, and while they can be compelling and tantalizing, they also represent ever-present obstacles to getting our writing done. To combat this problem, and better enable yourself to achieve your writing goals, author, professor, and writing coach Kathleen P. King suggests that you become the master of your writing universe.  [Read more…]