Don’t Sell Yourself Short as an Academic Writer

Let things Grow to their Level If you look at the culture of independent novelists today, you’ll see a healthy respect for maximizing your return on the long hours of effort. They have to make a living! But academic writers can totally miss out on this attitude. What’s weird about academic writers is that it’s the same thing for you. You are writing …

8 Things to do about Your Great Ideas that Poop Out

  Are you leaking momentum? If you’re starting to write a lot or thinking about it, chances are lots of new ideas for new writing directions are running through your mind each and every day. Some of them stick, and we can’t stop thinking about them, even when we “should” be working on something else. Most of them are probably very …

A Formula to Play with Your Concepts and Generate New Thoughts

My children have a blast playing Mad Libs. If you don’t know this game, it has two parts. The first part you answer some questions without knowing how the answers will be used. On the next page, you have to fill in the blanks of a pre-written story with those answers. The random combinations make for a real crazy story. Lots …

3 Ways to Focus on Style not Content

It’s Not Just What You Say, It’s How You Say It There is a strong— no huge— pull in the academic writer toward the content and meaning of what they are trying to say, and often times style gets left in behind. You want to say what you want to say, get it right, get it just so. So you …

New Year’s Resolutions Suck (no offense)

But there is a way to create our Future Now I’ll be the first one to admit that I am not socially normal. Do you, too, seem to be looking in on the collective behaviors of the humans like you are an alien? That “abnormality” is fairly normal for academics in many fields, actually. We are observers, and got into …

3 Big Don’ts Before Submitting Your Writing

     Are you shooting yourself in the foot? When it comes to submitting your scholarly article for publication you might as well shoot yourself in the foot if you are not doing these three things.      Why the violent metaphor? Well it’s just because these are 3 very easy things and so it’s really a crime against yourself …

Academic Mad Libs: The Idea-inator

An Exercise for a Sense of Play in Academic Writing      And, for exploring unexpected possibilities in what we are thinking and writing about. This is a fantastic exercise that anyone can do and everyone can benefit from.      Just yesterday my children were playing Mad Libs, and having a blast. If you don’t know this game, it …

How’s it Going? You Don’t Know!

Don’t get me wrong now: I’m a big fan of keeping track of how it’s going with our writing. I encourage all our writers to track time writing, or alternatively word counts, to be aware of the limiting thoughts that are slowing us down. It’s important to look out for the life conditions that breed perfectionism, stuckness, and “deer in …

5 Best Tactics to Get Writing When It’s Not Happening

I think we all know those moments when it seems we just can’t do it. Maybe we’ve been working a bit too hard lately. Maybe things have been really hectic. Maybe we have been on vacation for a little while. Maybe we let things slide a little too long. It could be anything, and often we don’t know the reason why. …