Writing Too Slowly? The Reason Why and What You Can Do

One Simple Mind-Shift Into Another Gear Every day is pain-staking, creaking. Writing your academic journal article, book, or dissertation is coming along so slowly. But it’s not because you’re not trying. Maybe it even looks like now you’re going to be in big trouble if it doesn’t go faster. It’s getting late. Or you are starting up and nothing is …

11 Gmail Plugins that Academics Need to Know About

You know how email gnaws at your writing momentum. You know how email can leave you with thread bare bones left to compose your masterpieces. Can we turn back the hands of time and reverse that ravages that email has set upon us? I’m actually old enough to have started Graduate School an email virgin. I can’t even remember when …

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’m not socially normal. Do you, too, seem to be looking in on the collective behaviors of the humans like you’re an alien? That “abnormality” is fairly normal for academics in many fields, actually. We are observers, and got into academia because …

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 …