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 …

Performance not matching your Potential?

Don’t fix your Writing, Fix Your Attention    Well of course we want to fix our writing. That’s part of writing. But it’s not the first place our attention should be going.      That’s putting the cart before the horse. Before we go tackling the big challenges that show up in the content and form of our writing, we …

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 …