Academic Mad Libs

Download this 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, …

12 Tips to Overcome Writing Problems from Famous Authors

The Way Through Writing Problems is Known! There is one powerful writing tip here for each of the most common challenges for academic writers trying to get tenure or finish a dissertation. One of the things I love the most about writing advice is that it can be given in the same media that the art itself is practiced. The …

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 …

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 …