The Library contains posts on topics related to my work as Academic Career Guide and director of the Academic Writing Studio. The best point of entry is the library homepage, which highlights a few posts on key topics and facilitates navigation by category. The search box in the navigation bar … [Read more...] about Recent additions
I am a wee bit bossy about sleep and rest. In this post I want to talk about something related: intensity of work, what is normal, and the importance of cycles in the academic year. You are tired at the end of the academic year. I am writing in April. Although the exact dates of the academic year … [Read more...] about Cycles of the academic year & intensity of work
It seems that there is an epidemic of sleep problems and inability to actually relax out there. I’m going to share a few thoughts. Sleep is important. Not only does lack of sleep impair cognitive function, it can mess up your metabolism and cause all kinds of health problems. There is some … [Read more...] about Sleep is not a luxury
Everyone struggles with confidence at least some of the time. While confidence can't be overly reliant on external validation, negative feedback is always difficult, and it's tough to maintain your confidence when external validation is slow in coming. Confidence also depends on things you don't … [Read more...] about Confidence Tricks
What follows is a draft of one section of my next Short Guide, Peer Review. I approach peer review as primarily editorial labour with the goal of improving scholarship. I question the use of "gate keeping" as a metaphor for the role of peer reviewers in making recommendations to editors regarding … [Read more...] about The value of voluntary peer review labour
You know all about perfectionism and why it isn't equivalent to "striving for excellence" but is actually a psychological problem that seriously hampers your work. (If you don't read the pieces linked here, and maybe talk to a mental health professional.) But I bet you still think striving for … [Read more...] about Don’t do your best!
This is a question that comes up a lot in advice about academic writing, or any kind of writing really. And it came up during the December 2018 Planning Your Winter Semester class in the Academic Writing Studio. A lot of people encourage you to write every day. You may think that because I have … [Read more...] about Write every day?
There are a lot of tasks that when done well no one even notices. They are essential to the smooth running of your department, institution, and scholarly association, and yet they are often invisible. Even if doing the actual tasks gets some recognition, thinking about what needs to be done and … [Read more...] about Academic citizenship & getting better at saying no
It’s all well and good for people to tell you “You need to get better at saying no” but there are lots of good reasons saying no is difficult. Even the people giving you that advice aren’t very good at hearing no when it’s them asking you to do things. The upside of the autonomy you have in … [Read more...] about Before you can say no …
Today’s article is the latest in a series on Optimizing Focus. Finding it hard to focus is normal. Self-flagellation does not work to improve your focus. Furthermore it takes time and energy that takes you away from your writing; it is another distraction. I firmly believe that you can approach your … [Read more...] about Optimizing Focus: Meditation as practice & metaphor
My approach to academic publishing is focused on its importance for communicating what you have learned from your research with others. I also argue that writing (and publishing) for scholarly audiences is important and is often quite different than what you would write for practitioners, activists, … [Read more...] about The relationship between writing for scholarly audiences & for wider audiences