UNT Faculty Success Writing Panel

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 saw the start of UNT‘s Spring 2016 semester. The campus was bustling with people, and all the faculty were back from winter break. The busy and productive mentality that comes with new beginnings was used today in the form of a faculty panel, put on by UNT’s Office of Faculty Success.

This panel, Productive Writing Strategies: How to Make the Most of Your Writing Talents, brought together some of the most prolific authors on campus to discuss their methods and share insight about their craft. The panel included Dr. Richard RogersDr. John IshiyamaDr. Victor Prybutok, and Dr. Bruce Bond. They all have hundreds of publications each and come from a variety of disciplines across campus. Below, I will try to distill their knowledge into pieces that will provide the most help to librarians who need to publish.

  • On time management
    • Schedule specific time to write everyday or every week
    • Turn down service opportunities in order to give yourself time to write
    • Know what you have to do and when it is due
    • Schedule your time based on deadlines
  • On the act of writing
    • Just start to write and put words on a page instead of only thinking about the project
    • You will write garbage in your first draft and that it OK because you will clean it up later
    • Have others read your work
    • If you have to stop, stop in the middle of sentences or thoughts so you can pick up where you left of and are not starting fresh
    • Take notes while you read or walk to get inspired
    • Don’t be a time-perfectionist, work when and where you can. Writing in solitude for a set amount of time will not usually work with a normal life and schedule
    • Don’t think of writing as a sequence (start, middle, end, next project). Have multiple projects going at once in various stages, so you can hop around as the mood or inspiration strikes.
    • Don’t assume the knowledge of your audience, but also don’t be too general. Explain your ideas fully.
    • State your purpose early on in a paper
    • Give both detail and synthesis, not just one or the other
    • Sell your writing from the start. Know how to write a good abstract
    • Write on a fun, new idea.
    • Write complex ideas simply and be artful in your writing. Find your own voice
  • On finding inspiration
    • Find a passion or get riled up about a topic and write on that
    • Tare ideas and things down. Look at everything and be skeptical
    • Find and enjoy little goals throughout the writing process. (Research done, article submitted, etc.)
    • Think of writing as an adventure. Going from blank page to submission should be exciting
    • Love the fact you are moving the discipline or an idea forward
  • On revision
    • “Revise toward wildness”
    • Ask your writing questions
    • Distill your idea from general to broad and narrow your writing as you revise
  • On rejection
    • When you receive a rejection, learn from it and know that not all of your ideas are great
    • Don’t ignore the revision suggestions, sometimes the same reviewers will review for multiple journals and know if you made their suggested changes
    • Submit to the best journal you know will give you feedback and then use that to re-submit or submit to other journals
  • Other ideas
    • Believe what you write will be published
    • Focus your ego toward your goal and not toward the words on the page
    • Top journals only want original content, don’t submit something  to them (in whole or in part) that you already submitted elsewhere
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