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The University of Chicago Press

MAY 2017 Paper | $15.00 | 192 p.


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With growing academic responsibilities, family commitments, and inboxes, scholars are struggling to fulfill their writing goals. A finished book—or even steady journal articles—may seem like an impossible dream.


But, as Joli Jensen proves, it really is possible to write happily and productively in academe. Jensen begins by busting the myth that universities are supportive writing environments. She points out that academia, an arena dedicated to scholarship, offers pressures that actually prevent scholarly writing. She shows how to acknowledge these less-than-ideal conditions, and how to keep these circumstances from draining writing time and energy.

Jensen introduces tools and techniques that encourage frequent, low-stress writing. She points out common ways writers stall and offers workarounds that maintain productivity. Her focus is not on content, but on how to overcome whatever stands in the way of academic writing.

“Jensen is friendly, direct, and clear, without sounding clichéd. She acknowledges the challenges and is honest about the material conditions academic writers face in an imperfect setting.” —Michele Eodice, University of Oklahoma


“This book is simultaneously inspiring and practical. Jensen provides a set of tools and techniques that make it possible—even pleasurable—for anyone from a new graduate student to a seasoned faculty member to become a productive academic writer.” —Peter Felten, Elon University


“Write No Matter What is research and practice based, direct, and written in an exceptionally readable style. Busy faculty members will find creative and straightforward strategies for creating more time, space and energy for writing.” —Mary Deane Sorcinelli, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Table of Contents

Part I. Writing in Academe   1 Letting Go of the Dream 2 Demystifying Academic Writing 3 Craftsman Attitude

Part II. Using Tools That Work   4 Three Taming Techniques 5 Securing Time 6 Securing Space 7 Securing Energy

Part III. Challenging Writing Myths   8 Draining the Drama 9 Demons in for Tea 10 The Magnum Opus Myth 11 The Impostor Syndrome 12 The Cleared-Deck Fantasy 13 The Hostile Reader Fear 14 Compared with X 15 The Perfect First Sentence 16 One More Source

Part IV. Maintaining Momentum   17 Follow the Lilt 18 Beginnings and Endings 19 Finding the Lost Trail 20 Effective Feedback 21 Handling Revisions and Rejections 22 Working with Stalls 23 Relinquishing Toxic Projects 24 Back-Burner Projects 25 Breaks, Summers, and Sabbaticals

Part V. Building Writing Support   26 Overcoming Isolation 27 Creating Faculty Writing Groups 28 Building Campus Writing Support Conclusion

Afterword: Writing for the Public

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