WritersDiet creator Helen Sword has recently published a new book, Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write (Harvard University Press, 2017), based on interviews with 100 successful academics about their writing backgrounds and practices. As the Harvard University Press catalog has it,
Sword identifies four cornerstones that anchor any successful writing practice: Behavioral habits of discipline and persistence; Artisanal habits of craftsmanship and care; Social habits of collegiality and collaboration; and Emotional habits of positivity and pleasure. Building on this “BASE,” she illuminates the emotional complexity of the writing process and exposes the lack of writing support typically available to early-career academics. She also lays to rest the myth that academics must produce safe, conventional prose or risk professional failure. The successful writers profiled here tell stories of intellectual passions indulged, disciplinary conventions subverted, and risk-taking rewarded. Grounded in empirical research and focused on sustainable change, Air & Light & Time & Space offers a customizable blueprint for refreshing personal habits and creating a collegial environment where all writers can flourish. (Source: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674737709)
The book particularly provides tips and tricks for academics – but is relevant for anyone looking to review their writing practice.
Be sure also to check out the interactive BASE website, where you can map your own writing practice and see where there’s cause for celebration and room for improvement!