National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. An independent professional development, training, and mentoring community for graduate students, post-docs, and faculty members to help them improve writing and research productivity and life/work balance. Duke is an institutional member of NCFDD.  Find out more about the  programs available to members here.

Cool Tools  An online tool to help promote the daily habit of writing. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day. . . 750 Words is the online, future-ified, fun-ified translation of this exercise.

Pomodoro technique:  Useful for structuring writing sessions and productivity.

Scrivener:  a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.  See also: Everything Scrivener

Write or Die app

She Writes. She Writes is a community, virtual workplace, and emerging marketplace for women who write, with over 20,000 active members from all 50 states and more than 30 countries.

The Writer’s Circle. An online community of writers (Facebook), sharing strategies, articles, and advice,  and a website with inspirational quotes, articles, advice, and prompts.

Writers on Writing

Junot Diaz on becoming a writer: It wasn’t that I couldn’t write. I wrote every day. I actually worked really hard at writing. At my desk by 7 A.M., would work a full eight and more. Scribbled at the dinner table, in bed, on the toilet, on the No. 6 train, at Shea Stadium. I did everything I could. But none of it worked. My novel, which I had started with such hope shortly after publishing my first book of stories, wouldn’t budge past the 75-page mark.

Suan Sontag. Directions: Write, Read, Rewrite. Repeat. Reading novels seems to me such a normal activity, while writing them is such an odd thing to do. . . . At least so I think until I remind myself how firmly the two are related. 

David M. Perry on Public Scholarship. My initial public offering: Why more academics should write for a general audience I encourage other faculty members to think about how they might find a public voice. Yes, one must risk the nasty comments from trolls and the doubts of colleagues about the importance of public engagement. But how else can we demonstrate the deep and necessary relationship among specialized knowledge, critical thinking, and the world in which we live?

Kerry Ann Rockquemore. No More Post-Summer RegretWhile it’s important to understand the challenges academic writers face during summer breaks, they point to the keys for a productive summer. I believe those are: 1) knowing what you need as a human being and what you need to accomplish as a writer and researcher, 2) creating a realistic plan to meet all of your needs, and 3) connecting with the type of community, support and accountability that will sustain you through the summer months.

Writers on Writing. A New York Times series that features writers exploring literary themes. The archive is available here.

Writing in General

Belcher, Wendy. Writing Your Journal Article in 12 weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success.

Elbow, Peter. Writing With Power.

Hjortshoj, Keith. Understanding Writing Blocks.

Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Instructions on Writing and Life.

Rockquemore, Kerry. The Black Academic’s Guide to Winning Tenure–Without Losing Your Soul.

Silvia, Paul. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing.

Also see Inside Higher Ed columns (including a series on summer writing, writing toward tenure, mid-career mojo, overcoming academic perfectionism, and mentoring) by Kerry Rockquemore

IMAGE CREDIT: Abrget47j, Kiipsaare leaning lighthouseCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons