Monday, December 29, 2014

My New Year’s Resolution in Academic Writing

Well, Christmas is gone (and wasn’t it beautiful), and now it’s time for me to think of a nice list of self-improvement plans in academic writing for the next year. Honestly – my head is full of ideas, but I am a little worried that I might not be able to embody them all, so I will only write down the most plausible ones. So, here comes my professional New Year’s resolution:
1) I will always try to take orders that will challenge my skills and knowledge, and I will put all my efforts into writing them the best way I can.
2) I will be nice to my clients, even if they act like a horde of psychologically disturbed Godzillas and aren’t able to explain what exactly they want to see in their order.
3) I will not put away big orders till the last day before the deadline. It’s not like I cannot write a qualitative thesis paper within 24 hours… it’s just too stressful. And requires a terrifying amount of coffee.
4) I will take part in different writing challenges, especially in AcWriMo. The last one is a huge project and a great challenge, and I bet it will add significant credit to my professional self-development.
5) I will not allow myself to get distracted during my work. I will avoid Facebook as if I get allergic to it during my writing process. No messaging, no staring at the cute pictures of kittens. Just no.
6) I will find and read professional literature – and I will even try to provide my readers with reviews on particularly useful and interesting works.
7) After the year 2015 is over, I will come back to this list and make a report on what I accomplished and on what I didn’t.
So, this is all for now. I hope you guys had a good time on Christmas Eve and will have even better time on New Year’s Eve. I wish you all good luck and even more professional achievements. See you next year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Tiny Things That Could Help

         I don’t know what about you guys, but for me several days before Christmas and New Year are always the toughest. This is the time when I have to complete all the short- and long-time tasks and projects, check up the overall state of my orders and clear out all inconvenient moments with my clients. Regarding the fact that I am usually exhausted with other holiday preparations and that the thoughts about nearing rest don’t always help, I decided to make a list of several tips that don’t require many hard actions, but can actually simplify your work these days.

1)    Use the team of support. Depending on what your priorities are, use your business partner’s help in sorting out your orders or ask your relatives to give you a hand in cleaning up the house and preparing festive food. You won’t be able to both finish your work and make holiday preparations qualitatively.
2)    Don’t lose time in vain. In your everyday life you may like to stretch the shortest task out for the whole day by making short bre
aks and looking through the news in social networks from time to time. Right now it’s the worst tactics possible. Break your work into 3 or 4 big parts every day and don’t allow yourself get distracted until you finish at least one of them.
3)    Make a report. Create to-do list, where you will be able to mark all the accomplished tasks. Then, when all the assignments will be written and orders will be sent, try to pull yourself up and make a full year report. There you may write down the quantity of accomplished orders, good (and bad) feedbacks from your customers and also your plans for the next year.

          Perhaps, right now you are staring at the monstrous amount of work you need to get done before Christmas and wishing to be far, far away from all of it, but don’t worry. It’s not that hard. After all, this happens every year and you manage to figure it out every single time.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Power of Music in Academic Writing

When the orders are especially big, tasks are alike and time passes slowly, many academic writers attempt to somehow entertain themselves without breaking away from work. Two safest ways to do it are fixing yourself a drink (tea, juice, coffee, whatever you like) or turning on the music. If you stand up and go to the kitchen to have a cup of coffee, you might find yourself reading a book or watching your cat play with his tail a half an hour later. So, if the deadline is close and you really do not intend to stop writing, the best way to make your working process a little less boring is to turn on the music.

If you decided on listening to music during the work, beware of possible distraction: you don’t want to lose concentration, on the contrary – you want to make it better. That is why such music styles as rock, jazz, rap, R’n’B and even pop are not acceptable to listen to while you write. One of the main causes is that the sound is intense, and the other one is that most rock/rap/pop songs actually include lyrics. The words will distract you, because you will think of their meaning and thus will not be paying attention to your own assignments.
No, if you do want to listen to anything – listen to classical music or movie soundtracks without lyrics. You could also listen to instrumental version of your favorite songs. These kinds of music will entertain and inspire you, and the writing process will become easier and much more exciting.
The classical music and movie OST could also be useful in case you have to work in a noisy place. For me it always was more comfortable to write while listening to music rather than while listening to people talking. Headphones and several favorite instrumental soundtracks will reliably seclude you from the outward things and help to carry on with the writing.