|Photo by Gabriel Sollmann | unsplash.com
The online world can be a fantastic instant library of information about all the things you want to know and learn about writing - if you know where to look! I am lucky that when I joined Twitter I was immediately put onto some excellent blogs and Twitterstreams by various colleagues.
This post brings together my favourite things on the internet when it comes to writing, whether it's how to do things better, finding a community to co-complain with, or comparing and unravelling the knots of my process with others' wisdom and insight.
Everyone has their preferences when it comes to what style of advice or writing strategy resonates with them. I've had instances where I hear about an approach to writing that I've heard a gazillion times before, but this - this time - it actually breaks through to sustained practice and me recognising the value of making it a habit.
What I list below are blogs I depend on consistently to answer questions or clarify processes around writing. I share them all the time with colleagues and students, and I know that the people behind them are awesome, generous souls.
Favourite writing blogs
- Doctoral Writing SIG - "DoctoralWritingSIG is a forum where people who are interested in doctoral writing can come together to share information, resources, ideas, dreams (perhaps even nightmares!) in a spirit of building knowledge and skills around higher degree research writing." Run by an extremely well experienced doctoral education team (Claire Aitchison, Susan Carter, and Cally Guerin), this blog has a useful split of categories - like writing practices, publication, and grammar/voice/style - that allow you to browse their archive effectively.
- Explorations of style - "Explorations of Style offers readers an ongoing discussion of the challenges of academic writing. The ability to formulate and clarify our thoughts is central to the academic enterprise; this blog discusses strategies to improve the process of expressing our research in writing." I love this blog, run by Rachael Cayley, because there is wisdom and practical value in every post. It is a treasure trove of useful strategies and concepts, written with a clear, warm voice. So much to appreciate!
- Patter - This is Professor Pat Thomson's blog and covers "research education, academic writing, public engagement, funding, other eccentricities". Pat's a veteran blogger who writes consistently and very accessibly about writing and publication, and is an excellent demystifier of academic processes and practices. I particularly like how this blog often reflects what Pat is doing with her projects, or she is responding to queries that have come her way.
- Research Degree Insiders - Created and managed by current RED team member Katherine Firth, "[t]his site looks behind the performative productivity, and shows you the tricks of the trade". The blog has a very friendly, accommodating vibe that presents strategies and tips that meet you where you are. Posts are rich with shared links, and I love Katherine's cosy windows into her researcher and writing life (looking at you, Jellycat).
- Thesis Whisperer - Many, many doctoral researchers will know this blog - it is one of the pioneering researcher development zones online and has built a well-deserved reputation as a go-to site. The formal blurb is: "The Thesis Whisperer blog is dedicated to the topic of doing a PhD and completing a dissertation. It is managed and edited by Professor Inger Mewburn, Director of Researcher Development at the Australian National University." I should declare that Inger's a good buddy of mine and helped us start Research Whisperer, and there are many excellent reasons why I value her advice and perspective.
My go-to hashtags on Twitter (and elsewhere) to track resources and discussion around academic writing are:
You may also be interested in these other compilation posts about:
- Best writing advice ever?
- What's your favourite academic writing text?
- Favourite writing places and spaces