Research-backed findings

The positive creative impact of limits
The positive creative impact of limits Thumbnail

Everyone has their own method of coaxing their creative gene out of the bottle – but the myth still lingers that true creativity only appears when the mind is set free from constraint and allowed to wander. Whilst it might work for some, research now proves that to be creatively productive requires you working within boundaries and creative limits. Setting limits on your creativity sharpens up your thinking and makes you more productive long term. But how do you limit creativity without limiting it?

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Three reasons why early career researchers suffer with writing stress
Three reasons why early career researchers suffer with writing stress Thumbnail

Starting out in any career is going to be tough – and academia’s no different. But the interim findings of our study into scholarly writing practice suggest that early career researchers – those in years one and two of their career – find it particularly tough and that’s something that could impact their publishing productivity and wellbeing long term. [click to continue…]

Why writing systems stop you from feeling scared
Why writing systems stop you from feeling scared Thumbnail

Over the past few months we’ve been digging in to how academics and students write – the kind of tactics they use, how satisfied they feel, what holds them back and what haunts them at night. We’ve had nearly 600 people take our survey and whilst the research is amongst scholars, the findings are relevant to all writers, and one thing is clear: a writing system is key. [click to continue…]

How not to freak out your writing brain’s fear centre: lessons from neuroscience part 2
How not to freak out your writing brain’s fear centre: lessons from neuroscience part 2 Thumbnail

Have you ever start a challenging writing routine or a new fitness regime only for it to fail a few days later? If so, don’t blame yourself – blame your brain! When you take on something that’s too ambitious or too complicated, you can trigger your brain’s fear centre – and this leads to overwhelm. But you can control your brain using two simple methods, both harnessing the power of neuroscience… [click to continue…]

How to harness your writing brain’s hedonic hotspots: lessons from neuroscience part 1
How to harness your writing brain’s hedonic hotspots: lessons from neuroscience part 1 Thumbnail

Writing is never going to be something you do on autopilot – it’s way too difficult for that. But there are some simple methodologies based in neuroscience you can use to make you, and your writing brain, feel more positive about finding a regular time. But first, you need to get to know your hedonic hotspots… [click to continue…]

Why we’re studying academic writing practice and how you can help
Why we’re studying academic writing practice and how you can help Thumbnail

We’ve just launched a major study into academic writing practice. It’s research that we hope will give anyone who needs to write evidence-based guidance on how to develop a writing system that works for them. Here’s why we’re doing it and what’s involved.  [click to continue…]

How successful academic writers stay productive with Helen Sword
How successful academic writers stay productive with Helen Sword Thumbnail

Helen Sword is a guru in scholarly writing circles. She’s spent a decade finding out what makes academic writers tick and publishing evidence-based books and articles about various aspects of scholarly writing and publication. Whilst her research has focused on academics, it applies to any writer wanting to smash their writing goals and strike a more balanced relationship with their muse.  [click to continue…]

The planning fallacy: Why you miss your deadlines and how you can stop
The Planning Fallacy

If you’ve ever missed a deadline the planning fallacy may well be the culprit. It’s the tendency we have to underestimate the time it will take us to complete something – whilst knowing full well that similar tasks have taken longer in the past. It’s based in an innate biological bias towards optimism – but if you want stop missing your deadlines and start hitting them, it’s something you need to master – here’s how. [click to continue…]

How writing scholars write: productivity tips from the best of the best
How productive scholars write

How do writing scholars – people who write about writing, teach writing skills and research writing behaviours – get down to write themselves? To find out we spoke to academic Christine Tulley, author of a new and original Paris Review-style book on scholarly writing, How Writing Faculty Write. [click to continue…]

How to be a prolific academic: The writing strategy of superstar scholar, Adam Grant
How to be a prolific academic: The writing strategy of superstar scholar, Adam Grant Thumbnail

It’s official, being a highly prolific academic is the best indicator for scholarly success. Research looking at the careers of 2,800 of the world’s top scientists found that those who published the most papers also had the biggest breakthroughs and accumulated the most prizes. All well and good, but how do you get so prolific in the first place? [click to continue…]