Tag Archives: writing


Procedures for Creativity: How to Use the Tarot


So I never really thought I’d write a post about tarot cards, but The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life comes with a fascinating proposition: Just as writers and artists have used the tarot, or variations of it, for centuries as part of their creative process, so too can any writer use it as a way to gain insight into how to write more productively.

One reason The Creative Tarot is so interesting–interesting enough that I spent my own money on it, and didn’t work from a review…


How Twitter Changed My Life

One evening last week, while watching hockey (HOCKEY IS BACK) and scrolling though twitter, I noticed a hashtag that had started to trend: #HowTwitterHasChangedMyLife. Of course, the hashtag was filled with funny and nonsensical, and more than a little sarcastic, tweets, but if it’s crossing my field of vision, it means those associated with higher education have discovered it.

Going through the hashtag, it’s amazing to see how many friendships and relationships have been formed over the social …


Virtual Techniques for Co-writing

Over the past year, I’ve found myself involved in more collaborative writing projects. This isn’t really something that came up in my discipline in grad school, where everything I worked on was written alone. These projects are much harder to organize than my solo work: often, they span several platforms, multiple email threads, chats, and files.

I’ve noticed that everyone I work with has a different preference for technologies and strategies. Here are a few I’ve been using, and their advantage…


Rediscovering Ulysses

Screenshot of Ulysses applicationA few weeks ago, George suggested using a blogging client as a backup method.

I’d actually stopped using one some time ago. It wasn’t really a conscious decision; I simply had fewer occasions for cross-posting and after my 2012 experience of a plugin gone bad, I got a lot more careful about redundant backups.

George’s post piqued my curiosity, though. What blogging clients are available these days? I knew about MarsEdit, of course, but I didn’t know what else might be out there, so I did a lit…


Gamify Your Writing Group

close-up of Sorry[This is a guest post by Emily Johnson, a Texts & Technology postdoc at the Games Research Lab at UCF. Her work focuses on gameful learning, motivation, serious games, and embodied learning. You can find her online at https://ekjphd.wordpress.com or @ekjphd.–@JBJ]

What do you get when you ask members of a Games Research Group to each commit to 30 minutes of scholarly writing a day? A game, of course! The Summer Writing Challenge began as a motivating way for members to make themselves accountabl…


Use a Blogging Client as a Backup Method

As you may have read, author Dennis Cooper recently had his blog deleted from Google’s Blogspot platform without adequate explanation. My reaction to this story has been two-fold.

First, for anyone who has been writing online for any length of time, Cooper’s loss of several years’ worth of work is a sobering reminder that trusting your data to an online entity for safekeeping can lead to heartbreak. In situations like this, I would argue, Google needs to step up and provide not only a satisfyin…


Six Tips For a Successful First Year as a Writing Program Administrator

stylish office desk
[This is a guest post by Dr. Leigh Graziano, who is an Assistant Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. Her work focuses on writing program administrator, first-year composition pedagogy, and assessment. She teaches first-year writing classes as well as upper-level classes in visual rhetoric, classical rhetoric, and convergence culture. You can find her online at leighgraziano.net.--JBJ]

I love being a WPA, but it’s a little challe…


Syntax Highlighting for (English) Prose

rows of chairs in different colors

Programmers have long been used to text editors that offer syntax highlighting, a feature that does exactly what it says on the tin: it renders specific aspects of code in different colors, so that you’re better able to find relevant sections–or even just fix mistakes!

Syntax highlighting is mainly a thing for structured languages, such as ones for programming or markup. However, someone has built a little web app that will color-code short chunks of prose (via Gizmodo’s Jamie Condliffe, catchi…


Digital Writing Month: Striving for Inclusion in Open Online Learning

Digital Writing Month guest contributors - image created by Chris Friend

I’ve been working for some time on ideas of inclusion & (in)equality in open education, and of the possibility of a postcolonial MOOC (with Shyam Sharma), and gathering ideas from others on how to envision a more inclusive, diverse and equitable open online learning experience.

Putting Ideas into Practice

In a couple of days, I get the opportunity to see how some of these ideas work in practice, as I co-facilitate Digital Writing Month (#DigiWriMo), which is a “30-day adventure through the worl…


Three Things You Should Stop Doing This Summer

anxious cat

As the summer begins, many of us are busy setting writing goals, drawing up to-do lists for household projects, and scheduling a bit of travel, whether for work or play. All of those are good things to be doing right now.

But in addition to planning out what you want to do this summer, it can be really helpful to figure out what it is that you don’t want to do.

I call this the No-Do List. You could also call it the Not-To-Do List, but I like putting the word No at the forefront, since Not Doing…