Writing is an important part of any scientist’s career, and it’s particularly critical for academic scientists whose promotion depends on solid writing. Writing and publishing papers is “currency” of scholarship – peer-reviewed papers demonstrate our productivity, expertise, and contributions to our field. No one gets promoted without publications. Moreover, for those of us who write grants to get funding for our research – guess what? No one gets grants without the track record of publications.
If writing is so critical, why do so many scientists spend more time on teaching and service than on writing and scholarship? Why do we put it off, waiting for a big chunk of time that we can devote to writing (that may never arrive)? Why do we complain about it so much? Moreover, when I poll groups of graduate students, postdocs and faculty, a sizeable portion claim to dislike writing – it’s tough to dislike something that is so vital to our success!
So let’s learn to love writing, especially since we have to do so much of it. This open thread is a place where we can discuss the ins and outs of writing – sharing tips, encouragement and hard-won lessons. Ask questions, post writing hacks. And happy writing!