Shut Up and Write!

Featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education, an article by the publication’s prodigious journalist Jennifer Howard describes one approach to holding oneself accountable for getting writing to publish done: A scheduled writing group that meets only for the purpose of its attendees’ writing during the one-hour meeting. No workshopping of drafts. No discussion of writing. Just writing. Among other things the regularly scheduled meeting gives participants a excuse when other matters press in. It’s easier to say, “I have a meeting already scheduled” than to say, “I’ve scheduled writing time.”

The article in on line for subscribers:


Call for Comment: NIH-wide Strategic Plan

National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director
Bethesda, MD 20892

Date: July 22, 2015

Dear NIH Stakeholders:

In order to advance the NIH mission, we are developing an NIH-wide Strategic Plan. The goal of this 5-year plan is to outline a vision for biomedical research that ultimately extends healthy life and reduces illness and disability. NIH senior leadership and staff have developed a proposed framework for the Strategic Plan that identifies areas of opportunity across all biomedicine and unifying principles to guide NIH’s support of the biomedical research enterprise. The aim is to pursue crosscutting areas of research that span NIH’s 27 Institutes, Centers, and Offices.

I invite you to review the framework in our Request for Information (RFI: and on the NIH website (, and to provide your feedback via the RFI submission site ( I encourage stakeholder organizations (e.g., patient advocacy groups, professional societies) to submit a single response reflective of the views of the organization/membership as a whole. We also will be hosting webinars to gather additional input. These webinars will be held in early to mid-August.

Your input is vital to ensuring that the NIH Strategic Plan positions biomedical research on a promising and visionary path. I appreciate your time and consideration in assisting us with this effort.


Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Principal Deputy Director, NIH

Zinsser on Writing Well in Science

The late William Zinsser, who recently passed away, was well known to novice and skilled writers alike as the author of On Writing Well (among other books).
Here provided by the blog site BrainPickings are his comments on clear science writing:

Kerry Ann Rockquemore: How to Salvage Your Summer Writing

Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Kerry Ann Rockquemore, Ph.D., president, of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity, responds to the tenure track faculty member who fears having lost half the summer and momentum while getting no writing accomplished.

Rockquemore advises:

  • Get real about why you’ve not been writing.
  • Create a one-month writing plan.
  • Then write every one of those 30 days.
  • Find a supportive community of daily writers.

The essay is available to all:

Mid-Summer Check In: How’s Your Summer Writing Coming Along?

The Writing Campus, a blog for writing across the curriculum faculty, asks, “How’s your summer writing going?”
The article advises:
  • Think routine:  What times of day work best for your writing?

  • Consider your space and place: What sort of space works best for you?  Messy or tidy?  Quiet or noisy?  With music or without?  Sometimes, changing up your space and place can help you refocus and get out of writing ruts.

  • Set a timer: The Pomodoro Technique is one way to think through tasks, and all it takes is a kitchen timer!  Sometimes, just turning off the Wi-Fi, setting a timer, and writing away can be a great way to get rid of distractions.

  • Give yourself a break:  Allow yourself to get away from your computer. Give your brain a rest for a bit of time, then return to your work.  Moreover, don’t be hard on yourself when writing doesn’t go well or you’re stuck.

CFS: Alternative and Complementary Therapies

Alternative and Complementary Therapies

Alternative and Complementary Therapies (the “Green Journal”) publishes an interactive feature article in each issue, Clinical Roundup. Experts in the field share their practical experience and knowledge of treating a specific medical condition. View a Clinical Roundup in a recent issue of the Journal.

We are seeking submissions on how you treat inflammatory bowel disease in your clinical practice for possible publication in the next issue of the Journal.

Please send your 300-word submission, with a maximum of 8 references, in a Word file, including your full name, academic degrees (PhD, MD, etc.), position/title, affiliation, full address, telephone and fax numbers, and email address to:

The deadline for submissions is July 17, 2015.