Mind Your Writing –
How to be a Professional Academic Writer
2021, Opladen: Verlag Barbara Budrich GmbH, 97 pages
This book is available as an e-book via the OPAC of the University Library.
This book is not a typical writing guide but differs in that the author addresses the readers personally with ten fundamental questions about writing. Various questions are asked about academic writing and the personal writing process that every writer should be able to answer and reflect on. For instance, one chapter deals with the question of what blocks someone from writing.
The author’s aim is for writers to become more productive and happier when they become better acquainted with themselves by working through the different topics in the book. Writing becomes a manageable challenge if you know your own skills and the specific requirements of academic writing.
With the author’s questions, a reflexive process will be initiated that lets the readers see what is going on in their writing process and what needs improvements or changes. By thinking about the questions and issues, the readers will change the way they think about writing and themselves as a writer. This will create a solid base to reflect and improve themselves regularly in the future.
In each chapter, the author not only discusses the questions, but also gives answers and explanations. In addition, potential problems and opportunities are described. For example, the author explains different writing strategies in which the reader can rediscover his own writing habits. Helpful and inspiring are also the described experiences of the author himself or other writers.
All chapters are short and concise, so the book is less than 100 pages long and is relatively quick to work through. The author refrains from unnecessary debauchery and instead gives food for thought. The book ends with an encouraging chapter called “Now it’s your turn”.
This book by Christian Wymann is in particular addressed to every student in an institution of higher education, PhD candidates, postdoctoral researcher, established researcher or any other kind of serious writers.
Reviewed by Janina Deilke, May 2022