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How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to…

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Paul J. Silvia

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4592022,646 (3.74)5
Title:How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing
Authors:Paul J. Silvia
Info:American Psychological Association (APA) (2007), Upplaga: 1, Paperback, 149 sidor
Collections:Your library
Tags:Motivation, Writing

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How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing by Paul J. Silvia (2007)



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As someone who always has lots of writing projects on the go, I just wish I'd read this book about five years ago - it would have saved me a lot of binge writing, guilt, and anxiety. I've set myself a writing schedule, as Silva recommends, and now life is so much simpler and writing is much more productive and more enjoyable. I write and work on my projects for at least an hour a day, and weekends are just that - weekends. No more guilt or last minute panics!

I really identified with Silvia’s description of the “binge writer” (p.14):

"After intending to write, procrastinating, and feeling guilty and anxious about procrastinating, binge writers finally devote a Saturday to nothing but writing. This creates some text and alleviates the guilt and the binge-writing cycle begins anew. Binge writers spend more time feeling guilty and anxious about not writing than schedule followers spend writing. When you follow a schedule, you no longer worry about not writing, complain about not finding time to write, or indulge in fantasies about how much you’ll write over summer. Instead, you write during your allotted times and then forget about writing. We have better things to worry about than writing. I worry about whether I drink too much coffee or whether my dog drinks from the fetid backyard pool, but I don’t worry about finding time to write this book: I know that I’ll do it tomorrow at 8:00 a.m."

It's a small book, written in simple and clear language and with an easy message: set up a writing schedule for yourself and eliminate the guilt and agony of binge writing! ( )
1 vote flexnib | Dec 16, 2013 |
Silvia states freely that the title of this book should have been "How To Write More Productively During The Normal Work Week With Less Anxiety And Guilt." That's an apt reflection of the content of his book. With a firm and clear focus on academic writing - especially in the social sciences like psychology - Silvia offers pragmatic guidance for professionals trying to get beyond ineffective binge writing. The guidance is straightforward, commenting on strategies for writing as well as on some matters of style, and maintaining humility in its aspirations. ( )
  PastorBob | Aug 14, 2013 |
The most useful parts of this book were about creating a writing schedule so as not to be a "binge" writer. ( )
  alycias | Apr 4, 2013 |
Every once in a while one reads a book so essential that one cannot help but wish one had read it earlier. Years earlier.
This is such a book.

Paul Silvia demystifies the process of academic writing, and does it very effectively. The central concept of the book can be summarized in four words: "schedule your writing time!" Of course, there's much more than that. Some of the additional material is useful to all academics; some is very specific for psychologists--Silvia's field. I don't fully agree with every single recommendation, but most of them are very useful.
Beware of skimming through the book, as there are some important pieces of advice slightly hidden in the text. For example, after much discussion of the nitty-gritty of Style, Chapter 5 closes by recommending you "write first, edit later"--which could possibly have merited more attention, perhaps by being placed at the beginning of the chapter. Luckily the book is short enough that reading it in its entirety should pose no difficulty whatsoever.

I strongly recommend reading this short and valuable book - and don't forget to schedule your writing time! ( )
  GustavoG | Jan 23, 2013 |
Wonderful little book for all academic writers... ( )
  kbwilson | Feb 29, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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This book is dedicated to beate; thanks for the many morning lattés and for everything else.
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How to Write a Lot isn't a scholarly book - it's a light-hearted, personal, practical book for a scholarly audience. (Preface)
How to Write a Lot is about becoming a reflective, disciplined writer - it isn't about cranking out fluff, publishing second-rate material for the sake of amassing publications, or turning a crisp journal article into an exegetical exposition. (Chapter 1)
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"In this book, Paul J. Silvia explains that writing productively does not require innate skills or special traits but specific tactics and actions. Drawing examples from his own field of psychology, he shows readers how to overcome motivational roadblocks and become prolific without sacrificing evenings, weekends, and vacations. After describing strategies for writing productively, the author gives detailed advice from the trenches on how to write, submit, revise, and resubmit articles; how to improve writing quality; and how to write and publish academic work."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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