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Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing (The New Forums Press Scholarly Writing and Research Series Book 1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Here is a proven book to help scholars master writing as a productive, enjoyable, and successful experience -- Author, Robert Boice, prepared this self-help manual for professors who want to write more productively, painlessly, and successfully. It reflects the author's two decades of experiences and research with professors as writers -- by compressing a lot of experience ...more
Kindle Edition, 202 pages
Published April 25th 2015 by Scholarly Writing and Research (first published February 24th 1990)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  198 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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May 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing-as-craft
To be fair, I read this book but did not do the plan or the exercises that went along. It focused on overcoming writer's block and other psychological impediments to writing, like fear of failure, perfectionism, etc. I hoped for more pragmatic advice on time management and organization, versus motivation, just because that is what I feel I'm lacking. The book had some suggestions to rearrange one's writing environment and writing habits but those were not the innovative parts. So I did not find ...more
Tom Britz
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book on unblocking writers deals mainly ( almost exclusively) with scholarly writing. However, the framework should work just as well for any writer that is blocked.
Robert Boice does have a framework laid out in these pages. I plan on applying them in my own life.
May 20, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Dr. Tom Hanks highly recommends this book.
Matt McCullough
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book with very practical advice for writers. Especially academic writers. Initially, I resisted the exercises but they proved to be helpful in getting over my own roadblocks. I highly recommend this book and the methods described.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
Boice knows his stuff. He has thoroughly researched writing blocks and writing anxiety and offers solutions from a clinical angle as a mental health clinician. He also has done significant research on automatic writing and free writing and their usefulness to the blocked writer.

This is an older book, but I think this book would be really helpful for anyone who is trying to develop good writing habits. It's geared toward academics, but I honestly think it could be helpful to anyone who's trying t
Victor Barger
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers
Shelves: writing, academia
Based on his research on scholarly writing and his experience counseling authors, Robert Boice devised a four-stage approach to writing consistently and productively: (1) establish momentum, (2) develop external controls, (3) foster intrinsic motivation, and (4) leverage sociality. In this book, Boice introduces techniques for mastering each of these stages and offers insightful advice to keep the words flowing. Whether you're currently experiencing a block or are simply looking for preventive m ...more
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don’t be off-put by the title of this work. Any writer (or artist) can benefit from this readable, highly researched book that will help you develop as a writer or artist. The first section of the book is a rehash of common techniques used to prevent writers block. For me, the real value in this book lies in the second section that deals with spontaneous and generative writing, and clustering and logical ordering (write first, outline second). Despite the redundant first section, anyone who want ...more
Sep 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing-tips
This is a marvellous practical book on how to get going with academic writing. Lots of really useful tips about how to organise oneself and how to overcome academic writer's block. ...more
Margot Note
Read this because of a post at Publishing in the Archives Profession here: https://archivespublishing.wordpress....

"Despite its problems, writing brings more professional rewards than anything else a professor can do. Writing for publication weighs heavily in decisions about hiring, promotion, and tenure in academic and other professional settings. It brings rewards of visibility and portability. And, writing offers a unique kind of self-education" (7).

"Avoid writing in binges. Abandon the noti
Silvia Tavares
"Teachers or writers who await mood and inspiration before beginning court trouble. Conversely, writers and teachers who create mood and inspiration by performing on demand tend to prosper.” (Kindle Locations 1181-1183)

No wonder this book from 1990 is still so widely cited. A great guide with useful and well-fundamented advice which generates a four step self-assessment and action-oriented approach to unblock writing while developing a sustainable writing practice. I wish I had read this a long
Miguel Panão
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Worth reading if writing is daunting for you

Scientific writing is, well, writing! And as scientists we do not have the luxury to avoid writing. This book contains several interesting methods to begin overcoming that fear.
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a Professor and have read this as a creative writer with intense writer's block. As someone who prefers processes and science-based approaches to problems, this helped immensely. I have since begun, tentatively, to write my novel again and have continued for over 3 months. ...more
Christie Maloyed
There are some tips that will work for some folks, myself included. But the studies upon which the advice is based are presented as generalizable despite extremely small, unrepresentative samples.
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of this is similar to advice in another or Boice’s books I read long ago, but solid reminders of specifically how good habits produce consistent work are always helpful...
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall this book was helpful. Boice has helped unblock professors with writing difficulties for years and has really done his research on the subject of writing difficulties. The book mirrors his real-life program in which problem writers seek his assistance to get back on track. Boice includes some interesting interludes in which he examines the history and scholarship on issues such as spontaneous writing and negative self-talk. It's interesting to find out that any anxieties you have about w ...more
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book acts as a therapy session on writing blockages. In fact Boice uses narratives of real therapy sessions he conducted with faculty members throughout the book to illustrate the practical response and some objections to the programs outlined in the book. This book, therefore, is most meaningful for those people who feel they have trouble writing in a professional setting.

It works from outlining why professors don't write, to the phenomenology of writing blockages, advising the reader to f
Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: academic writers who feel stuck
I have actually read this before, and feel stupefied by his psychobabble and his bizarre numbering of forms rather than labeling them. I think it is a trait of the social sciences.
However, the 4 or 5 pages in which he describes step by step how to rework/revise your article is really good.
The suggestions for making yourself write every day are also solid but not different from everyone else's advice.
Where he does differ is in the emphasis on self-care and being kind to yourself -- advice not oft
I found this somewhat helpful in understanding the reasons why it's oftentimes difficult to write. Boice also offers very practical steps to overcome writers' block. I gave it a somewhat low score because I found the advice a little repetitive why was a little tiresome after half the book e.g. even if one is not a perfectionist writer, one would have to read through advice to that group or at least skim read in every chapter.

One aspect that the book does really well is provide the reader with fu
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
The book focuses on developing good writing habits to become a productive writer. The tips are general and good for all "stuck" writers, but I often felt as though much of the focus was a bit more on writers in humanities and some social sciences. There was a lot of discussion about creativity and getting a lot of words out, but not so much about the other parts that go into writing a science paper (data collection, analysis, etc.). In any case, the tests for determining what is causing someone ...more
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
This book begins by suggesting that it is merely about combating Writer's Block. Though this is the ostensible focus, many of pragmatic suggestions for writing and controlling the thoughts and environments that surround and are associated with writing might be equally useful to non-blocked writers. Boice imagines that people can overcome writing problems through both cognitive and behavioral attention to their problems, which is a refreshingly rounded approach. ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
A psychologist helps you diagnose your writing problem and suggests some solutions. He offers some good suggestions but unfortunately for how much I liked this book, I either didn't need them or had heard them all before. Plus he calls them things like "stimulus control procedures" and prescribes exercises like "GWS-II." Sample sentence: "Then, when you've given GWS-II a try, do things you've already done with the SWS and GWS-I exercises." Typical psychologist. ...more
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many helpful suggestions, though I'm not sure it required book-length treatment.
A little pamphlet, maybe, to be passed out by writing evangelists outside university libraries and large lecture halls.
"Did you know that your graduate school career didn't really prepare you for writing?"
"Aren't you tired of writing to deadlines?"
"Hey, mister, wanna be a more productive scholar? No, yeah, I meant Doctor, not Mister."
Good ideas for organizing one’s writing life. Boice speaks of becoming an effective, efficient and joyful writer—three things that I’d love to be. I’ll try the strategies and report back.
Jennifer Glass
Great book to read if you ever have writer's block. Boice offers advice that's proven to work. Repetitive at times, but quite helpful and an easy read. ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it in an hour. Some interesting suggestions. I particularly liked contingency management.
Nov 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academic
A book you read for functionality more than entertainment. Useful tips
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It isn't very well-written, but the advice in it is great. It is motivating and has many clever tricks. ...more
Purple Iris
Some good advice, but I am not into all the charts and stuff. I think this would have been really useful if I were actually blocked and not just in need of some organization strategies.
Oct 01, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boice as some good ideas but I don't think I can implement his techniques. ...more
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: academia
If you need to write academic stuff while trying to teach - check this out.
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“Writing regardless of mood, in contrast, keeps momentum going. Writing regularly, even in moderate amounts, minimizes warm-up effects. Writing in a regimen produces both ease of writing and surprising output of writing.” 1 likes
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