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How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing

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All students and professors need to write, and many struggle to finish their stalled dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and can be difficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule.

In this practical, light-hearted, and encouraging book, Paul 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.

149 pages, Paperback

First published January 15, 2007

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Paul J. Silvia

7 books107 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 589 reviews
32 reviews
September 12, 2017
Let's put it like this: I read the first chapter and the next day wrote 800 words. Then 450, then 815. not good words, but I am writing. that alone is worth 10 stars to me.

Edit 09/2017: I have successfully defended my PhD thesis and submitted the final version after 3 years (first version for examiners 2.5 years). It wasn't this book alone, but it definitely made a big difference and helped kick off the development of better habits.
Profile Image for Jerzy.
467 reviews104 followers
May 7, 2013
Just set a writing schedule and stick to it. It's obvious advice, but if you don't do it yet, it's worth reading the author's cheery tone for a motivational kick in the pants to get you started.

The concepts of 'binge writing' (Kellogg, 1994, The Psychology of Writing) and 'dispositional attribution' (Jellison, 1993, Overcoming Resistance: A Practical Guide to Producing Change in the Workplace) seem particularly useful. It's good to have terms for habits that I vaguely knew I had but didn't have names for.

Some favorite parts:
* p.12: 'Do you need to "find time to teach"? Of course not---you have a teaching schedule, and you never miss it. [...] Finding time is a destructive way of thinking about writing. Never say this again. Instead of finding time to write, allot time to write.'

* p.14: 'When confronted with their fruitless ways, binge writers often proffer a self-defeating dispositional attribution: "I'm just not the kind of person who's good at making a schedule and sticking to it." This is nonsense, of course. People like dispositional explanations when they don't want to change [...]'

* p.44: 'Never reward writing with not writing. Rewarding writing by abandoning your schedule is like rewarding yourself for quitting smoking by having a cigarette.'

* p.81-90: Good advice on outlining and writing a journal article, particularly the introduction: 'This formula introduces the reader to your problem (section 1), reviews theories and research relevant to the problem (section 2), and clearly states how your research will solve the problem (section 3).'
Profile Image for Katie.
434 reviews258 followers
September 17, 2013
Caveat: I was pretty grumpy when I read this, and I have had to read more writing self-help books in the last three weeks than I have ever wanted to read. So I may be a bit unfair.

But still, I found this to be a distinctively unhelpful book. Silvia pretty much tells you in the first 20 pages that the key to writing a lot is (wait for it) to make a schedule and write a lot. Fair enough. But this then gets hammered home for an extra 100+ pages, without adding much of substance and without addressing problems with this approach in a helpful way. I mean, he's correct - the only way to write a lot is to write a lot - but his book doesn't offer any helpful guidance to people who have problems with that approach beyond some generally dismissive comments suggesting that these people should just get over themselves. I think he's trying to be lighthearted, but it just comes across as smug.

I also found his chapter on style to be unhelpful, as I am skeptical of any writing advice that hinges on the increased use of semicolons.
Profile Image for Andy.
1,319 reviews456 followers
November 13, 2022
I read this years ago and it helped. I loaned it to someone and didn't get it back. I find myself now with a lot to write, so I bought a new copy and read it over. The refresher was worthwhile and has already helped me to get back on track. I appreciate the author's humor--including the New Yorker cartoons--as well as his brevity.

The sequel was also useful:
Write It Up! Practical Strategies for Writing and Publishing Journal Articles
Write It Up! Practical Strategies for Writing and Publishing Journal Articles by Paul J. Silvia
Profile Image for Ivan.
655 reviews125 followers
January 20, 2015
The basic premise behind Paul Silvia’s How to Write a Lot is that the only way to getting writing done is by writing. Silvia demystifies the craft of writing and reminds us that there is no magic solution: writers simply sit their behinds down (or stand, for the conscientious who prefer standing desks) and puts words to paper—or screen. “Instead of finding time to write, allot time to write,” Silvia says. “Prolific writers make a schedule and stick to it. It’s that simple” (12). The key is regularity, he adds, not the amount of time spent. Whether one devotes 4 hours per week or daily blocks of time, it is important to set aside that time which slowly accrues and yields dividends of writing output. Additionally, be specific with goals for the day. Rather than “write today,” set yourself the goal of “write at least 200 words today.” Then reward yourself (e.g., a snack, a coffee, etc.).

Some writers believe that every second of the allotted “writing time” must be devoted to writing. However, Silvia encourages writers to use the time for anything that would ultimately contribute to writing. So, for example, if you must do more research, then spend that time digging through articles. If you want to read a book on writing, then read it. In the end, Silvia frees the writer from guilt that besets many a writer. (Thanks to Ryan Vasut for bringing up this point with me in conversation.)

One suggestion Silvia offers is of forming a writing support group for people who want to write “faster and better.” A colleague of Silvia suggested “agraphia,” the term for the pathologic loss of the ability to write (51). While some writers like to work collaboratively, others prefer to be secluded from the world. Regardless, to greater or lesser degree all writers should have some network to bounce ideas and receive constructive feedback and input. This year I’ve joined an online writers’ consortium hosted by Jonathan Rogers, author of a recent biography on Flannery O’Connor and a trilogy of children’s books (which I highly commend). The desire is to “offer each other encouragement, accountability, advice, and –hopefully—a growing conviction that the long journey of the writer is worth the effort.” If interested, consider joining yourself! http://www.jonathan-rogers.com/blog/p...


Silvia also has a brief section on style. He bemoans the poor writing that infects much of academic writing—academese that is stuffy, impenetrable, and unenjoyable. Silvia encourages writers to choose good words. He writes, “The English language has a lot of words, and many of them are short, expressive, and familiar—write with these words” (61). And Silvia encourages the writer to write first and then revise. Many writers needlessly squander time and mental energy in analyzing each sentence as they write. This often derails the thought progression. “Revising while you generate text is like drinking decaffeinated coffee in the early morning: noble idea, wrong time” (76). Instead of a desire to turn each sentence into a masterpiece, unleash your fingers on the keyboard and freely write. “Your first drafts should sound like they were hastily translated from Icelandic by a nonnative speaker” (76).


There are many more takeaways from this book. It is a quick read and I commend to all who want to write a lot.
Profile Image for Hilary.
117 reviews149 followers
November 6, 2012
What a fantastic book. Top-notch advice for academic (or even non-academic) writers. Very motivating. I wish I had found this earlier in grad school!

Favorite Quotes:

"The only thing that a writer’s room needs, according to Stephen King (2000), is “a door which you are willing to shut” (p. 155)."

"Writing usurps time that should be spent on important leisure activities like spending time with friends and family, making lentil soup, or knitting the dog a Santa hat."

"I call these specious barriers: At first they appear to be legitimate reasons for not writing, but they crumble under critical scrutiny."

"“I can’t find time to write,” also known as “I would write more if I could just find big blocks of time.” This specious barrier is destined for academia’s hall of fame."

"When people endorse this specious barrier, I imagine them roaming through their schedules like naturalists in search of Time To Write, that most elusive and secretive of creatures."

"Instead of finding time to write, allot time to write. Prolific writers make a schedule and stick to it."

"When confronted with their fruitless ways, binge writers often proffer a self-defeating dispositional attribution: “I’m just not the kind of person who’s good at making a schedule and sticking to it.” This is nonsense, of course. People like dispositional explanations when they don’t want to change (Jellison, 1993)."

"If you don’t plan to make a schedule, gently close this book, clean it so it looks brand new, and give it as a gift to a friend who wants to be a better writer."

"Some academics are so enamored of goals, initiatives, and strategic plans that they become deans and provosts."

"Research on self-regulation shows that it isn’t enough to set a goal and make it a priority: People must monitor their progress toward the goal (Carver & Scheier, 1998; Duval & Silvia, 2001)."

"Reward yourself when you finish a project goal. Self-reinforcement and contingency management are time honored ways of fostering desirable behaviors (Skinner, 1987)."

"Complaining about writing is usually bad, especially when it involves the specious barriers described in chapter 2. When people sit around and talk about what they could accomplish if only they could find time to write or get a new computer, they’re colluding to maintain their useless, wasteful, binge-writing habits."

"Psychologists like writing about the existing literature. Is there a nonexistent literature that I should be reading and referencing?"

"The abomination persons should remain the property of small-town sheriffs on the hunt for “a person or persons unknown.”"

"Delete very, quite, basically, actually, virtually, extremely, remarkably, completely, at all, and so forth. Basically, these quite useless words add virtually nothing at all; like weeds, they’ll in fact actually smother your sentences completely. In Junk English, Ken Smith (2001) called these words parasitic intensifiers."

"If attitudes are emotional in nature, what are they like in captivity? Will they reproduce like captive pandas?"

"Revising while you generate text is like drinking decaffeinated coffee in the early morning: noble idea, wrong time."

"Writing a journal article combines all the elements that deter motivation: The probability of success is low; the likelihood of criticism and rejection is high; and the outcome, even if successful, isn’t always rewarding."

"Writing a journal article is like writing a screenplay for a romantic comedy: You need to learn a formula."

"An inner audience—an image of who will read your paper—will help you with your writing decisions."

"Sometimes, closed-door rejections encourage you to submit your manuscript elsewhere; other times, the editor mails you a personal shredder for destroying all known copies of the manuscript."

"Good resubmission letters will make you look like a serious scholar—because you are. People who deal constructively with criticism deserve to be published."

"A classic theory of achievement motivation proposed two motives that affect performance: a need to achieve success and a need to avoid failure (Atkinson, 1964)."

"You’ll write better when you expect rejection, because you’ll mute the need to avoid failure."

"To write a lot, you should rethink your mental models of rejection and publication. Rejections are like a sales tax on publications: The more papers you publish, the more rejections you receive. Following the tips in this book will make you the most rejected writer in your department."

"Instead of writing review articles, people who don’t outline should drive to the local animal shelter and adopt a dog, one that will love them despite their self-defeating and irrational habits."

"If you're extrinsically motivated by money, find other reasons to write your textbook, such as a burning interest in sitting in a chair and typing."

"By now, even the dimmest reader has discerned this book's simple message: To write a lot, you must make a schedule and stick to it."

"It's easy to pick out the book editors in the conference crowd: They're better dressed than the professors and graduate students, and they're standing next to big tables containing lots of books."
Profile Image for Wendi Lau.
434 reviews23 followers
August 28, 2019
Dr. Silvia is fun! With section headings like "Frequently Grumbled Grumblings About Writing Schedules" and oddly worded statements, like this quote, you know he enjoyed the topic and appreciates struggling writers.
“The goal of text generation is to throw confused, wide-eyed words on a page; the goal of text revision is to scrub the words clean so that they sound nice and can go out in public.” -Silvia, 2019
Silvia’s goal is to get you, reader/writer, to Write a Lot. How? By acknowledging and gently dismissing our stupid, weak excuses for not writing—“I have writer’s block” and “I’m waiting for a vacation, my own space, inspiration” —and creating an iron-clad, respectable writing schedule. That’s it.

Just Do It by honoring your writing time as you would a class, meeting or appointment.

The book is 133 pages, minus references and index. It applies to ALL WRITERS, not just academic writers. He sees into your soul and calls you out; and you like it because he’s one of us, he’s gone through it too.

Not eye-ball popping or jaw-dropping like Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, but enjoyable and necessary. Just what I needed now. I’ll make a reading schedule too.

Oh, to the early-risers god I must pray…
Profile Image for akemi.
406 reviews116 followers
April 14, 2021
The most cynical book about academia I've ever read. Literally compares a writing schedule to a prison schedule. I wish Foucault was still alive 😞

Something something the neoliberal university; increasing workloads, decreasing tenures, turn yourself into an autopoietic self-disciplining machine.

The book boils down to: make a schedule, keep to that schedule. No excuses. Pretty basic stuff.

The book's claim of only addressing external behaviours mirrors that of cbt ('we're not interested in why, but in how; in the present, rather than the past'); but ya know, saying just do it, as if all faults can be rid of through will alone, is the logic of neoliberalism. Like I get it, you always can make time in your day, but the ways we avoid making time are micro traumas, coping mechanisms, insecurities. They won't go away through pure will.

I'm still gonna make a schedule, lol. But just don't buy into the fucking cynicism of this book. Get a counselor, organise with your union, create healthy relationships outside of individualist modes of self-discipline. Learn to love yourself beyond of self-quantification.

Self-hell books (oh fuck yea I'm keeping that typo) can only take you so far.
Profile Image for Mehwish Zuberi.
11 reviews
November 23, 2018
I read this book in search for inspiration (read: material for procrastination) as I write my master thesis. The author has a snarky tone, which I enjoyed thoroughly and it spoke directly to me. Though the book is more oriented towards journals and books, there is something in it for anyone who is - or attempting to - write academically in any capacity. Some lessons to share (and to remind myself):
- There is no such thing as 'writer's block' in academic writing.
- Only a fool rewards bouts of productive writing with skipping scheduled writing periods (its me, I'm the fool).
- Inspiration is a product of writing, not the other way around.
- For goodness' sake, use dashes!
This book made me write my first Goodreads' review, so I guess that's saying something to its effectiveness.
Profile Image for Ekin Oktay.
4 reviews2 followers
July 5, 2019
wonderull

it is very helpfull to write a lot and be productive. bir takvim tek ihtiyaç bu ve daha fazlasına gerek yok
Profile Image for Katrina.
Author 11 books29 followers
September 2, 2012
I wish I'd read this when I was in graduate school. I plan to give copies to my advisees. I like the simplicity of Silvia's advice, and the practical examples he gives from his own work (e.g. sample spreadsheets for tracking projects). Includes good advice on scheduling, making big and small goals, prioritizing, starting a writing group, writing journal articles, and writing books. I skipped the chapter on style because that's not what I was looking for.
Profile Image for Shawn.
4 reviews
June 24, 2017
For a book that tells you the "secret" to writing a lot in the second chapter, it actually has a lot more to offer. I especially found the chapters on writing articles and the chapter on writing books to be especially helpful. In the end, I found myself quite motivated to sit down and start writing. This is useful as I prepare for my doctoral exams.
Profile Image for Alyssa Chrisman.
110 reviews2 followers
January 11, 2018
Concise, motivating read with useful advice. I am a PhD student in my second semester and am planning on implementing Silvia's strategies. I was feeling overwhelmed with the amount of writing projects I am working on, but I now I feel like I have a system for attacking them that will still allow me to enjoy my free time.
Profile Image for Anthony Friscia.
162 reviews1 follower
May 29, 2019
I want to get some writing done this summer, so I did the exact thing I shouldn't do, which is read about writing, instead of actually writing... Nevertheless, this is a helpful little book because it reminded me of the various strategies to get more writing done. There was nothing new here for me, having hit this sort of block before, but if you want a quick introduction to writing strategies, this is a good entry.
Profile Image for Madara.
73 reviews
Read
July 14, 2021
I liked this book, and found it a nice read. Did learn some things, but wasn't super helpful to me because I write for a living so writing isn't necessarily something I struggle with. I was hoping to understand academic writing more, which is what I struggle with, but that didn't come out as much as I wanted. For people who want to learn how to write a lot more, this would be a good book. But for people looking for insight on academic writing, not so much.
Profile Image for Dina.
88 reviews3 followers
May 21, 2022
I’ve postponed it for years, but it’s actually a very fast read full of concise advice, some jokes and inspiration (however, maybe useless for non-academics)
Profile Image for GT.
88 reviews114 followers
February 16, 2019
As the name suggests, this book is a guide to “productive academic writing” – more about the quantity of written works including journal articles, theses and non-fiction books. It is quite helpful for academic writers, especially for grad students. I see it as a small jaunt to how to schedule a writing plan, build a stick-to-it attitude, how to overcome the agraphia, which style should be in my writing and so on. Most importantly, it showed how to begin to write, polish, submit, revise an article/review, response to editors, consult advisors,... and gave ways to deal with situations that might happen in academic environment.
Profile Image for أثير.
209 reviews32 followers
July 11, 2014
A well written and simple handbook for academic writing. It is a good start for novice researchers in the world of productive academic publications. It's main withdraw , for me at least, is relating every practice to physiology which mainly is my fault for not reading that in the description.
As a binge writer myself, I've been looking for solutions to the accumulated writing deadlines in my field of work. And the author fulfilled my quest by a simple solution:
"Schedule your writing time, and stick to it".
Profile Image for Izham.
2 reviews260 followers
March 31, 2013
This book is great! I learn a lot just by reading it. I finish reading it only in just one day. Silvia writing and how he puts some quotes of research about writing and psychology related really amaze me. Although my field is more in agriculture, I still find that this book is a practical for any academician to motivate themselves to write anything. I mean anything by articles, journals and thesis papers. To sum it up, it is a great book for academicians to read it.
Profile Image for Ashley.
8 reviews1 follower
May 22, 2014
It doesn't have any new insight and constantly tells you that writing is not fun.
Profile Image for Aliyu.
21 reviews
May 25, 2017
Informative, blunt and funny at once, it's been an awesome read for me as I attempt to start writing. Highly recommend it for any type of writing upstart!
14 reviews
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October 5, 2020
i read this to procrastinate doing productive academic writing
Profile Image for Sara Dahaabović .
242 reviews91 followers
Currently reading
November 24, 2020
This book sees productive writing as a skill people learn. To write more, you needn’t adopt a new writing identity, cultivate an authentic scholarly voice, or interrogate your intellectual values. You’re welcome to, if that’s your scene, but focusing on specific behaviors that you can do today is faster and more practical.

The only thing that a writer’s room needs, according to Stephen King (2000), is “a door which you are willing to shut” (p. 155).

Writing productively is about actions that you aren’t doing but could easily do: making a writing schedule, setting clear goals, keeping track of your work, rewarding yourself, and building good habits.

“If you find that writing is hard,” wrote William Zinsser (2006), “it’s because it is hard” (p. 9). How the mind composes text is an eerie and awe-inspiring mystery.

Writing is a skill, not a gift. No one is born a great writer, let alone a great academic writer. No kindergarten teacher has ever remarked, “I liked your child’s essay, but if I’m honest, I liked her footnotes even better.”

How to Write a Lot views writing as a set of concrete behaviors, such as
(a) scheduling time to write;
(b) sitting on a chair, bench, stool, ottoman, toilet, or patch of grass during the scheduled time; and
(c) slapping your flippers against the keyboard to generate paragraphs. Let everyone else procrastinate, daydream, and complain—spend your time sitting down and flapping your flippers.
----

SPECIOUS BARRIER 2
“I need to do some more analyses first,” aka, “I need to read a few more articles/books/letters/epigraphs/scrolls.”
Academic culture reinforces this barrier. We respect perfectionism and diligence. Academic writing has many parts. We will never “find the time” to retrieve and read all of the necessary articles, just as we’ll never “find the time” to write a review of those articles. This is another reason why scheduling time to write is the way to write a lot.

SPECIOUS BARRIER 4
“I’m waiting until I feel like it,” aka, “I write best when I’m inspired to write.”

Robert Boice (1990) gathered a small sample of college professors who struggled with writing, and he randomly assigned them to use different writing strategies (p. 79). People in an abstinence condition were forbidden from all non-emergency writing; people in a spontaneous condition scheduled 50 writing sessions but wrote only when they felt inspired; and people in a contingency management condition scheduled 50 writing sessions and were forced to write during each session. (They had to send a check to a disliked organization if they didn’t do their writing. The resulting incoming junk mail would have hurt more than the money.) The outcome variables were the number of pages written per day and the number of creative ideas per day.
Figure 2.3 shows what Boice found. First, people in the contingency management condition wrote a lot—they wrote 3.5 times as many pages as people in the spontaneous condition and 16 times as much as those in the abstinence condition. People who wrote “when they felt like it” were barely more productive than people told not to write at all—inspiration is overrated. Second, forcing people to write boosted their creative ideas for writing. The typical number of days between creative ideas was merely 1 day for people who were forced to write; it was 2 days for people in the spontaneous condition and 5 days for people in the abstinence condition. Writing breeds more good ideas for writing.

As Keyes (2003) put it, “Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend to them than inspiration”. One might say that they make a schedule and stick to it. AKA do it daily!

SPECIOUS BARRIER 5
“I should clear the decks before getting down to writing,” aka, “I’ll write even faster later on if I wrap up all this other stuff first.”

“Clearing the decks” is mental alchemy: We transmute the lead of procrastination into the gold of efficiency. But let’s be candid with ourselves. By avoiding writing for a week and throwing ourselves into other tasks, we aren’t planning, preparing, or positioning ourselves for a great bout of writing later—we’re just procrastinating. And those decks are never going to be clear.
----
Profile Image for Ellis J Alia.
26 reviews7 followers
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July 22, 2020


In a 1990 study which tested the effectiveness of writing strategies, Robert Boice found out that waiting for inspiration is not a viable strategy. To test his hypothesis, Boice collected a small sample of university professors who had difficulty writing and he assigned them different writing strategies. The strategies assigned were (a) the abstinence condition, (b) the spontaneous condition and (c) the contingency management condition. People assigned (a) were asked not to write anything that wasn't urgent in their life; the people in (b) were assigned 50 writing sessions but they were told to write only when they felt inspired; the people in (c) were assigned 50 writing sessions and they were told to write during every session.

People who were forced to write every session (c) wrote 3.5 times as many pages as the group assigned (b) and 16 times as many pages as those assigned (a).

Moreover, Boice found that those who were forced to write increased the number of creative ideas they had for their writing. Thus the number of days between creative ideas for those in (c), where they were forced to write, was only 1; it was 2 days for people who wrote only when inspired; and 5 days for those told not to write anything.

But more generally, Silvia recommends that one should make a writing schedule and stick to it. This strategy is the backbone of being a productive writer. Silvia tracks his own writing by whether he wrote on a particular day or not. The first edition of the book also has a screenshot of a spreadsheet that Silvia used to track his writing, including the amount of words he wrote in a given writing session.

There's also some note worthy advice on writing grant proposals. Silvia outlines two strategies: (1) the Elephant strategy, where you tend carefully to each grant proposal and (2) the Seahorse strategy, where you tend to sending many proposals out with the hope that one sticks. Like many other mammals, Elephants give birth to usually one calf at a time and spend their energy and resources one that one calf. This is is contrast to Seahorses who give birth to loads of fry (baby seahorses), with the babies then left to fend on their own.

Rightly so, I believe, Silvia recommends that you follow the Elephant strategy and carefully tend to only one or two grant proposals at a time.
Profile Image for Khalid.
116 reviews7 followers
September 21, 2021
فكرة قراءة المقالات الأكاديمية بحد ذاتها تكفي لتشعرني بالملل، فما بالك بكتابتها أو القراءة عنها بدلًا من لها؟ ولكن مكرهٌ أخاك لا بطل…

هناك العديد من الكتب التي تتحدث عن الكتابة الأكاديمية ولكني أخترت أن أبدا مع هذا الكتاب لسبب بسيط وهو أن كاتبه يحمل شهادة دكتوراة في علم النفس ولذلك أعتقدت أن نظرته للموضوع ستكون نوعًا ما أكثر شمولية بسبب مجاله. بعد قراءتي للكتاب أستطيع القول بأن إعتقادي كان في محله، الكتاب كان جدًا مفيد وأعتقد أنه خيار جيد كمدخل للكتابة الأكاديمية.

بول سيلڤيا أستاذ علم النفس في جامعة ولاية كارولاينا الشمالية حاول في كتابه هذا أن يتكلم لا عن كيفية الكتابة نفسها بل عن طقوسها و عقليات ممارسيها، لن تجد هنا خطوات تفصيلية عن الكتابة الأكاديمية ولكنك ستجد مواضيع عامة تتخذ من الكتابة الأكاديمية محورًا لها و هدفها الأساسي هو تسليط الضوء على عقلية الممارس التي تلعب أهم دور في تحديد نجاح أي عمل سواء كان كتابة أو غيره.
وهذا الأسلوب هو ما جعل هضم كتاب مثل هذا أكثر سهولة لأن النصائح الموجودة فيه يمكن أن تطبقها على أي موضوع حياتي أخر لا علاقة له بالكتابة ولهذا السبب وجد الكتاب إقبالاً كبيرًا من عامة الناس.

سيلڤيا تطرق لمواضيع عديدة وجميعها كان يتمحور حول فكرة رئيسية واحدة: لتكتب أكثر يجب أن تعامل نشاط الكتابة والوقت المخصص له كما تعامل دوامك أو كلاساتك، أي تعتبره مكان تذهب إليه بشكل أسبوعي..فالفكرة على قولته كلها تكمن في فعل واحد وهو showing up
هو يعتقد ان المواظبة على الشيء يحوله لعادة ومن ثم لروتين ومن ثم لشيء طبيعي نمارسه دون أن نفكر به وهذا بدوره يجعلنا نتغلب على أعذار من على شاكلة "ما عندي وقت، أو أني أفتقد للقطعة الالكترونية المناسبة للبدء" أو عذر الراحة والتسويف والهم والتفكير وغيرها الكثير من الجمل المصطنعة و المعتادة التي نتعذر بها. بمعنى أخر، تحويل اي نشاط معين ترغب بممارسته لروتين يومي سيقضي على أي عذر ممكن أن تأتي به نفسك المخادعة وهذا ما يجعل روتينك ونوعيته أهم ما في حياتك.
Profile Image for Vanessa Fuller.
359 reviews5 followers
November 23, 2018
A colleague / friend with whom I've been working the last year recently mentioned this little gem of a book to me as we discussed some rather disappointing peer reviews she'd received.

Academic writing is hard work, often leaving writers / authors rather dispirited and unmotivated. Finding motivation to write at all remains a constant battle for many of us. And, time and again, I find myself saying to students, colleagues and myself, 'just schedule time to write and only write if you want to accomplish anything'.

More than anything, that message rings out loud and clear throughout this precious little bit of encouragement by Paul Silvia.

I genuinely love this book. Its tone. Its thinness. Its simplicity. Its language. And, its messages, both primary and supporting. Whether student or mentor, writing an article or book manuscript or proposal, whether just beginning or seeking to finish items on your to-do list, this book offers something for everyone.

In the week since it arrived, I've gone from planning to read a chapter at a time to plowing through it as if it is the most exciting suspense novel ever. It's just that engaging. And, I will be recommending, if not demanding, that all of my students give it a read regardless of where they live within the graduate school landscape.

Thank you, Paul Silvia. I'll be revisiting my own writing schedule this weekend. And, recommitting to cleaning my desk procrastinating less.
24 reviews
October 26, 2021
Although the primary audience for this book is academic writers, this is a book that anyone who writes should read.

I feel both called out for being a binge writer and justified in my personal goals for accessibility in my writing.

Written by a psychologist, it comes as no surprise that the book really neatly and clearly breaks down the many reasons why writers don’t write, and the bad habits that writers can develop which sour their relationship with writing.

It also provides a very simple solution to the age old excuse of not having time to write: a god damn schedule.

Some of the chapters are more dedicated to the specifics of publishing in academic psychology which are less useful to those outside the field. But there are still nuggets of knowledge to draw from in a general sense.

My brain feels wrinklier and I feel more galvanised as a writer.

I also feel vindicated that my choice to simplify the way I wrote my honours thesis in 2017 was the right one, despite criticism from a reviewer that the way I wrote was ‘too basic’. I wrote with accessibility in mind and it meant that anyone could read my thesis and understand the concepts and arguments. Take that Leigh!
46 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2020
Two colleagues recommended this book to me. It's short (readable within a few sittings/standings) and straightforward. The best advice I can give with this book is to take it seriously. There is nothing in here you haven't heard before. But that doesn't mean it's something we want to hear. We know what it takes but we often just don't want to do it. It tells you how to write a lot (i.e., be a productive writer without sacrificing your "free time"), what different writing projects expect from you (journal articles, grants, books, etc.), and a few key pieces of advice on style (keep it short and simple). This is a book I purchased to highlight, annotate, and keep on hand as a guide. I would recommend it to anyone involved in academic writing (as no one is really interested in it).
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