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

de Paul J. Silvia

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7012425,529 (3.67)5
All academics need to write, but many struggle to finish their dissertations, articles, books, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and can be difficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule. How can we write it all while still having a life? In this second edition of his popular guidebook, Paul Silvia offers fresh advice to help you overcome barriers to writing and use your time more productively. After addressing some common excuses and bad habits, he provides practical strategies to motivate students, professors, researchers, and other academics to become better and more prolific writers. Silvia draws from his own experience in psychology to explain how to write, submit, and revise academic work, from journal articles to books, all without sacrificing evenings, weekends, and vacations. The tips and strategies in this second edition have been updated to apply to academic writing in most disciplines. Also new to this edition is a chapter on writing grant and fellowship proposals.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 23 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Definitely geared somewhat toward the sciences (and those who write a standard intro-methods-results kind of paper), but I think that the general lessons about writing/making a writing plan were useful. I did skim some parts, but I found especially the first half of the book helpful as a grad student. ( )
  forsanolim | Apr 17, 2021 |
Having finished this book, my first thought was to share they joy I had in reading it, taking the time to write another “I read a book I’ve enjoyed greatly” review and share it with the greater community of readers at large. For to have such an experience with a book of this sort is something that is indeed to praise, but also to deliver. How on earth is an academic book (don’t be fooled, for despite its simplicity, is still only an academic book) allowed to provide such an pleasing experience while presenting advice and guidance on a not particularly exciting subject matter, especially one that deals precisely with painful craft of writing for the academia? At one point or another your mind starts to ponder about the cognitive dissonance of knowing yourself studying a boring subject and finding a great pleasure in reading about it. Why is that so?

And the answer to this question lies precisely in the kind of help this book provides. For you are here faced with that obvious (but rarely understood truth) that the only way for one to write a lot is if one, obviously, takes the time write a lot! And having that thrown at you face, so bluntly, so honestly, lets finally your guard down and offers you a well needed pause in your anxiety and in your long standing worries about not being able to produce as much as you thought you needed to progress in the academic world. Now you can put to rest that self-blaming for having born the unluckiest of academic beings, since you had a lot to write in order to get your grades, grants, articles, and whatever else academia demands from you, but you couldn’t because you weren’t ‘cut for it’. Bollocks! And this is why knowing such a simple truth is so liberating!

By making you face that obvious truth, this book opens up a window of hope, one that can finally put you onto the path of overcoming your cronic procrastination that takes you away from becoming the writer you know you have to become in order to succeed academically.

And, for that reason, once you get motivated, confident that you can finally overcome your limitations by applying the right effort, the rest of the tips and advices the author offers you all fall naturally into place. This bring you great joy, for it allows you to read this book with pleasure, boosting your spirit in a way that only a good (and honest) self-help book can provide.

On my part, to add further is to add too little. The book is too simple for me to go through the details, luring you to think you’ll find in it more that you will. Take a look at it yourself: the book is so short; so simple; and yet so helpful, that you cannot allow yourself to pass this book without giving it a read. It takes so little to read it, but you get so much out of it, that I’m betting you’ll have the same kind of joyous experience I had while reading it. Go out and get your copy. Your future academic self will thank greatly the author for having made such a good choice. The rest in upon you for scheduling your writing sessions and for putting out your academic work on time. ( )
  adsicuidade | Sep 8, 2018 |
This is a very good natured book on how to approach academic writing. The simplest, while probably also the hardest, advice Silvia offers is to stick to a regular writing schedule instead of trusting the spur of the moment or the occasional inspiration to provide writing impulses. To this recovering binge writer this seems to be very sound advice, indeed. The upbeat prose and some practical tips for the journal submission process makes this a very agreeable and helpful read. ( )
  ajungherr | Mar 15, 2018 |
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 vota 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 |
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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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All academics need to write, but many struggle to finish their dissertations, articles, books, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and can be difficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule. How can we write it all while still having a life? In this second edition of his popular guidebook, Paul Silvia offers fresh advice to help you overcome barriers to writing and use your time more productively. After addressing some common excuses and bad habits, he provides practical strategies to motivate students, professors, researchers, and other academics to become better and more prolific writers. Silvia draws from his own experience in psychology to explain how to write, submit, and revise academic work, from journal articles to books, all without sacrificing evenings, weekends, and vacations. The tips and strategies in this second edition have been updated to apply to academic writing in most disciplines. Also new to this edition is a chapter on writing grant and fellowship proposals.

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