Sunday, February 15, 2009

50BC09 #2: How To Write A Lot

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

rating: 3 of 5 stars

Paul Silvia's book is a humorous bit of sound advice on how to produce plentiful bits of academic writing. His basic premise centers around the creation of a writing schedule that is immutable and permanent. Whether you spend four weekly hours or ten, Silvia contends that the consistency will produce results far faster than if you should wait for inspiration to strike.

It wasn't without some guilty recognition that I read Chapter 2, "Specious Barriers to Writing a Lot". However, Silvia keeps the tone pragmatic, rather than condemnatory, and suggests various methods of tracking one's progress and "carrot-on-a-stick" rewards.

While I am sure Silvia's methods will work (I've had success thus far), I do wonder about academics who have children. The needs of children do not often fall into a schedule, and I can see that parents might find maintaining a strict writing schedule more difficult. I do know a few colleagues who would find Silvia's approach an oversimplification of what it takes to write.

I recommend this book because it is a quick read and contains some valuable and consolidated insights into writing productively. I think he is overly negative about the act of writing (some of us DO enjoy writing), but addresses it as a necessary evil for those who may not be so inclined. While it is geared toward post-graduates and faculty, it certainly would help anyone engaged in writing a dissertation, particularly in the humanities or social sciences.

1 comment:

Mutuelle sante said...

Thank you it is a fantastic guide, now to write a lot is very easy with the help of your guidance. Kudos