Monday, November 05, 2007

How to write a lot

That's the name of a book I ordered a few weeks back. It came up as a recommended title for me on Amazon, and I decided to order it, thinking I might use it in a class I'm cooking up for next year.

I probably won't use it in my class (its target audience being psychology scholars, though it's pretty applicable to any academic audience). But it did have some useful hints.

Hint #1?
Write every day. I knew that one already, having picked it up from my new hero/guru Robert Boice. (I really want to use his book, How Writers Journey to Comfort in Fluency, in my class, but look at that price tag! 100 bucks! How can one book cost so much?) Boice recommends writing in what he calls "Brief Daily Sessions" of 15-60 minutes a day. Good advice. I used to believe I couldn't get anything of quality done in 15 minutes a day, but, in fact, it helps a lot to keep a writing project in mind by spending at least that much time on it daily. (Silvia, the author of How to Write a Lot, prefers about 2 hours a day.)

At any rate, the major hint I took from Silvia is to write out all your projects in a visible space. I think that's in part what Chris was doing here, back in July. Silvia recommends a white board. Not having a white board and not feeling like going right out and buying one, I opted to use oversized post-it notes, which I do have. (The white board would probably be more environmentally sound in the long run, so I'll switch to that eventually.)

It's nice to have all the projects (even the potential ones) up where they can be seen, rearranged according to priority, marked off. I never have to wonder what to do.

Update: Picture forthcoming, per Krista's request. :)


Krista said...

Pictures! (Please?)

xDashofPanachex said...

as a college student, I will emphatically point out that plenty of books go over the $100 price point. Sigh.

I know there are like a thousand writing books out there and I have a fair number of them myself. Is this worth reading?

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