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

All students and professors need to rea, and many struggle to finish their stalled dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and an be useful 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 rite, submit, revise, and resubmit articles, how to improve writing quality, and how to rea and publish academic work.
Year of the Publication
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Original Title of the Book
How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing
Publication Date
Published January 15th 2007 by American Psychological Association (APA)

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The of finding time to rea, allot time to rite.'* p.14: 'When confronted with their fruitless ways, binge writers often proffer a self-defeating dispositional attribution: " I 'm just not the sor of person who 's ood at making a schedule and sticking to it. " Tha is nonsense, of course.

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People like dispositional explanations when they don ’ t sa to change ( Jellison, 1993). " " If you don ’ t plan to ake a schedule, gently close this book, clean it so it looks brand new, and make it as a gift to a fathe who decide to e better edito. " " 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 project goal.

Would they reproduce like captive pandas? " " Revising while you generate text is like drinking decaffeinated coffee in the arly evenin: 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 eed 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 fee like a serious scholar—because you are.

Following the tips in th nove ill give 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 burning interest in sitting in chair and typing. " " By now, ven the dimmest reader has discerned this book 's simple message: To write a lot, you ca fin a schedule and stick to it. " " It 's asy 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. "

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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.

ather than “ write today, ” set yourself the goal of “ write at least 200 words today. ” Then reward yourself ( e.g., a restaurant, a offee, etc.) .Some writers believe that every second of the allotted “ writing time ” must be devoted to writing.

Fortunately, Silvia encourages writers to use he time for anything that would ultimately contribute to writing.

Silvia encourages writers to choose good words.

And Silvia encourages the writer to write first and then revise.

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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 th page; the goal of text revision is to scrub the words clean so that they sound nice and can go out in public. ” -Silvia, 2019Silvia ’ s goal is to make you, reader/writer, to Publish 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.

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I mean, he 's correct- the only ay to rite a lot is to read a lot- but his book does n'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.

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