Book Review: How To Write a Lot

Dr. Paul J. Silvia‘s book How To Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing is good fun. With section headings like “Frequently Grumbled Grumblings About Writing Schedules” and oddly worded phrases, you know he enjoys 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 wants 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…

2 thoughts on “Book Review: How To Write a Lot”

  1. I just scheduled my 15 minutes a day writing window. Am curious to see how often I go over the 15-minute block. Usually starting is the hardest and I can usually go on after I start.

    Liked by 1 person

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