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How to Write a Lot


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Specious Barriers to Writing a Lot 
3. The Care and Feeding of Writing Schedules 
4. Starting a Writing Group 
5. A Brief Foray Into Style 
6. Writing Journal Articles 
7. Writing Books 
8. Writing Proposals for Grants and Fellowships 
9. “The Good Things Still to Be Written” 
About the author 

About the Author

Paul J. Silvia, PhD, is the Lucy Spinks Keker Excellence Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his doctorate in psychology from the University of Kansas in 2001. Among many other things, he studies the psychology of creativity and the arts, particularly how people come up with good ideas and why they find art interesting, appealing, and awe-inspiring. He received the Berlyne Award, an earlycareer award given by the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, for his research on aesthetic emotions, and he later served as president of the Society. His other books include Exploring the Psychology of Interest (2006); Public Speaking for Psychologists: A Lighthearted Guide to Research Presentations, Job Talks, and Other Opportunities to Embarrass Yourself (2010, with David B. Feldman); and Write It Up: Practical Strategies for Writing and Publishing Journal Articles (2015).


“Do you find your grant-writing intruding on time you’d rather spend with your family?  Did revisions to that last journal article ruin your vacation? Then this book might be just the thing you need… tips and tricks hold true for academics in almost any field…Silva backs up all his recommendations with evidence from behavioral studies and personal experience that is often as witty as it is insightful.” —Edgeforscholars.org

“Tips to increase your productivity and a surprisingly good section on grammar.” —Thesiswhisperer.com

“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 fully updated to apply to academic writing in most disciplines.” —Midwest Book Review

Perhaps there are graduate students or faculty members who write as much as they think they should but, if so, I haven’t met any of them in nearly 40 years being a professor. But I’ve certainly met many people who manage to write a lot, and all of them employ one or more of the tactics that Silvia describes. Henceforth, no one should be allowed to complain about how little writing they are getting done unless they have read—and applied—the wisdom in this book.
*Mark R. Leary, PhD, Garonzik Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC*

Silvia demystifies the process of writing and deftly debunks common excuses academics make for not getting it done! The message is simple but powerful: When writing becomes a workday habit, you can write a lot and find more time for life outside of work.
*Monica Biernat, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence*

In this second edition, Silvia helps readers solve the riddle of writing. By using a mixture of science, humor, and compassion, he shows how he has helped thousands of people become productive writers. If you want to stop worrying about writing, this book is required reading.
*C. Nathan DeWall, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington*

Wherever you are on the continuum from bright-eyed and bushy-tailed newbie to grizzly gray-haired veteran on the academic tour, you need to own this book. And don’t just own it; read it. Often. I recommend at least quarterly. You’ll nod. You’ll smile. You’ll fire your writing fervour if you follow Silvia’s suggestions. And most importantly, you’ll write a lot.
*Lisa F. Smith, EdD, University of Otago, Otago, New Zealand*

This is a well written, funny, and utterly practical hands-on guide on how to not just write more but also write better, more efficiently, and know how to submit and revise articles. I can’t imagine a graduate student, young professional, or anyone who struggles with writer’s block not needing this book.
*James C. Kaufman, PhD, Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs*

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