In today’s Chronicle of Higher Education, Michael C. Munger’s “10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly” offers advice to scholars. His main points:
- Writing is an exercise (and you can get better with practice).
- Set goals based upon output, not input (“I will write three pages” is a goal; “I will write for three hours” is not).
- Find a voice; don’t just get published.
- Give yourself time (and don’t think you can procrastinate to rush at the end).
- <Irony on> Everyone’s unwritten work is brilliant. <Irony off>
- Pick a puzzle, using a formula but not slavishly following a formula.
- Write, then squeeze the other things in.
- Not all of your thoughts are profound (or, at least, not completely correct).
- Your most profound thoughts are often wrong.
- Edit your work, over and over.
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