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Learning to be a more productive writer

Helen Sword has identified a range of strategies that can help you become a more productive writer:

  • Write something every day – just 20 minutes a day can give your creativity a boost

  • Write first, edit later

  • Set some time aside for writing

  • Keep a logbook of the time you spend writing and how many words you write

  • Have writing parties – dedicate a whole day or more to writing

  • Reflect on your own writing process and make plans for future development

  • Experiment. Try writing in the mornings, at night, in the company of other people, or in a café.

And remember:

  • Writing is a craft. Practice makes perfect.
  • Make writing a social process: Set up a writing group, find a writing partner, get friends and colleagues to give you feedback, or take part in a writing seminar.
  • Create a positive atmosphere around your writing. 

Read more in Helen Sword’s books: Stylish Academic Writing and The Writer’s Diet


What works for you? Share your best writing strategy with students and colleages.

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