Disciplined Writing

Recent discussions about how historians write have emphasized once again that writing is not an inspired activity. Waiting for your muse merely disguises indolence.

As with any craft, writing improves with daily practice. Whether 3,500 words or 500 words or a page, stop making excuses and instead make time to write every day. Contrary to common assumptions, creativity increases with quantity. Research indicates that making writing a daily routine actually increases creativity. Carve out a few minutes every day to write inchoate ideas, sentences, and paragraphs. Write a lot. Revise what you write. Rinse and repeat. As the academic year approaches and promises to fragment the day, it is useful to recall that writing requires very little time.