Atlantic Wire: 15 Excellent Tips for Writing a Book

Working on a book? Check out The Atlantic Wire: “15 Excellent Tips for Writing a Book.” It might be the next best thing to sitting with a group of writers in polite conversation about how to write.

For the practically-minded, check out two highly recommended software aids for helping with productive writing:

  • Scrivener — I’d never used this before, but I think I’m quickly becoming a fan. (Free to try, $45 to buy)
  • Self-Control — excellent for limiting internet-related distractions. Better than others I’ve tried.

Sure, we’ve all probably heard, read, told or been told some of these tips (“Planning. Planning. Planning” is always going to be good advice). But the truth of the matter is that sometimes, we still need to hear it anyways.

  • “When I’m writing a book I only read other books that somehow inform my book. If it doesn’t serve my process — no matter how much I want to read it — I don’t. I suspect there are a lot of people who will give the opposite opinion (take a break from reading about your subject matter, etc.), but I’m not one of them. This is your time to be completely and justifiably obsessed. So go ahead — bask in the madness.” — Peter Conners (Growing Up Dead)
  • “I do not write from the beginning to the end. I write in the order that particular parts take form in my mind and I enjoy mulling them over… I mull and mull and imagine I am explaining them to someone and then I write them down. I have the order in mind, so I write whatever part is bubbling energetically in my mind, print it out (always) and begin a stack on THE BOOK on a corner of my desk into which I can add pieces (in their proper order) as they get written and so I have a visible proof at all times that something is happening.” — Sylvia Boorstein (It’s Easier Than You Think)


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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

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