Sunday, February 14, 2010

More Productive Writing

Did you plan to tackel that big writing job this weekend -- be it a brief, a piece of legal commentary, or a law review article (heaven help you) -- only to find time slipped past you too quickly?  Lots of distractions this weekend, from the Winter Olympics to Valentine's Day to the warm sunshine.

Flordia law professor Lyrissa Lidsky posts her "Keys to Productivity" at PrawfsBlawg.  Among them:

"It was only when I accepted that I can write ten pages on some days and two sentences on others that I became more productive.  I finally accepted the fact that my mind is often the most active on the days I write two sentences because my subconscious is working out the structure and the details of what comes next.  It sounds hokey, I know, but I have truly come to trust that my subconscious will eventually 'tell' me what comes next if I just get out of the way.

"I even learned how to get out of the way. . . .  I sit and I write as fast as my hand will go for twenty minutes without stopping. This process is painful because I force myself to put down every idea I have, no matter how stupid it is, and to even write down every negative thought, such as 'this is never going to work,' 'this doesn't make sense,' 'why did I start this project?'.  The first five minutes are always the hardest, but eventually something useful starts to emerge.  I don't know why this works.  I just know that it does.  Always. It never fails that the core of the next section of my article is there somewhere amongst the dreck I've just committed to paper."

Handy tips for a Sunday morning.