“And I know it seems easy,” said Piglet to himself, “but it isn’t everyone who could do it.”
—A. A. Milne
Writing is a discipline so it requires efficient, disciplined work habits. Since we lawyers are being paid to write, we do not have the luxury of waiting for inspiration to strike. Like any professional writer, we must produce on demand.
If you develop good writing habits, those habits will become ingrained. Over time, you will find that writing becomes easier and faster. You will become less bogged down in the process and will have more time to immerse yourself in the final product. So focus on building good habits now. You’ll reap results immediately in improved papers. You live the results for years as your writing life evolves to entail less struggle and more reward.
In the next few posts, we’ll talk about the process of writing, including how to develop good writing habits and how to overcome writer’s block. Here are a few tips to get us started.
Work on a Big Screen
One of the most effective techniques for improving productivity is the size of your computer screen—and the bigger the better. A 2005 New York Times article, Meet the Life Hackers discusses research by one of the world’s leading experts in “interruption science,” Mary Czerwinski. She found that people completed tasks from 10 percent to 44 percent more quickly if they worked on a massive, 42-inch screen. While most of us probably do not have the luxury of 42-inch screens, you should opt for as large a monitor as you can justify. If you work from a laptop, plug it into a generous monitor.
Keep Your Screen Clear
And keep your screen as clear as possible while you are writing. Czerwinski’s research also showed that a clean screen led to a calm mind and improved productivity.
Now that you are sitting calmly before your humongous screen, stay tuned for more posts on good writing habits.
P.S. from the Shameless-Self-Promotion Department: my book contains many more scintillating tips like this.