How to be a prolific writer? Try the Asimov Approach

September started. The summer break is over. Soon my weekly schedule will be filled with lab meetings, journal clubs and seminars. During July and August I have taken advantage of my empty agenda to focus on writing. Here is a quick overview of the output: 25 blog posts for the Avian Hybrids Project, 5 pieces for the Dutch popular science website Scientias and two submitted manuscripts (one has been accepted, the other is currently in review). And I finished another creative writing project on the side. Not a bad summer…


Asimov – A Prolific Writer

I managed to produce so much content by following the writing approach of Isaac Asimov. This American author and professor of biochemistry is the textbook example of a prolific writer. He wrote and edited more than 500 books, and he published in nine of the ten major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification. Science fiction fans probably know him for the Foundation series and the Robot series. An impressive body of work.


Isaac Asimov – a prolific writer


A Foundation for Productive Writing

How did Asimov manage to write so much? Here are three reasons:

  1. Write every day, also if you don’t feel like it. Asimov believed there was no such thing as writer’s block. His father had a candy store in Brooklyn and opened his doors at 6 am every day. And he never complained about ‘shop keeper’s block.’
  2. Use a simple (but clear) writing style. When Writer’s Digest asked Asimov the secret to his prolific writing, he replied, “I guess I’m prolific because I have a simple and straightforward style.”
  3. Don’t care about your critics. You can keep editing your text, but at some point you will have to publish it (or submit it to a journal). There will always be people to comment on your work. Don’t think about the criticism too much and just get it out there.

These three writing tips have definitely contributed to my summer output. This does, however, not mean that they will work for you. But do give them a try, you never know…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s