A while back — a distressingly long time ago, actually, as it seems like only the day before yesterday — I wrote a couple of pages (that were linked here) primarily aimed at beginning graduate students. One was on developing a decent and effective writing style, the other was about getting published; both were based on sessions I’d given a few times in a ‘graduate training programme’.
Rereading them, I thought the page about getting published managed to now look both banal and in certain respects rather dated. And I’m now too out of the swim to want to improve and update it, so I’ve dropped the link.
But general advice on writing surely doesn’t date in quite the same way, and I still quite like the page I first wrote a dozen years back. So I’ve tinkered with it a bit (and followed my own advice in trimming it down where possible). Here’s the latest version. Comments welcome — also, I’d like to link to other people’s similar pages of advice if you have any particular favourites to recommend.
What I didn’t add was a warning about how much time getting work from being acceptably written to being quite well written can take! Reworking my intro logic book involves composing some new chapters. It seems to take me as long again to get the prose in a state I’m happy with as to first fix the actual contents of a chapter in a late draft. On the other hand, there is real pleasure to be had when things do click into place. The polishing stage can be mightily frustrating and rewarding at the same time.