- Write before you feel ready — because you might never feel ready. It's amazing how people magically feel ready when there is an imminent deadline.
- Don't wait to have a clear picture of the paper. As you start putting down your ideas, you may actually clarify them.
- Snack write — work in short, frequent bursts instead of waiting to sit down for big blocks of time. Those blocks hardly ever come, and when they do, they don't usually get used very productively.
- Set specific times in your schedule for writing — don't leave it to chance, because chances are it won't happen.
- Writing means putting new words on the page or substantially rewriting old words. It does not mean editing, reading, referencing or formatting — and it definitely does not mean composing e-mails.
- If you refrain from writing because you worry that what you write won't be good enough, try noting the adage that to write well, you first have to write.
Nature 475, 129-130 (2011)