The Chronicle of Higher Education
November 17th, 2014
Many writers I know love Joyce Carol
Oates—some even refer to her as JCO, as if she were a brand as
recognizable as CBS or BMW. But just as often, the mention of her name
is met by groans and complaints about how much she’s written. Her
productivity seems like an affront.
When someone’s doing a lot more than you, you notice it. It brings
out your petty jealousy. And if you’re like me (occasionally petty and
jealous), it might make you feel crappy about yourself. Which is, let’s
face it, ridiculous. No one else’s achievements take anything away from
yours, or mine. The fact that another writer is working hard and well
should be nothing more than inspiration, or at least a gentle prod.
So I started to think about the practices of highly productive
writers. What are the personality traits and habits that help people
crank out the pages?