Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review: How to Write Fast Under Pressure, by Philip Vassallo

How to Write Fast Under Pressure

By Philip Vassallo

American Management Association

ISBN: 0814414850

Paperback, 185 pages, $18.95

Although this book is meant primarily for business people who have to write reports on a regular basis, I asked for a review copy because the title intrigued me. As an author, I’m always interested in writing advice, especially when it’s related to writing fast and, as the title states, under pressure. As it turned out, I was able to gather a lot of motivational and helpful tips from this book.

As a writer, sometimes it’s hard to focus when you’re working on various projects simultaneously and even more so when you’re under a deadline. I don’t know about you, but I tend to freeze when I have many projects unless I have a clear-cut plan worked out in advance. There are various ways you can trick your brain into focusing on your writing. Vassallo’s book teaches some techniques on how to write effectively, consistently and, most important, quickly.

The author’s approach is based on DASH, the four critical components needed when working under pressure: Direction, Acceleration, Strength, and Health. These elements are fully demonstrated and explained in the book, but to give you a quick idea of what to expect:

Direction: Tips for organizing your thoughts.

Acceleration: Tips for writing on the fly with a ‘beat the clock’ mindset.

Strength: Tips on how to use a quality control system and creating a productive environment.

Health: Tips on prioritizing work and minimizing future pressures.

I found the book well structured and the writing straight forward and enjoyable. Vassallo uses clear examples and metaphors to demonstrate his ideas and techniques. It is a quick read, too. If you work in business and have to write fast under deadlines, I prompt you to get a copy of this book. But How to Write Fast isn’t only for business people and most writers will benefit from this method.

I'm also participating in a blog chain originating at the National Writing for Children Center, so be sure to visit the next blogger in the chain, Karen Cioffi.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sounds like a great book for any writer!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

And Mayra, I'd love for you to do a guest spot! Would Feb. 8 be too soon?

Nancy I. Sanders said...

I think these tips are so great. Just from this blog post, I am now interested in this book! As a children's writer, I can see how these will really help me to write more productively.

kathy stemke said...

This is a book I intend to purchase.

Kristi Bernard said...

I need this book. I need to learn to be more productive.

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

This book sounds like a great writer's tool. THis is on my to get list.

Karen Cioffi

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Hi, Mayra,

I love this book. I interviewed the author recently on a special episode of Book Bites for Kids. He gave additional tips during that interview.

I'm glad you also got a copy of the book.

whiteshark0121 said...

Great article, I always keep myself looking for new tips and ways on how to improve my writing and one of my favorite mentor on learning how to write a book is Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul.