Advice from the Masters: Tim Harford

Mar 1, 2017 | Writing A Book

Tim Harford is the Undercover Economist because that was the title of his first book. I didn’t read it. The book he wrote that caught my eye is Adapt and it was the subtitle that won my heart: “Why success always starts with failure.” Ain’t that the truth? It is for me.

I loved his most recent book, Messy. You can find my review of it at the end of this link.

In 2010, Harford wrote a blog piece for the Financial Times titled “Five tips for writing non-fiction.” I chose tip number four for this post.

“Keep the momentum going. At the moment, having done much of my research, I’m trying to do 300 words every day as a minimum. This low target means that no matter what other commitments I have, I have no excuse not to skim through what I wrote yesterday and add to it. This keeps morale high. It also means that when I can devote a full day to writing, I don’t have to spend hours reminding myself what I was thinking.”

I’ve watched too many people who want to write a book striving to achieve writing targets that simply aren’t possible, given all the other things they have to do. Usually, they don’t finish their book, they just give up. So, I love this advice to scale your objectives to what’s possible and rack up the small wins.

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts

If you want even more writing advice from writers, check out Jon Winokur’s blog, “AdvicetoWriters.”

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