As I try to find a dissertation/writing schedule that I can stick with, that is actually effective for once, a few things stand out:
- It helps to have a writing group that you meet with once and week. Some fellow PhD friends of mine have started a group we’re calling the “Shut Up and Dissertation” writing group – we meet every wednesday to work, discuss, bounce ideas off each other, etc. It really helps to have someone you’re at least sort-of accountable to to inject a little motivation into your day.
- My brain does not function in a linear fashion, but rather in bits and pieces that pile up and never seem to cohere into anything useful.
- As a friend of mine recently realized in a small but important personal triumph: “It’s amazing how much you get done when you stop trying to do everything perfectly.” (She even made a little poster for it).
- In a related note, I keep having to remind myself: “Any words is better than no words.” Ie: if all I manage in a day is half a page, or a paragraph, or a few sentences, or a few disjointed ideas, ANYTHING is better than not having written at all.
- My ideas are WAY too ambitious, and I begin to fear I cannot do justice to any of the claims I keep making in my dissertation prospectus, or a couple conference proposals I wrote.
- But: All I can do is charge ahead.