I’ve been writing for last 4 weeks. I wrote about 8000 words during that time, writing from Mondays to Wednesdays, for 5-6 hours.

This comics describes my current situation perfectly 😉

Source: http://phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=1915

One day I got stuck. I was looking for a literature to complete the story about an important term and I spent more than 1 hour looking for articles and book. Then I went for a dinner, and talking with my Husband about my problem, I found out how to finish the story. But that day progress in writing was very little. 

After that experience I decided to build a kind of strategy to not get stuck anymore. During my stay in Bremen I attended 2-days “Thesis Bootcamp: Just Write It“, when they closed us for 8 hours in the room without Internet and phone, and our task was to write as much as possible. There was one more condition – we couldn’t use any extra sources, only our head. It was interesting experience but inability to quote someone or prepare references at once was annoying for me, but I took something for me from that workshop as well. 

My writing strategy is following

  • Build a “skeleton” of your chapter – define subchapters, put major topics as keywords/ bullet points
  • To each keyword/ bullet point define sources/authors/literature on which you want to base
  • Start writing 🙂

During writing we sometimes can face difficulties. So, we need a clear strategy how to deal with them to not get stuck. I’ve prepared an innovative tool 😉 I use colours to mark different types of difficulties, to be able to go further when I can’t find a solutions immediately:

For each problem I have also defined an amount of time for searching the solution. For example, when I need some new literature, because during writing I found out that I should mention this or that, I decided to not spend more than 30 minutes searching for literature in that given moment. If I don’t find anything proper, I just mark this place with red, and go further with my writing, filling with a content next bullet points. For linguistic difficulties I have 5-10 minutes – If the solution doesn’t come during that time, I mark this sentence or word with blue, and go further with my writing. It is what I took for myself from Thesis Bootcamp – to be able to write as much as possible, to learn to not get stuck in some minor difficulties, and to learn, how to let go for that moment. I go back to this flagged places in my text

  • for the next day – if it is a case of missing literature, to be able to add this missing part
  • when whole subchapter is ready – in case of linguistic difficulties, because then after few days it is easier to decide which word to choose, or how to build a sentence.

As far this strategy works, and I make progress every writing day.