Writers, particularly dissertators, often share the character strengths of curiosity and love of learning.
Do you have both of those strengths? If you’re writing a dissertation, I’ll bet you do. Many of my clients possess those two powerful strengths (I ask all of my coaching clients to take the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire at www.authentichappiness.com,).
Those two strengths are the drivers behind the great research and a-ha moments that many of my writers have achieved.
Unfortunately, they’ve also caused many wild goose chases, dives into rabbit holes, and forgotten deadlines.
Take note that while love of learning and curiosity may help to define you, indeed, they may be your signature strengths, they can also derail your writing plan. If your chosen trajectory toward finishing is important to you, you need to know when and how to reign in your curiosity. It’s a skill worth learning.
It might be wise to ask this question of yourself: Are you meeting the deadlines you set for yourself?
If not, then consider these suggestions:
1. Enough’s enough. Give yourself a firm end point for research of any sort. Whether you’re reading on a big topic or looking for more information on a small fact, set a stopping point.
2. No more rudderless writing. What content are you developing in this writing session? Clarify your writing goals. To keep yourself from drifting away from your writing and into checking out ever more research, know the focus of your writing session and stick to it. Hint: Outlines still work! They can keep you on track or close to it.
3. To produce text, you need destination writing. Push to produce text—that’s the goal for you. To do that, set a minimum of what you will deliver in a two hour session. Don’t overpromise, but promise something.
Academic and professional writers must be practical. Your job is to write. Time to toughen your resolve, and reign in your curiosity.
All the best,
P.S. Do you have a deadline in your sights? I’d love to hear how you’re doing. The next four weeks are critical for many writers. If you’re interested in how you can ratchet up your productivity, check out my website at www.nancywhichard.com.