In order to accomplish the large amount of writing required for a dissertation in any sort of sane way, you need a schedule.
A dissertation coaching client who has been juggling job/moving/dissertation has been struggling to find a time to write, a time that she’ll stick to.
She told me this week that she decided to read past issues of the ABDSurvivalGuide e-newsletter for suggestions, and what she came away with was “Write First Thing.”
Of course, she knew that I’d click my heels at the sound of that idea. And indeed I did. My client said that by going that route, she won’t feel that each evening she must rush out of the office at the first opportunity, dash home, and hurry through dinner in order to get in some writing.
Should she be too exhausted to write after dinner, she won’t feel that she has failed. She’ll be able to point to the good hour of work she put in first thing that morning.
While “Write First Thing” is eminently reasonable and sane, your schedule must be one that works for you, allowing you to move forward on your diss, as well as providing time for all of the others things your busy life requires you to do. And once it’s in place, you need to stick to it.
Dr. Tracy Steen, the brilliant and prolific writer/editor of the ABDSurvivalGuide, says that she definitely stuck to a writing schedule when she was in grad school.
I know many people who resist making a schedule, and daily they avoid writing. What a lot of unnecessary suffering.
If you have no particular plan, why not get on board with a morning routine? Make a schedule that has you getting up 30 minutes or an hour earlier than usual so that you Write First Thing? Try it for at least a week and see if you write more that week than you have written for quite a while.
All good wishes,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach