Whether you are an ABD trying to see your way through a dissertation or a freelance writer or a researcher confronted with the impossibility of several projects, there’s too much to be done. And nothing is getting done.
In addition to writing, perhaps you’re on the job market and need to complete applications.
Or you need to attend expos and find a mentor in publishing and a publisher.
Or plan a conference. And find a keynoter. Not to mention that you also have to write your own presentation.
Do you overwhelm yourself? It’s easy to do.
There are also lots of reasons we give for not writing.
When you’re still and quiet, what do you know is necessary? You have to produce text. It can’t be put off, just because you have other things in your life.
Step back from all of the competing demands and multitude of swirling thoughts. Look three months down the road. What do you want to be able to say then? “This is what I’ve done? This is what I’ve accomplished?”
You need to have some small success now.
It’s time to look for the low-hanging fruit.
What is one small, do-able task that will take you into this project?
How about this for a plan?
–Print out one page of notes or an outline.
–Leave at home all of those articles and books that you swear you must have by your side before you can write.
–Go to a place where you feel removed from all of the noise and clutter of your life.
–Now that you have eliminated competing distractions, give yourself permission to slow down to one writing task.
–Do that one writing task that is within your grasp.
Finishing the task that is within your grasp will give you the success you need to start again the next day, and then the day after that.
Too often I see people, not just my clients, but others with whom I come into contact, who think big. Somehow those big plans blind them from seeing what is manageable, the task that is within their reach.
Start with the low-hanging fruit. It’s a great start, and also a way to keep going.
Best to you,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach