Feeling stuck? Feeling as if your well has gone dry?
What’s a writer to do?
At such times when nothing seems to be coming together for you in your writing and when you feel more resistance toward your dissertation than usual, what can you do to stir things up a bit and to start writing?
Exercise is good.
Exercise will eat some of that anxiety and definitely improve your mood. If you improve your mood, your resistance to writing will be lessened, and it will be easier for you to see connections among your ideas.
How about lowering the stakes?
Here’s a tip from a couple of my dissertation coaching clients, who are always a great resource for what works: Try www.750words.com. My clients recommend it as a place to brighten your mood and help you ease into writing.
This website is safe, fun, and makes it easy to write. You write on the site, and it’s like writing for a new friend, someone who’s cheerily wishing you well and nonjudgmentally suggesting that you do some writing.
A little number at the bottom of the screen shows how many words you’ve written and when you have written 750 words (more or less three pages) you get a “Congratulations!” And you also get points toward such rewards as a little electronic penguin.
One dissertation coaching client told me that she has her web browser set to that site. It’s the first thing that opens for her, making it a little easier to start writing. She also said that her first writing on the site was a letter to her dissertation, telling it how much she hated it. Take that, foul dissertation! Then, to be fair, she let her dissertation write back to her.
The goal is to start writing. If you lower the stakes, you’re more likely to break through your resistance to writing. Keep making the attempt. Things will add up.
All good wishes,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach