Posts Tagged ‘make writing easy’

Writing is easier for me when I’m in flow.  That is, when I feel some challenge in expressing the content  and producing text, but, even though challenged, I know that I have the skills that are needed.

The tricky part is getting into flow.

1.  To move into flow, write more quickly.
Until I’m in flow, I yield to distraction and look for any opportunity to make a break for it.

This is what works for me. To stick with the writing long enough to be in flow, I write as fast as I can, making odd marginal notes, getting as much down on paper as quickly as I can.  The more text, the better.  As the quantity of text mounts, it will be evident to my ole Lizard Brain that I’m not in danger. No reason to bolt. The more text I have, the more likely I am to keep at it.

2.  To move into flow, build some urgency.
If you’re like me, unless we feel that there’s some urgency surrounding our writing, we can be entirely too casual about  producing text and producing it fairly quickly.

Here’s a tip: To build some urgency, make your schedule visible. It’s easy to keep your head in the sand about deadlines or the passage of time.  To keep time relevant, put your weekly and daily goals on a White Board.  Having the daily task or goal on the board  not only gives you a visual reminder of what you have to do this week, but also allows you to erase what you have finished.

3. To produce more text, write at odd moments.
Riding the subway or train presents odd moments but often we aren’t equipped to write when we’re commuting.  One of my marvelous clients has tried to write on her laptop during her commute, but the laptop was more of an obstacle than a help.  The size and weight made it cumbersome, giving her a backache.  Determined to make use of the otherwise lost time, she bought a Netbook—one of those new lightweight, small very portable laptops.  She can carry the less-than-three-pound laptop in her bag, and its ten-inch width lets her write while she’s scrunched in a seat on the commuter train.

4.  To seize the present, remove obstacles to writing.

Are there some obstacles keeping you from writing?  Have you been ignoring your writing project?

Read my Smart Tips for Writers newsletter that will be sent out this coming Tuesday.  The main article is “The Ignored Writing Project: Six Tips to Get You Back into Action.”

All the best,


Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC

Your International Dissertation and Academic Career Coach


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Have you heard the sarcastic references to Obama’s having written two books?  Of course, it’s politics to make a negative out of what would ordinarily be a good thing, but I’m wondering if the people making the jabs believe that large numbers of voters denigrate writers and writing.  I don’t know what large numbers of voters think, but we don’t have long to wait.

As for me, I know that writing is hard work and that a person can learn a great deal about his or her own character as well as his or her ideas by writing. 

As a writer, Obama modeled a strategy to all would-be writers. He was photographed writing his acceptance speech in a yellow legal pad in a hotel room.
Where do you go when you absolutely have to write – whether it’s the acceptance speech to be a presidential nominee or to move through a hard patch of your dissertation? 

Do you tolerate distractions?

If you really want to get some writing done, it’s worth the effort to get away from the distractions of home or office— away from the distracting comfort of friends and family and  refrigerator.

Where do you go?  The local coffee shop?  The library?  Both are good choices, but if you take your computer along, you’re probably taking a major distraction right along with you.  Carrying access to email with you may be setting yourself up for a less than productive session.

Here’s an idea — leave all electronic devices behind and just take a notebook and a pen. Give yourself the opportunity to write what you know with no possibility of skipping out to check on email. 

Why stare at a screen?

Legal pads are perfect if you’re trying to produce a quantity of text in one sitting. If you want to have movable draft, buy a notebook. Writing in a notebook is almost a lost art, and it can be fun.  Invest in a new notebook in a color you especially like.  Put a sticker or two on the front, just the way you did in junior high.  Make a date with yourself and re-discover how much pleasure you can have in writing what you know, with no books to quote from, no articles to check and check again, and no tempting email at your fingertips. 

You will remove the pressure of the blank screen staring back at you, and you will give yourself the opportunity to ease into what can be a productive writing session.

What about you?  What have you found to be a reliable way to resist distractions and to produce a quantity of text?

I’d love to hear from you.

Here’s to producing text,

Your Dissertation and Academic Career Coach


P.S. The new issue of my e-newsletter Smart Tips will feature an article on procrastination.  Sign up at my website — www.nancywhichard.com.

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