This is actually really helpful! Do it in short spurts, but make sure that you stick to whatever short spurt you have started. This was awesome advice! But I discovered that I had to do one better and head to the library. I actually got a couple of pages written. But, of course, when I was there, it was admitted students day, so there were tour groups rolling through the library every 5 minutes. I discovered working from home worked best for me, and when I got bored after a few days I would go to a coffee shop with headphones.
Ride your creative wave until it crashes then walk away for a bit and get some sunshine or get a coffee and go for a walk. I would write whenever the urged struck, even if it was 1am. I was horrible at keeping a writing schedule because if I tried to write when I had nothing to say I would stare out into space or reading gossip on the internet.
Good luck — I feel your pain. I usually turn off everything, grab some coffee and then I go old school. I write a make-shift outline and then I start writing.. Oh and I turn my phone on DND. No tech at all. Let the words start flowing.. I was supposed to get 30 pages to my advisor a week ago, but I only have 10 of this chapter, 20 of the overall thing 70 ish pages total is the goal. There's just something stopping me, every time I sit down to work on it.
I panic about it every second that I'm not writing, but when I finally try and work I get exhausted almost immediately, I feel like I'm in a test and can't think, my notes seem like total nonsense I saw the advice everyone gave RogerB here , but I'm not being a perfectionist though I have the same problem of being a habitual writing procrastinator , I just almost physically can't force myself to do it.
This is a really horrible open ended question, but I need help. I feel like I bit off more than I can chew as far as writing for my topic a feminist interpretation of Immanuel Kant's ethics, using DeBeauvoir and Iriguray to analyze the metaphysics, if anyone's curious , but if asked to TALK about it, I can go for hours.
The writing part is just glacially slow, and I'm really running out of time, since my defense is in 2 months. It's not possible to get an extension any more, I'm already graduating in summer and my department will be gone by next academic year hooray for cuts in higher education. I should have been working more on it for the past 4 months, but it just kept getting pushed to the back burner, between other school work and teaching.
Beating myself up over past procrastination has been my favorite activity for the past week or two, and I need to stop that since it isn't helping me.
My committee is generally disinterested and under educated about my topic in general, but they're the best I got since my Kant specialist was denied tenure last semester, and after all that he totally checked out.
I can't talk to anyone about it in specific detail because it's so goddamn specialized. I need general writing help, general advice on how to overcome my anxiety about writing that is preventing me from writing, and any other advice about thesis writing that might be helpful. I'm so stuck and it's eating me alive. Memail me if you'd like to see the google doc of what I've got so far, I guess. Have you written an rough outline of the paper? It helps me to just work on a little section at a time instead writing the paper order.
Stuck on the intro? Then move on to another point and just type roughly what you want to say statements, ideas, key words - doesn't have to be pretty , then go to another point and do the same, then go back and flesh things out a bit more, etc.
Since you say that you can talk about it for hours about it, how about recording yourself talking about topic with a friend or teacher and then you can listen to it while taking notes. Or maybe you can get one of those speech-to-text programs? Get something onto paper or the computer , you know what I mean , I agree with littlesq.. Separating the acts of thinking and transcribing will ease your worries.
When you are transcribing you can do small edits for clarity but do not get to hung up on the style at this point.. Once you have done that you can then rework though it imagining that you are editing somebody else paper, be impersonal, it is just some work you have to do, not something that will make or break your career.
Good luck, you can do this! I agree with littelsq and foleypt. Sit down with someone and talk it out. Then transcribe the whole thing. You'll have some content to work with, and talking it out might help with structure, clarity, all that good stuff. I've also found using the pomodoro technique really helpful. You just set a timer for 25 minutes, work solidly until it goes off, then take a 5 minute break, and start again with another 25 minutes.
After 4 pomodoros, you can take a 10 minute break. This worked really well for me in getting a flow going. Most theses seem to be graded more on the format than the ideas within the document. So just pay attention to those items and you will be fine. You can't go back, you can only go forward.
I agree with recording it and transcribing it. Do what's easiest for you, not what you think you should do. Break down everything into smaller pieces. Write up a list. Cross them off as you go. It's a powerful motivator for getting stuff done. Focus solely on your thesis for 40 minute blocks then go do something else for 10 minutes.
Jump up and down the spot if you have to - get away from it and do something else. And remember, all of this will be over soon. If 40 minutes is inconceivable and it would be for me , then just do as long as you think you can do. Start with one minute on, one minute off if that's all you can do. Build up from there. Also, "procrastinate with work". If you can't face the actual writing right now, then sort out the bibliography, or find that quote that you know you put somewhere safe.
Do you have any friends that studied the sameish stuff. Can you give them a call and ask to talk your thesis through with them. They don't need to be in the same speciality, just be knowledgeable enough to follow what you're talking about. Wait, you can talk about it but not write? You need a helper! Recruit a friend with a scant understanding of the topic if possible. Give them a synopsis of what you've written so far, and then get them to ask you any of the following: Talk back to them, and then make notes after of anything that came out that you liked.
Rinse, repeat, until you have a full page of notes. Then buy them a beer and type up the notes. Then get them back the following night and do the same. Don't do more after the beer, otherwise you might end up writing about sandwiches and pandas. Now you have to write another sentence.
It might not be a good sentence, and you might not even end up keeping it, but literally the only way to actually complete this thesis is to write a sentence. Also, when you start trying to work, set a timer for 10 minutes.
When the timer rings, set it for another 10 minutes. It doesn't matter if you work or don't work during each 10 minutes, it's just good to have something breaking up the time so it doesn't feel like you have 4 HOURS to work - you have 10 minutes to work, then you can see what happens. Greenish, that is awesome advice. Hopefully someone loves me enough to actually sit down and do this with me. I've been trying the pomodoro because it generally works really well for me, but I just spend the 25 minutes staring at the screen and my 5 minute breaks smoking and beating myself up.
I'm going to keep on with it though, it's a great time manager. You all are awesome. Keep it coming, please: Our writing stuff is well acknowledged and well-experienced in its field. We understand that writing an essay takes a lot of your efforts and time.
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