Do you feel writer’s block when you start writing your thesis? You are not alone. Many scholars experience brain fog when it comes to writing a thesis. In the beginning stage of thesis writing, you will realise that you are sitting for hours in front of the screen and totally disconcerted what to write. Months pass you by and you will realise that your thesis has not made much progress, but the question to ask yourself is what is holding you back? Your habit of procrastination.
Symptoms of procrastination
- You are investing lots of time reading
- Engaging in social media at the time of writing
- Filling your to-do list with low priority items
- Writer’s block
- Waiting for inspiration to set off thesis writing
What should you do to overcome procrastination?
Procrastination emerges due to common unpleasant emotions such as fear of imperfection, fear of handling a big and complex project, anxiety of completing it too quickly, premonitions of what other people will say about it, and fear of success. Following ways can help you deal with the postponement.
Recruit a writing partner
The most effective technique is to recruit a writing partner who must not be facing the same writing issues as you are. The writing partner can be the one who has been your classmate or other scholars from your PhD group. Inform your writing partner about a task you will be working. You are also supposed to share the time that you utilised to execute a particular task. Give genuine details about the completion of your tasks to your writing partner as it will help you glance at your progress report. The partner will also enlighten you on the ways to overcome writing issues that lead to delays.
If recruiting a writing partner is impossible, another best technique to get over delays is attending seminars. PhD seminars discuss writing strategies that you can use to break the shackles of writer’s block.
Create a writing workshop
Writing alone can also be one of the causes for you to put off. In that case, you should coordinate a writing workshop with other scholars. You can go to a seminar room or a library or any other destination where you can comfortably write. The act of writing together creates a peer pressure that helps you stick to writing. Decide your goals for a day that can be either task-based or time-based. At the end of the day, check whether or not you accomplished your goals. Consider your writing style too although you can illuminate your writing at the time of editing. Writing workshops cannot be sustained for long, but it is a good way to kick off writing, especially when writing alone is entirely impossible.
Run intensive intervention
Sometimes a few scholars can talk well about their topics, but it becomes difficult to pen down thoughts. If you are also facing the same problem, you should make a long outline and pose a set of questions to yourself such as what you want to say about a topic, what evidence you have for the support of your point, and what essential elements you want to put forth. You will note that you are able to find answers to these questions, but unable when you have to translate your thoughts in prose. Remember that you do not have to be an erudite author. You just use your own voice to frame your thoughts in words.
Though all the time you cannot stave off procrastination, these ways will at least help you control the irresistible feeling of running away from writing.