I am trying to implement the very wise advice of The Thesis Whisperer of writing 1000 words a day.
This seems a really sound piece of advice when you have a lot to write in a relatively short space of time as it makes your output quantifiable and measurable in terms of time.I wasn’t initially convinced (I think you may be getting the very accurate impression that I am not easily convinced about most things) that this was sound practice because all researchers know it’s quality not quantity that counts. I thought a 1000 words a day would be counter-productive because lets face it, usually you agonise over each and every word … this surely is counterintuitive to the researcher-writer process.
However – by writing a 1000 words a day you are
often unwittingly tapping into reserves in your mind that when consciously sought are nowhere to be found. Out of the 1000 words written you may discover the nexus of a new idea, the groundwork for a competent study or even that your 1000 words are of such a quality that all that is necessary is a little tweaking and polishing. It sets you daily goal that is very doable (Given it would take me weeks to craft a 20 minute paper of about 3000 words this came as a bit of a shock to me – what the hell was I doing with all my time? Probably procrastinating on Facebook. )
When I had a presentation to prepare in 10 days I also adopted this approach. Initially I was ditching more than I was keeping of the 1000 words written. That worried me (as a lot of things do – You don’t get frown lines like this for nothing you know!) I have always hated shedding words … but when you are writing a 1000 a day you become blasé about it all and realise that for every 50 slashed another 50 wait to be used. You become omnipotent and daring! I continued, bravely, and slowly but surely I noticed that my writing was becoming more accurate and more focused in a much shorter time. I was procrastinating less and less and writing more and more. My ideas were also forming more coherently as part of the writing process. So I have broadened my approach to ALL my writing not just my papers. Given the tall order of 25k by mid December it’s very necessary! However with 1000 words a day in 5 weeks I could have my target total. That is an appealing (and not too panic-inducing) thought!
Writing is a skill that takes practice – the more you write the better you get. That bizarre and and oddball event NaNoWriMo also has a lot of good tips for writing efficiently and quickly regardless of whether you want to produce a
fairly unpublishable novel.
I have a lot to thank the Thesis Whisperer for. I signed up to her blog a few months ago and every issue has something of interest for me. It is motivational and empathetic. I can’t count the number of times I have read the blog entry and thought – so I am NOT alone in this after all. That Thesis Whisperer is one clever chick!
I don’t normally blog on a Wednesday but I am finding the composition of a blog post to be a good way to start a day – it gets me into the swing of writing and kicks stars the grey matter!
Have a Good productive none ‘procastoratory’* day all!
*yes I made that word up!