Bright and early this morning, 19 George Square played host to our 21 participants, bright-eyed and eager to go.
The self-sabotaging, “productive” kind of procrastination is a sneaky one – spending 3 hours seeking a reference (and finding 10 more articles to read in the process), agonising over formatting and footnotes, re-reading and polishing the same paragraph over again… A way to combat it is to build psychological tricks into your writing to make yourself feel that there is a deadline - because unfortunately, when writing an article for publication, there seldom is.
- Control your environment to eliminate distractions. Be as brutal and anti-social as necessary. Carve out space and time to write.
- Set clearly-defined goals - however small they may be.. X words. X amount of time. X concept. Build up your stamina.
Find the right time of day for you to productively write, and then…
- Make yourself do it.
Whenever you can.
Don't look up references (write REF! and move on).
Don't check your email (treat your writing time like a business meeting).
Don't go back and edit (yet).
Just shut up and write.
Recommended study tools include:
- The Pomodoro Technique - http://pomodorotechnique.com (also www.tomato-timer.com). (The group will be experimenting with this on Wednesday morning.)
- 750 Words - http://750words.com/. (To get into the habit of writing little and often.)
Daniel guided us through the 4 stages of writing:
Stage 1: Planning
Stage 2: Doing the 1st Draft
Stage 3: Re-Structuring
Stage 4: Copy Editing.
A key piece of advice was not to edit as you go along, especially not in the first draft.
Participant quote of the day:
Everyone always says academic writing involves killing your baby. But you don't have to kill your baby. You can just put it under the stairs for a while.
THE EDJOWRIWE SATELLITE
Meanwhile, the gutsy Alison Garden,in her 3rd year of an English Literature PhD, is attempting her own EdJoWriWe challenge, working on her chapter: "TransAtlantic: History and crosscurrents of the Black and Green Atlantics".
This, despite both moving house and dealing with a broken laptop this week. She will be in need of encouragement and solidarity from the EdJoWriWe-ers., so be sure to mark particularly motivating tweets with #EdJoWriWeSatellite.
We'll be catching up with Alison throughout the week.
Thanks everyone for a great day!