Monday, June 4, 2007

A Few Hints and Tricks

Mornin' all!

Over the weekend, I really pushed myself to write. This is key as I tend to "edit" and not "write." As you know, there is a difference. I found a couple of strategies that really helped. I don't remember where I read these (or I'd link to them), but are a few I found:

  • I made myself write (without stopping) until I had reached 500 words, and I did this several time throughout the day. These short writing bursts kept me from editing and getting stumped on a 2nd or 3rd sentence, and it allowed me, by the end of the day, to have about 3,000 words written. I found that once I started to write-- and not stop myself to edit-- I could produce work that was fairly decent. I can edit it today, but at least I got something down on paper.

  • I found a nifty little online timer. This is a free download. I can set this timer for 1 minute or 5 minutes or 10 minutes (or whatever), and I have to type until the alarm goes off. A kitchen timer would do the same thing, but kitchen timers make noise, and to me that noise is distracting. The online time is quiet and runs in the background.

  • Lastly, the work I do on my bibliography (in EndNote), the mindmaps I make to help me visualize my data, and research and reading "count" in terms of working on the dissertation. Working doesn't equal (only) writing. So I'm encouraging myself.
What hints and tricks do you have that you'd like to share with the rest of us?

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