The Last Day of Writing Camp
One more day of writing from 9 am – 3 pm CST with 10 minute breaks and a 1 hour lunch. Finish today strong, and park yourself on a downhill slope to help jump start your next session.
By now, you may be feeling a bit of fatigue from the long week. Just think of how good it will feel, though, when you are done, today! Here’s some tips from Bolker’s (1998) book, Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis, on pulling through those fatigued moments, or through writer’s block:
- Go back to your old work. Maybe even look at the stuff you’ve written this week. Make notes, highlight, or code interesting things, questions, stuff you want to pursue. Use that as a way to get back into things – maybe expand upon some of those topics.
- Change it up. If you write on the computer, try writing in a notebook by hand. Write on different pieces of paper, different colors, or a pencil – something you don’t ordinarily use. If you write in paragraphs, try outlines or bullets. You can graph, draw, listen to different music as you write, etc.
- Save the best stuff for a reward. Do the unpleasant, hard bits, first. Commit to finishing them before you allow yourself to do the stuff you really want to do.
- Evaluate and reevaluate your goals – make sure they are reasonable and reachable. Just like running too much can cause muscle strain and possible injury, the same can go for writing – you can get burnout! So, pace yourself.
- Swap topics and tasks. If you are writer’s blocked, research and read, then shorten your writing time, but do not stop writing. This is a habit you are cultivating.
- In writing, ask yourself questions and then answer them. Some questions I ask myself are:
- Why is this paragraph/chapter/section so difficult to write?
- Why do I feel procrastination/resistance or even dread, here?
- Why do I feel so stressed, right now. What can I do to address the stress and alleviate it?
- Reward yourself for hard work – can’t pull through this last writer’s camp day? Think of something indulgent to do as a reward at the end (like a movie, a really long bubble bath, a shopping spree, etc.)
You can do it! Just for today, get to your goals. …and remember that you are not alone!
Now, go on. Off you go!