The author Jeff Goins wrote that it is more valuable to write for just 30 minutes each day than five hours on a Saturday. Completing your dissertation is a job. It is work that requires discipline.
There are three ways methods to writing every day, but write every day you must. Even if you are only “free writing”, your thoughts will eventually focus and the pages will coalesce into a recognizable pattern that somehow can be organized into the outline and chapters your advisor and committee will one day read and approve.
The first way to reach a daily writing goal is to sit in your office or at the kitchen table or in your classroom and wait for inspiration to strike. Give yourself a certain amount of time; let’s say one to two hours per day. Trust that at some point during the two hours, your muse will take over. You must let it, and there must be no email, coffee breaks, or interruptions of any kind. Replicate the physical and mental space to allow for identical results and inspired ideas each day.
If your muse does not visit for an uninterrupted block of time, an alternate method is to simply write with little thought to what you are writing. Your only goal in this scenario is to get words on the page that somehow relate to your topic. Surely at the end of your session, you can cut and paste your way through your work to reach one or two good ideas.
A final, and most effective, method of writing every day is to decide how many pages you will complete. If you will write for one to two hours, you may be able to complete several respectable and well-researched pages. Give yourself a goal at the beginning of your session, and complete it regardless of how well your pages turn out. Reaching the goal is more important each day than creating perfect work. There is always time to revise, and the small victory each day will encourage you for the next day and the day after that and the day after that and the day… after …. that.
Has anyone got a daily writing pattern that works? Share it here!