Strategies, Writing for Research

How do you write?


So I have some serious writing to tackle this week. The deadlines are my own. The expectations are high.

There are two weeks remaining in this school term and I know that what I don’t achieve in the next fortnight may have to wait until school resumes after the holidays. This scenario is common and frustrating. But it is the working life of one who juggles the flow of many things – family being a significant one.

I would like to have clear time and space to write. I would also love to have more time to read. But there are constant distractions and interruptions.

I wonder what strategies you use to clear the schedule, to sit down and write? A good friend and writer remarked that the life of a PhD student is not unlike a journalist – however our task is slow journalism. This may be true as I certainly allow ideas to percolate for some time. In time the key ideas emerge, I can join the dots, develop an argument and see the framework.

But when I have limited time this writing process is challenging. So here are three ways that I use to how I go about my work.

  1. AutomaticĀ  writing: I give myself a time limit and just write, not worrying about structure, using the best word or refining a phrase. The aim is to get as many words down on paper as possible.
  2. Chunking: I focus on writing chunks of text on specific topics. These chunks form the basis for a cut and paste activity later on and allow me to bulk up my writing.
  3. Write in headings: this is not unlike story boarding, creating clear headings or topics to develop a framework and structure for the work.

How do you write? Share you ideas here.


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