Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reverb10 - Writing

December 2 Writing.
What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it?
(Author: Leo Babauta)

I'm currently working on my thesis right now to get my master's degree in clinical psychology so that I can move on to working on my Ph.D. A lot of different kinds of work go into a thesis, but at the end of the day it all comes down to writing. It doesn't matter if you become an expert in your topic through countless hours of research, design an elegant study, collect data, or have interesting conclusions. If you don't write it, it doesn't count.

I'm at the "approved proposal" crest
Last year, when I started my project,  professors suggested that I make time to write everyday. They advised me to schedule a small amount of time every day that I could devote just to writing, even if it was just half an hour. It sounded so simple, so easy. Thirty minutes a day and before you know it - a thesis! But, you know what? I never was able to follow through.

Not only did I want to take mental breaks from my project, but I found it very hard to get geared up to only work for 30 minutes. Thoughts like "I won't get anything done in just thirty minutes so why even start" made it hard to get motivated. Of course I didn't write everyday - I kept telling myself it would be a waste of time! 

There are lots of other obstacles to writing everyday, but most of them I can't control. Negative thinking, however, is something that I can work on changing. The truth of the matter is, 30 minutes is enough to: edit a few pages, read two or three articles, or write a couple of paragraphs. Focusing on what I can accomplish in the time I have will help me meet my goal of finishing my thesis by June*.

*Whether or not this happens by writing everyday or just once or twice a week, I don't care. I just want to be done already!

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