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Writer’s block is not just experienced by a professional author; students can’t escape it either. In fact, it’s common among graduate students writing a dissertation. Inability to get going with your writing can have detrimental effects on your academic journey. It can make a student miss the deadline or resort to copying and pasting online material resulting in plagiarism.
Every student wants to graduate on time. That’s why it’s essential to overcome writer’s block as soon as it happens. If you are a Ph.D. student or a tech writer experiencing this issue, here are effective strategies that you can use.
Overcoming Writer’s Block
Change The Scenery
Sitting down to write a dissertation only to end up staring at a blank screen for more than 20 minutes can be frustrating. However, changing the scenery may be just what your brain needs to start releasing creative juices.
Apart from helping you recharge when your environment changes, your mood is elevated. If going outside the room is not an option, change how you sit and add a few personal touches to your desk. This simple action can spark inspiration and help you start writing.
Some popular yet effective ways of changing the scenery include:
- Work outdoors for a few hours
- Move to a different room
- Join a coworking space
- Rearrange furniture so that the writing area faces a different direction
- Change the things you see when you sit down to write
The trick is to have a change of scenery without introducing distractions that can hinder your productivity.
Get Rid Of Limiting Beliefs
Most doctoral students get writer’s block because of limiting beliefs. Isolation, lack of a support system, and fear of failure can hold you back from pursuing your academic goals. Being overwhelmed by assignments can also cause a student to feel stuck writing.
In such a case, you can delegate some tasks to essay writers and use the free time to write a few pages of your dissertation. Overall, your beliefs can be why you are not getting any writing done. Use daily mantras or positive affirmations to overcome limiting beliefs. Often when you become your own cheerleader, you become motivated to overcome challenges.
Read Widely On The Topic
Sometimes the inability to write a dissertation may be because the student doesn’t have ample information on the topic. In this case, do some research from various sources, including textbooks, journals, interviews, and online articles.
You can also talk to a subject expert to get their views on the subject matter. Doing all these things will help give you an angle on how to approach your dissertation and get resources to back up what you want to write.
Another great strategy for removing dissertation writer’s block is to look at samples of dissertations posted online. Reviewing similar dissertations written by previous students helps you compare writing style, content, and even formatting. Once you have an idea of how your document should look like, you will feel more confident in your writing.
Tackle One Chapter At A Time
One of the most common reasons Ph.D. students find it challenging to start a dissertation is that they are overwhelmed. After all, a dissertation is a lengthy academic document that can cover over 100 pages. Writing it from scratch takes time and will leave a writer feeling exhausted.
The trick to avoiding getting overwhelmed is to focus on one chapter at a time and divide each section into manageable portions. You don’t have to start with the introduction or write each section in order. Choose a chapter that you believe will be easier to write and start with that. Once you have a few pages down, you are more likely to keep up with writing and complete the dissertation before the deadline.
Find A Writing Buddy
Sometimes you just need another student writing a dissertation to be motivated. A writing buddy will hold you accountable and offer support that will help you get through writer’s block. Besides, often you get stuck writing because of gaps that you can’t identify. A buddy can help fill in the gaps with the necessary information. You can also set up a weekly meeting to share what each one of you has done so far in your writing or have daily telephone check-ins. This works to keep both of you motivated and encouraged.
Promise Yourself A Reward
For a Ph.D. student, a dissertation will be one of their biggest and most important academic work. Completing it is going to take a lot of hard work. That is why it’s important to reward yourself not just after finishing the whole thing but after completing every chapter. This will give you something to look forward to and help regain momentum.