Writing a project is not simple - not something you just "sit down and get on with". A project has a deadline that needs to be met, certain academic standards that need to be achieved and not least a "product" or report that needs to be produced, all of which require some consideration of project management and how to deal with the writing process.
It is a good idea to make both macro and micro planning along the way.
The macro plan consists of the bigger deadlines. When do you expect to finish specific parts of the paper, when will no need to meet up with your supervisor? With the macro planning, you will easily be able to see when you are behind schedule, and when you need to revise the schedule.
The micro planning consists of planning your goals from week to week, and day to day. This will give you a feeling of your daily progression, and you will be able to take time off without feeling guilty, when you have accomplished your assignments for the day.
What works for you?
Think about all the good (and bad) experiences you have had during your studies:
- When are you most productive?
- What should you be aware off?
- What will be the easiest and hardest part?
- When do you expect challenges, and who can you ask for help?
Your writing process
Here are a number of tips to help you in your writing process:
- Start writing right away, and accept that everything is a draft
- Accept chaos on your mind and on paper
- Work on the research question continually
- Do not start from the beginning - work from all angles
- Keep producing, even when it doesn't make sense
- Form a network of students who are all writing projects
It is very common to experience a light form of writer's block - especially when you are working on a big project, like a thesis. This might be due to big ambitions, unstructured writing or loose deadlines. However, it is important that you deal with your problems so it does not develop into more serious issues:
- Take a break - do something else and collect new energy!
- Talk to your supervisor and be honest about your need for help
- Participate in, or start-up, a network group where yo can talk to other students about your challenges
- Make a realistic plan about deadlines and your daily tasks - this will give you an overview and might help you continue. You might want to do this with your supervisor or a student advisor.
Remember that you are always welcome to contact The Study and Career Guidance if you have any doubts or questions, or you need to get back on track.