I had a look at the last few blog posts from other student writers and we are all lamenting the same thing: Winter. And that’s how I am going to start my post too. So what if it’s been done? The cold, blustery wind is rattling my window as I sit in my cozy workspace in my home, so what else can I possibly write about? It is a good time to get some serious writing done. I don’t want to go outside. I want to stay in and hibernate, getting cozy with books, my laptop and let’s be honest, Netflix. That has been my winter semester, concentrating on writing and ensuring that my writing habit is back in full swing after Christmas break.
I am putting the final touches on my research proposal and I’m really hoping that I will be able to start my research soon. I also have a couple of projects that I am working on getting published. This is really important, because it is good to publish, but for me, it really helps me to stay on track with my writing. There are times when my proposal is with my committee or supervisor and thus, I have some down time on the proposal end of it. And it is really important to keep up that writing habit while you wait for feedback. I have a course paper that I’m working on submitting for publication and I’m delighted that I can also turn one of my comprehensive exams into a paper at the recommendation of my supervisor.
A really great book was recommended to me called “Writing your journal article in 12 weeks” by Wendy Belcher. It is a step by step guide on working on a paper that you can submit to a journal. It has lots of great information on the process of how to do that and lots of great advice on to to build accountability into your work. That is important for someone like me. While I work well independently, I am challenged when it comes to setting my own deadlines. This book has been really helpful in figuring out how I can work around that and set up my own techniques to develop my writing habit. But the most important skill I have had to develop is perseverance. Keep going, write daily and just do it. It doesn’t matter how bad it is, just write. It is a cliché, but this PhD thing is truly a marathon. Not a sprint. So you just keep going, like one foot in front of another, one word, one page after another and you keep going.
My other advice for this cold winter weather is to cook! I use my slow cooker all the time and I like to batch cook and freeze stuff. Having meals that are easy and ready to go are so helpful when you are trying to get some writing done. Taking the time to plan meals and cook a batch in one go will really help when you have no time to cook but the hunger is keeping you from concentrating on your writing.
So on this blustery wintry day, make some soup and write.