I’ve been trying to do a 1000-word discipline each day on my doctoral dissertation (emphasis on the word ‘try’). I haven’t been very successful so far as I keep getting distracted by writing my research paper, reading or responding to emails, talking to my mum over the phone, waking up late, focusing on work etc. etc. At a writing workshop I attended (can’t remember if it was Lee Ellis’ or Ken Hyland’s), the speaker said he would wake up first thing in the morning, read 5 journal articles on average and then spend an hour writing/editing his work. No interruptions, pure discipline and willpower. I’m adopting the idea — wake up, sit at the computer and churn out 1000 words. No excuses, no distractions and certainly no getting out of my seat til 1000 words is out. And throughout the day, I will try to read at least 2-3 journal articles. Research papers are another thing altogether. I’m trying to focus more on the dissertation for November and December. The research articles will have to sit on the back burner in the mean time. Maybe I’ll spend an average of an hour a day on them.
On a side note, Scrivener is such a blessing. I was first introduced to it in July during the ARI graduate forum at NUS by Prof Jeffrey Samuels. I love every thing about it — from the layout to the virtual board where you can tack up reminders to yourself. I’m a notebook and pencil kind of girl and if I had my way, I’d be pecking on a typewriter instead of using a laptop. Scrivener’s the exception. I’m planning to switch from the trial basis to the real thing come Christmas as a gift to myself (: