Writer’s block can be annoying at the time of writing a thesis. It usually arises when you begin writing without preparation. But is this the only reason for writer’s block? Not at all, in addition to writing without a clear sense of what you want to say, grandiosity also triggers writer’s block. You get over emotional with your thesis and strive to reflect it as your magnum opus. If you emphasise on excellence, you will never be able to complete your thesis, therefore you should focus on a good thesis instead. This blog discusses other forms of writer’s block and the ways to vanquish them.
Perfectionism is one of the significant causes of writer’s block. This is a big problem as it eggs you on editing when you write. The quality of your writing degrades as the length increases. Since you fail to help with your perfectionism attitude, you start editing as you write and it adds up to frustration and poor performance. However, you can use some techniques to turn this liability into an asset.
How can you overcome perfectionism?
Perfectionism forces you to linger on the first draft and keep you from moving to the next stage. When you write a thesis for the first time, it is absolutely fine for it to be imperfect, as you are only forming a rough draft and not a final thesis. Never edit the chapters at the time of writing it. Turn off the spell check when you are writing otherwise your tendency of corrections will hinder your thoughts and flow of writing. Once you are completely done with the writing process, start with the editing procedure. Begin with the standard editing process and look for misspellings, grammatical errors & punctuation errors and nullify them. Then look for unstructured sentences, vocabulary and syntax errors and modify them wherever it’s necessary. Share your first draft with your supervisor or other scholars and edit your thesis based on their feedbacks.
Procrastination is another factor of writer’s block. You keep putting off writing unless it is too late, and then you use a deadline to fuel your writing spree and end up submitting your thesis without even editing it.
What should you do?
The best way to avoid delays is to prepare yourself for the writing and editing process. You should make a thesis-writing as well as thesis editing schedule and stick to it. Do not get distracted by social media and choose a place where you all can work comfortably resisting the urge of procrastination. If you write persistently for long hours, you should take a few breaks in writing as it will help you maintain your momentum longer. Completing your thesis within the predetermined period gives you plenty of time for thesis editing. If you are not aware of the rules of the editing process, consider taking guidance from other scholars. Once you are well-versed with editing rules, devote fixed hours to the editing. Choose the easiest chapter and go for it. If you are a morning person, do not force yourself to edit your thesis at late night, instead edit it in the early morning.
You might be wondering how impetuousness can hold you back from writing. In fact, it will help you complete your thesis in time. The truth is impatience leads to quick writing without enough consideration over good writing style and refinement by editing and proofreading. Your whole piece of writing will be crowded with incorrect sentence formation, ambiguous words and grammatical errors.
Follow these strategies to deal with it
If you experience impatience, it is essential that you outline a draft of a chapter that you are going to write, or else you will end up with rewriting what you have written. So finish your prewriting task first, and once you feel that your impatience has reduced drastically, start polishing your thesis. Proofread your thesis and look for content consistency, grammar & punctuations. Also, check if an appropriate format is implemented and concentrate on language development.
Mild depression is also one of the causes of writer’s block. During your PhD, you are tempted to finish your thesis as soon as possible, but this temptation, unfortunately, restricts your mind to generate ideas and organise your work. Eventually, you end up with frustration.
What should you do?
To conquer anxiety and academic depression, you should take advice from your supervisor or attend seminars where you will explore the strategies to execute your work in an organised way. You can also join university counselling and consider hiring a writing coach. You may find it exorbitant, but you will realise later it was a good investment.
Don’t give up if you are feeling blocked. The only thing that can help you overcome writer’s block is writing itself. Get some good rest, try out the aforementioned tips and refocus on your thesis.