Maintaining writing momentum has been the elephant in the room all summer.
I’m currently writing my dissertation and I am trying to write every day to move the project forward to graduate in December 2018. This is the biggest writing goal I’ve ever had.
I’ve been thinking about how I can keep momentum and accountability.
This is what I’m thinking…
Writing Plan: Am I going to wake up and start writing? Can I sit for an hour and type after dinner? When can I go to the gym? The more intentional I become about blocking off some writing time, the more it actually happens. Additionally, planning to always have my computer and external hard drive with me so I can pull them out at any time.
Writing Community: Luckily for me, the University of Louisville has an established writing community and I make myself participate- no matter how tired or stressed I am. I have participated in writing retreats and now I attend a writing group once a week where I can sit and write and talk about writing.
Self-care: Seeing a movie with my family? Check. Getting a pedicure? Check. These things matter.
I have learned that even if I write a bunch of junk, I have still put words on a page that I can reshape at a later time. This used to trip me up. If it wasn’t the “perfect” way to write, I would hem and haw over the order of my writing, the word choice. It’s a lot of pressure in Ph.D. land because you are evaluated so much on the quality of your writing- but behind the scenes, the process is murky and weird and lovely all at the same time. I have learned it’s okay to have unpolished thoughts on the page. Like my career and my life, my writing is a work in progress :)
Emily Zuccaro is a doctoral candidate at the University of Louisville studying elementary literacy education and language learning. She loves coffee shops and libraries and walking the Big Four Bridge. She is supported by her boyfriend, Tyler, their son, Brinley, and their two cats and dog. You can follow her on Twitter @miss_zuccaro.