Saturday, May 19, 2007

Writer's Block Sucks: Here Are Some Helpful Links

Update: June 6, 2007 @ 10:16pm

I got two of my three thesis evaluations back and I passed. So now it's just revise the crap I turned in. The pressure is actually off now, as I'm done. Now I can worry about making it good. But first I have to worry about two finals on the same day :(


Okay, you'd think that since I write all of the time this thesis would just flow like water. Um...nope. The comic above from PhD Comics pretty much says it all.

I'm about halfway there, but I've been in writer's block hell for about two days. Since I'm writing freely and easily now I know this is my horrible perfectionist streak kicking in. The reality is that when I think about how much I need to write freaks me out. And, get this, I got an article published in law school. There is no need for this, but all the logic in the world can't snap me out of it, so I'm searching around the net for help.

Now it's time for me to force my way out of it. Once I start going, no problem. I just need to start. However, I know I'm not the only person out there freaking out. As a service to others searching the net I'm going to compile the useful links I find here for all of us.

The first four have writer's block solutions. The fifth is just a cute article. The last two give research tutorials and writing tips.

Good luck! We can do this.

  1. MIT: Writing a Thesis (section H deals with writer's block)
  2. Reed College: Helping Students with Writer's Block
  3. Purdue's Online Writing Lab: Overcoming Writers Block
  4. Capital Community College: Overcoming Writer's Block
  5. The Daily Bruin (UCLA's Daily Newspaper): Mission Impossible - Not big on advice but it's somewhat funny.
  6. UCLA College Library: Road to Research (a bit too basic for me but a tutorial to help you hone your research skills - crucial with academic writing)
  7. UC Berkeley: Writing Resources

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  1. Well, writers block is odd.

    Screenwriter Jose Rivera told us that it meant something was wrong with the writing at hand. That what is stopping you is that you know something is going off into a different direction than what you had foreseen, and you have to go back and fix it.

    My recommendation is that you relax. Quit fighting and go in there and find what needs to be changed.

    If there is nothing, then immediately, relax... and write a new segment. Start off with one single sentence that clarifies what you want to communicate. And get it right. Once it is, go on!

  2. There is TONS wrong, but not too much I can do now. But you're right, I need to go back and revise. My thing is I don't want to keep revising the first half as I'm fearing running out of time to do the second half.

    However, I'm still smack in the middle of writer's block and it's almost 1am. I think sleep is best and I'm going to HAVE to break through tomorrow. No choice.

  3. This is LBell...

    Sure could have used these links last month when I was doing everything BUT working on my thesis. Fortunately mine was a creative thesis that didn't require defending so I was able to tie it up (VERY sloppily IMO) and let it go.

    Good luck...the end is near...

  4. Hey LB!

    I know what's going on, but it's a new day and the problem is solved because I've GOT to write this.

    The thing is this is the evaluation draft. So it's really not about getting it perfect now. Even if it was "perfect" the committee would probably ask me to alter something just because.

  5. Oh my does this bring back memories! I thought my dissertation was going to be the death of me. But, you know, we all seem to get it done and I'm sure you will too. Good luck!

  6. Thanks for the comment.

    Good grief, I hope so. This process is killing me. I've broken out of the writer's block but this thesis is just pure torture and, get this, I actually LIKE the subject!

    Anyway, I have to keep plugging at it. I think if I just keep writing (I've ditched perfection at this point), I can get words on paper in time. It's a review draft, so I've got time to spruce it up.

  7. Then just go back and make notes on the margins, or on post it notes.

    You're right, you want to push through to the end and get the draft done.

    But when you're stuck, go ahead and review (not revise). You'll get all sorts of ideas as you do.

  8. Yeah, well it's in. It sucks, but it's in. However, it really was an issue of getting it turned in and then worrying about revising (and extending it) before the final draft is due.

    Thanks for your helpful advice Kanani!

  9. Sometimes writing about what you like and are interested in is harder than writing about something dead boring that you couldn't care less about. If you are passionately interested in something, you want to get it right and make it perfect. Or so I feel.

    I suffer from writer's block all the time, and it can be so frustrating. Personally, I find going for walks helpful. And oddly enough, pulling weeds -- or any other mindless chore -- is great writer's block therapy.

  10. Well, for now it's over. The draft thesis is in. It sucks and I have a lot of work to do.

    But tomorrow is a holiday. I'm going to go to the library and spend the day studying quantitative analysis and working on my thesis. The final due date for the thesis will roll around sooner than I think. Plus, I can seize on the momentum I have now. At least I've written a significant amount. It's just shitty, so I have to clean it up.

    I'm so busy now that the extent of my walks is from my apartment to the bus stop or taxi. When this is over, however, I'll be getting back to walking in the nearby park.

  11. just sit down, think of cake and write

  12. Cute...I think.

    But I'm an insulin dependent diabetic. Cake scares me.

    However, the draft is in. Now I've got to get moving on the final version.

    Thanks for your comment.


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