Three useful tips for writing: How to beat the block
It might come as no surprise that although this article is just 500 words long, it took me ages to write. Why? Writers block. Distractions. In addition to teaching you how to construct and write more effective scientific articles, Charlesworth Knowledge can also help you to prepare yourself to write, to be more productive, and overcome ‘writer’s block’.
I know, this is a very familiar feeling. You sit down to write something but then just cannot put the words onto the paper. You get distracted and, if you are anything like me, start watching videos or listening to music online. At the end of the day, however, something has to get done: papers have to get written and articles need to be revised. At least if you want to stay productive. Here are some useful tips to make writing your articles that great experience it is supposed to be. Have fun!
Tip 1: I find that one of the most effective ways to force myself to write is to remove surrounding distractions and set easy to achieve targets (see Tip 3). This means that although WiFi is super useful for some kinds of work, like editing, emails and other distractions are better off left, at least for given periods of time. Use it when you need it, but otherwise turn it off if you are trying to write something. This also applies to social media.
Tip 2: Take a moment to think about what you are trying to write, and, most importantly, develop a structure. This is one of the key things that we aim to teach when discussing scientific paper writing at Charlesworth Knowledge: a scientific article is actually a series of very easy to write sections that when put together create something effective and readable. If you are feeling unproductive, then tackle one of the easier to write sections of your article, or make some notes about the main selling point of your work to use later. It all helps.
Tip 3: Make sure to set easily obtainable goals for your writing so that you feel productive at the end of each day. This could be 1,000 words or two-three pages, even one paragraph of a hard-to-write article section. This is key. One of the most easiest ways to make yourself feel unproductive (I know, I do it all the time) is to make a list of things to do that is either unachievable or just too long; this creates stress and no matter how hard you work, you wont get it all done and so feel unproductive at the end of the day.
Writing is a creative process and is supposed to be enjoyable.