Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Recently I had the opportunity to attend a course entitled “Turbo Charge Your Writing”, delivered to PhD students by Hugh Kearns, University of Flinders, whose research interests include psychological barriers to successful completion of research degrees.

Informal and light, Hugh’s approach nevertheless acknowledged the displacement activities we all use to avoid actually writing. The following “nuggets” are worth sharing.

a) Writing is creative – it identifies the gaps in thinking and also the connections.
b) Break the task into chunks - you’re writing the next paragraph … not a book
c) Write little and often – “snack” rather than binge.

If the discipline to write still eludes, he recommends the “Crucifixion” model, which is to remain at your desk, feet “nailed to the floor” for a period (he suggests 2 hours), during which you DON’T
1. Check email
2. Check references
3. Edit
4. Format.
5. Get coffee, biscuits, or phone a friend

Personally I find the last most difficult. Two hours without caffeine can be devastating. However the principle works. With all distractions removed, and faced with a blank page, there is but one option – WRITE!

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