In my daily life I’m trying to get my master degree in System and Control with the specialization of Mechatronics and Robotics. Writing was one and still is one of my biggest struggles in my master. The writers block I encounter every day sucks up all of my energy and influence significant the progress of my thesis. Every sentence needs to be perfect and needs to match exactly in the style of the rest of the report. It blocks my writing creativity completely. I can literally sit the whole day in front of my laptop and end up writing a half page.
30 DWC community
Thankfully, a slack community is available for everyone participating in the 30DWC (30 Days Writing Challenge). The goal of this challenge is to write every day, to get a streak of 30 days. The mindset behind this is that something becomes a habit after 30 days, so writing becomes easier. Next to that it is also a great way to release your thoughts and creativity. A lot of great stories are written there, but also tools and tips are posted. Some of these tools and tips really resulted in a boost for me. Since I joined this challenge my thesis writing is accelerating. In the last two days I did more writing than in the last two weeks.
Tips for writing
There are three tips I want to share. I think these tips really helped my getting my focus back on writing.
Listen to one song on repeat.
I’m using this website Listen on Repeat which can repeat a single or multiple Youtube videos. During writing for the 30DWC, and listening at the moment, I like to listen to Strength Of A Thousand Men from Two Steps From Hell. More concentration is required for my thesis, so there I listen to techno music with no vocals or abrupt changes in the song. Currently I listening Ben Klock and Osynth. I like to switch to a different song everyday so the song will not get bored after couple of days.
Write in draft mode, edit later.
This tip is ideal to confront my perfectionism. Most of the time I’m editing my text to be perfect, but as this is still research material there is a big change it will not even appear in my final thesis. The main idea of this tip is stop editing every sentence after been written, but just keep writing. In draft mode, the backspace is kind of off limits and I only correct typos.
Get up early and meditate.
Start your morning early (6 AM) and start with meditation. Whatsapp and the email box are still silent in the early morning, so this is the best time to sit down, relax your mind and to release stress and tension. Just sitting down and meditate for a moment (for example 10 minutes). I’m using the Android app of Insight Timer to find guided meditation material and to track my stats of meditating. The latter is used as extra motivation to meditate every day, since I don’t want to break my daily streak.