Overcoming Writing Block: How To Do It Right
Everyone who deals or have dealt with writing knows how difficult it can be to start. You may have some ideas but a beginning is important. It has to attract a reader’s attention. Otherwise, no matter what interesting facts may follow, no one will move on if you cannot write it right.
Raul Pacheco-Vega, an assistant professor of comparative public policy, shares his experience to explain how to overcome the block.
There are moments when you have a lot of paperwork to do within a short time frame. This is when you think how to kick start your writing. You can usually spend a couple of hours a day to write. But when the work is in excess, you will need more time. However, this is not all. You should think over the strategies of organizing your work. Here is what Pacheco-Vega does.
Conferences and workshops
“Academic tourism” won’t help. Pacheco-Vega visits conferences and workshops to present his ideas and then get feedback to know what should be improved in his paper. His setting is one conference paper and one journal article submission.
Working on all manuscripts
Academics usually work on one piece of writing. When it is finished, they move on to another. Pacheco-Vega’s way of writing is absolutely different. He works on all his manuscripts every day. He cannot leave anything where it is. His writing depends on availability of the interviewees and possible funding. Pacheco-Vega can write even a few sentences a day, but he keeps his writing going.
Write, rest, write
Even if the paper is almost ready and it won’t take long to finish, Pacheco-Vega takes a break when he feels tired. There are hours when his productivity is high. When you write a lot, your brain gets exhausted and cannot work well. That is why it is better to take a break and continue writing when you are full of energy again.
Read when you have time
Many academics do not catch up on new information because they don’t have time to read, they say. Well, it’s their problem as you have to make some time for that. Otherwise, how are you going to carry out research without latest information? Pacheco-Vega always finds some time to read. It usually happens when he travels somewhere. You have an hour or two to spend on whatever you want. So why not read something?
Write when you have time
As Pacheco-Vega writes everyday, he also writes while traveling. But it doesn’t mean usual writing. He writes small pieces of text, which he can later use when working on a project. Thus, it will be easier to organize a paper when it comes to writing.
Reading every day is good, but it is even better to make notes of what you read. You can highlight some ideas that might help formulate your opinion later. Pacheco-Vega also reads other scholars’ thoughts and compare with his own. It helps see how different his way of thinking from that of other people. You may look at the issue you are dealing with from the viewpoints of representatives of different disciplines, for example economics, political science, etc.
This is how Raul Pacheco-Vega deals with his writing. His experience shows how effective your work can be if you organize it right. You just have to use any free time opportunity wisely—to read, to make notes, to write. Then, you will make it.