Two Things That Helped Me to Start Writing My Thesis

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

On April 8th, I finished a three days Thesis writing boot camp where I typed 20 114 words — nearly half of my thesis. How did I do it?

I manage to write so much because of two not-fully refined skills: PKM and touch-typing. My PKM is a work in progress, but I was able to reuse past papers and notes without needing to prep them for the boot camp. Touch-typing seems unnecessary, but I only learned to type efficiently about a year ago.

Even if not refined, these skills made writing the first rough draft of my thesis easy.

You are not starting from scratch: reuse your writing

Anytime someone asks to write something about your PhD you have an opportunity.

Writing is an opportunity to clarify your thoughts and create assets you can reuse. I was lucky that my supervisor made me write for many conferences. Everything I wrote was ready to be included in my thesis.

Being aware that you could reuse what you write will set you in the right mindset.

Reuse sounds like a copy and paste; do I need to retype?

You are not going to copy and paste.

Rewriting your old thoughts, you might find typos, holes in your logic, or start adding notes on things that you might want to ask your supervisor. Additionally, the structure of a thesis can be different from a paper. Lastly, rewriting is an excellent chance to ensure that you are consistent with your language.

Type quickly, edit later

It hurts me to think that I used to type using three fingers and checking my keyboard.

Touch-typing will allow you to write without interruption without losing the flow. You will be able to read and type without losing momentum. Most of your writing will require you.

Before you even realise it, you will have a lot of words on in the same place, and your work will only be editing.

I have written nearly one hundred posts in the last couple of months. If you want to build a writing habit, join ship30for30 here ($100 off for the August Cohort) and learn how to write online.

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