Lara's Writing Up Diary - inspired by Jojo


Sorry my last post was supposed to be:
An alternative route maybe to try the university complaints system - but it may be fruitless and probably not the best use of your energy...


thanks omega, that means alot to me.

and thanks so much BB. everything you said, has been really inspiring. you're absolutely right. i have taken everything you have said on board.

i cancelled going to the party, my best friend and her sister kept calling. but i told them, i really cant. because i cant stop crying. and i dont want to embarrass myself and start crying at the restaurant. because i know today i'm hyper sensitive. i've also cancelled all my other parties and social engagements, completely cleared my diary and said sorry to all my friends. and i will just hibernate from everyone and just work on my thesis 24.7

right now, i have the biggest headache from crying. but i think i've had this bottled up for so many years, it just came all out. im glad my parents know now whats been going on. and if my supervisor refuses to let me submit with my thesis, then i will go to the uni and see if i can have something done about that.


the thing is. my phd is registered with qmul. but my supervisor and big boss moved to ucl. so technically speaking. i dont even have a official supervisor, thats attached to qmul. i made alot of bad judgements and bad calls. but thats all in the past.

thanks for everythign you said. i feel really reassured. i'm gonna take a shower now, and clear my head, take some medicine, have some dinner. and then make a plan. and pull together a chapter draft. and plan my thesis in outline. and ask my supervisor to look at a rough draft of my whole thesis. i will do my best.

thanks everyone!


work accomplished
* productive time - approximately 2 hours.

* zero draft outline of a chapter i don't like, that supervisor wants me to write. (wrote up notes from my last meeting with another supervisor about the results from the final experiment)
-did some freewriting about this chapter.

*read abstract of a paper for chapter 4.

too tired and sleepy to carry on.
how was your day BB?


I had a slow day to begin with, I spent more time sorting house stuff out which I hadn't intended.
Anyway, work done:
Made new notes on an interesting paper - approx 500 words
Made changes to data chapter 1 and added to introduction from an old report - 400 new words.

I'm going to spend tomorrow doing data analysis for data chapter 3, and some more work on correcting data chapter 1.
I'm off to sleep now, its far too late.


Hi Lara,
Sounds like you're making progress in the right direction. The email to your supervisor was good too.
Hope you're feeling a bit less floored by the situation and managing to sleep and eat ok. This is the first things that go to pot for me when I'm stressed, but not eating or sleeping properly just make it all worse...oh dear...I sound just like my Mum!
Hope you and BB have a good day


BB! well done! I'm proud of you :)
Cakegirl, aww thanks so much for the kind message, I really appreciate it :)

funny how you should use the word "floored" that's exactly what Joan Bolker says in her section of " possible horrible worst case scenario" of getting a letter from the Dean saying your thesis is due alot sooner than you thought!!

I appreciate your support and encouragement. Have a good day.


BB good luck with work today. Just remember.."every day is more important than how much time you spend or how many pages you produce or the quality, it's working ony our thesis everyday no matter how much or how little is what will get you to your goal"...


Whenever I feel that I am just writing rubbish or don't understand something and am just copying things verbatim, that seem only vaguely related to my subject, I read what BB told me and makes me feel so much better Thanks BB !!

"this psycologist was arguing that the best way to write was to first write loads and loads of rubbish, be it copied and pasted stuff or stuff from the top of your head, and then edit it down. Aparently people who write like that are loads more productive than those who plan meticulously and try to write perfectly first time" (BB)

I have it on a post-it now on my wall..

BB if you ever find the article again, please let me know

You are a star for sharing this!


Oh thanks you lot, you are soo kind. I wish I'd come back to this forum earlier today. Today has been a bad day, the panicking has come back and I have not done anything. I've completely wasted a day but I've spent all day in front of the computer . I can spend forever on the internet doing nothing when I feel like this. The irony is, if I'd only come back to this website I would have felt much better, as your messages have really cheered me up!

I didn't get much sleep last night and I haven't eaten since breakfast. I'm off to make dinner now. I will not try to do anymore work tonight, as it just makes me feel guilty. I will try again tomorrow, but I'm going to leave the chapter that I have been trying to do, and focus on the chapter I enjoy writing. I will come back to this horrible chapter when I am in a better frame of mind.


I haven't got a clue what the aticle was I'm afraid. I think I was just vaguely googleing for thesis writing advice.

How was your day?


Awww I'm sorry to hear you had a bad day, I totally understand about the panicking!! I just spend half an hour reading how to write a phd, an article i found on the internet, about how if you're panicking about the whole thesis, try making a simple outline of the entire thesis... and then just think you have to fill in the sections, bit by bit...


it's here if you're interested:

"When you are about to begin, writing a thesis seems a long, difficult task. That is because it is a long, difficult task. Fortunately, it will seem less daunting once you have a couple of chapters done. Towards the end, you will even find yourself enjoying it---an enjoyment based on satisfaction in the achievement, pleasure in the improvement in your technical writing, and of course the approaching end. Like many tasks, thesis writing usually seems worst before you begin, so let us look at how you should make a start.



"An outline
First make up a thesis outline: several pages containing chapter headings, sub-headings, some figure titles (to indicate which results go where) and perhaps some other notes and comments. There is a section on chapter order and thesis structure at the end of this text. Once you have a list of chapters and, under each chapter heading, a reasonably complete list of things to be reported or explained, you have struck a great blow against writer's block. When you sit down to type, your aim is no longer a thesis---a daunting goal---but something simpler. Your new aim is just to write a paragraph or section about one of your subheadings. It helps to start with an easy one: this gets you into the habit of writing and gives you self-confidence."


I know what you mean, about being infront of the computer, and actually being "productive"

I have a timer that I set where I HAVE to work for 30minutes, and I can't do "anything" else, and just keep going, like as if I am in an exam. And ever so often i look at the timer and it's ticking away, and i think eeeek 20minutes left... I better carry on...because once the buzzer goes, then I can't spend anymore time on this. It sort of pushes me, in a weird psychological trick sort of way..because I know after the 30minutes are up, I have to write in my "physical writing diary notepad" that sits on my desk, what I actually did.

it's like having mini deadlines throughout the day.. and then after the 30minutes are up, I note down, what I actually achieved.
and then take a mini 5-10minute break.

maybe tommorow you can give it a try? we can do it together if you like.