Keeping motivated when writing up?!

posted
11-Jul-14, 14:36
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for lemonjuice
posted about 6 years ago
I'm currently in the writing up stage of the PhD. The weird thing is my motivation has hit an all time low! This feels so odd to me. I remember after the first year thinking 'if I can only get to the writing up stage, all will be ok' LOL........if anything it's become harder as time has gone on instead of easier. I've tried the MyTomatos thing and it didn't really work for me. Anyone have any other ideas/tips? Visualising the end result only makes me more depressed at how much I need to do so that doesn't work either lol.

Thanks all :)
posted
11-Jul-14, 18:58
by kelpie
Avatar for kelpie
posted about 6 years ago
Know that everyone goes through the same stage, and break the writing into very tiny chunks so that you can tick things off your to-do list. It's hard, the sustained effort and the reward a long way off, but you know you'll do it so try to stop torturing yourself.
posted
11-Jul-14, 19:38
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for starsgoblue
posted about 6 years ago
Feeling the exact same. Absolutely no motivation, have 2 chapters due next Monday... can't even sit at my desk I'm so tired, lethargic and uninterested. I'm going to try early morning starts for the next few days. Work from 7 - 12 and try and harness the morning 'buzz'.

Definitely in the same boat as you. Once I have these two chapters done, I need to write my third by early August and then two small chapters (7k each) by early September, with hopeful submission at end of Oct. Is this possible?! Who knows!! xx
posted
18-Jul-14, 17:57
edited about 15 seconds later
by Joanna
Avatar for Joanna
posted about 6 years ago
Hey hi,

I am on the exact same boat as you. it feels so much better to see I am not alone. I used to be thinking `I wish I were in the writing up phase´ the years before. And now that I am here motivation is really down. Having been writing a couple of papers before and now my thesis it just seems I have no inspiration left. Writing about the same things over and over again feels just boring.
Having said this, making plans and breaking the work to small bits as kelpie suggested really helps me. I really like ticking off the parts done from my to do list. Then I can say i am a step closer to finish. So my advice is keep tracking of what you have done to make you feel you are accomplishing something. another tip would be to reward yourself once u finish something. something like i will concentrate in writing for two hours and then go to the cinema, or sports or whateve you like doing. maybe if you have something nice to look forward to at the end of your writing session will help ;-)!
posted
13-Aug-14, 11:12
Avatar for lemonjuice
posted about 6 years ago
Hi all :)

Thanks for your replies. Since starting this thread I've been very up and down with the writing.....but alas the dreaded wall has returned. I also had this feeling of anxiety and nausea when thinking about writing today! Really don't want to do anything. I agree Joanna, having something nice to look forward to does help a bit :) I really wanted to get this done inside 3 years (my supervisors are/were too), but I'll end up killing myself at this rate.

Right, time for some deep breaths, a snooze (lol!) and then hopefully I'll have the mental strength to 'put pen to paper' :/
posted
13-Aug-14, 12:42
by marasp
Avatar for marasp
posted about 6 years ago
Hello all. As someone who had to do the writing up twice (because of a R&R verdict), I can share a personal little secret with you. The reason I had low motivation while writing up was FEAR. The fear of what if... what if I am making a huge mistake while writing this? What if the examiners don't like the thesis? What if the thesis fails? I got to overcome my fears (by becoming more confident and re-believing in myself) and I gained my productivity back.
posted
22-Aug-14, 00:39
Avatar for lemonjuice
posted about 6 years ago
You're right marasap, the fear is a big problem :( This month has been a total write off for me. Panic is setting in and I need to snap out of this feeling of not wanting to do anything. It's so easy to start beating myself up and to let the intrusive thoughts overwhelm me (e.g. I'm stupid, lazy, pathetic, pointless, a failure, too old for this....). Right, off to bed for me and hope I will be brighter in the morning :/
posted
22-Aug-14, 04:57
edited about 40 seconds later
Avatar for Barramack
posted about 6 years ago
Most of us have had those feelings of inadequacy and impending doom. There aren't any magic cures or panaceas unfortunately. The only way to overcome them is to keep buggering on, as Churchill used to say. A PhD is simply a hard slog - akin to wading through treacle, as a late collague of mine used to say.
posted
26-Aug-14, 10:43
Avatar for lemonjuice
posted about 6 years ago
Well I've managed to write 1000 words a day for the last 3 days....it's been an almighty struggle, lol! I found a simple calendar online where you can put great big red crosses through each day - I find it's been very satisfying to be able to do that when I reach my target. I so hope I can keep this up for another couple of weeks :0
posted
26-Aug-14, 12:58
edited about 2 seconds later
by enid
Avatar for enid
posted about 6 years ago
I am in the same boat - PhD now due in (following a slight extension) end of Feb next year. Still analysing, lots of writing to do, but since reaching this final stage I have really lost motivation, like the worst writer's block since the beginning! I too thought that once I only had write-up to do it would be much smoother sailing. Perhaps that time will come, when all my analysis is out of the way - I fear not though! *Tunes in to procrastination station*
posted
27-Aug-14, 18:43
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for starflower
posted about 6 years ago
Thanks marasp I think your comment is right about Fear and it is really important to keep that in mind (but use it as a motivator, not as something to be scared of!!). I need to boost my confidence and take risks with my writing, exploring issues in depth, and loving research for what it is.....remember when you liked learning for the sake of it? At the moment I keep skirting around all of my topics/sources instead of diving in, because I have a lack of faith that they are the right sources for me/the project/this chapter.....and thus its taking me a long time to write.btw does anyone know a tomato timer where you can alter the time its set to? thx
posted
29-Aug-14, 16:23
by DB1
Avatar for DB1
posted about 6 years ago
Starflower - you could try to use a hiit timer/app that is developed for sports training? I have a simple app on my phone that you can set your own timings to work(out) and to rest?

I've been really suffering with lack of motivation over the past couple of months. I've had mixed feedback from my supervisors had meant that I've gradually lost faith in my ability to write and even research even though it looks better now than it did a few months ago. I now just feel very tired and my brain feels fuzzy and anxious a lot of the time. It feels like I'm very behind and there us so much more to do...

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