Motivation and Encouragement for Dissertation Writers Across Disciplines

Archive for September, 2010|Monthly archive page

TD:D Blog Carnival: Volume 3, Edition 4

In online resources, TD:D Blog Carnival on September 30, 2010 at 6:15 am

Welcome to another edition of the TD:D Blog Carnival!

Is anyone else shocked that it’s almost October?  How did that happen?

Enjoy the posts below and make sure to check back next week for another edition.

Writing Tips

How to Overcome Writer’s Block by Hillary Rettig

“The work of becoming a prolific writer — someone who writes easily and quickly, and has fun while doing it — is the work of managing your moment-by-moment experience of your writing. Writing is one of those activities that looks easy, but really isn’t. Besides the basic intellectual challenge, writing is also an act of self-exposure, and often to critical or harsh audiences.”

7 Mindful Tips to Energize Your Writing by Alexander De Foe

“Many people don’t realize that their greatest resources for writing, creativity, and motivation lie within them already. By practicing Zen techniques of mindfulness and “no-mind” meditation you can actually inspire your inner artist into action without doing much conscious work at all.”


Heading for the Finish Line by Linda704

“This morning I had a crisis of confidence, so I reached out to my Twitter network, where I’m connected with many folks who are either working on their dissertation, have completed a dissertation, or know someone who has. Within minutes, I got 4 responses.”

Dissertation Technology

Super Sweet New Screencast by Howard Buddin

“I’ve put together a demonstration that rolls up the workflow I’ve written so much about, and its component techniques. In this screencast, you’ll get to see me produce the literature review section of a paper that I’ll actually be submitting for publication in the next month or so. That’s sort of the beauty of this flow; I’ve tested it under the most rigorous of circumstances (my dissertation), and now I’m putting my money where my mouth is with this draft.”

Website of the Week

Sociological Images

This is one of a series of websites from The Society Pages: Social Science that Matters that features critical analysis of images from advertisements, films, television, magazines, etc.  If you need a break, but want it to be intellectual, check out this site for the latest thoughts on De-Curving Christina, Why are there naked ladies at the Huffington Post?, and Social Rules, Conformity and Consequences: Carrying Books.  Also, don’t forget to check out the other websites hosted within The Society Pages.  One of my favorites is Teaching the Social World.

The TD:D blog carnival is published weekly on Thursdays.

If you would like to submit a post for the TD:D blog carnival, email your link to tododissertation[at]gmail[dot]com by the previous Wednesday at noon.


Dissertation Motivation: The Words of Others

In motivation on September 26, 2010 at 9:57 am

I’m afraid I ran out of my own words this week while working on my latest dissertation chapter.  So I’ve decided to provide you with some motivational words of others.

Read each quote slowly, taking from it what you need.


“But the essential support and encouragement of course comes from within, arising out of the mad notion that your society needs to know what only you can tell it.” – John Updike

“You don’t need special traits, special genes, or special motivation to write a lot.  You don’t need to want to write–people rarely feel like doing unpleasant tasks that lack deadlines–so don’t wait until you feel like it.  Productive writing involves harnessing the power of habit, and habits come from repetition.” — Paul Silvia, How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing, 129

“When you sit down to begin a piece of writing, your first aim ought to be to make a mess–to say anything that comes to your mind, on the subject or off it, not to worry at all about whether your stuff is connected logically, to play with your subject the way you used to build mud pies, to do no fine detail work, to spell poorly if that’s your natural inclination, and to generally forget about standards altogether (even about split infinitives!).  I suspect many writing blocks come about because people aren’t used to playing in the mud when they write; they think writing is a neat, clean endeavor.” — Joan Bolker, Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis, 34

“People usually assume that writing is always meant to communicate with others.  What you use it that way you must think very carefully about it as writing… But writing is also very useful as a way to work out your thoughts and feelings for yourself alone.  when you use it in this way as a process of exploration and discovery, you don’t have to think carefully about it as writing (however carefully you may think about the matter that you are exploring).  Oddly enough, writing as exploration usually helps your writing as communication.” — Peter Elbow, Writing With Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process, 100

“You have the right to work, but for the work’s sake only.  You have no rights to the fruits of work.  Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working.  Never give way to laziness, either… Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender… They who work selfishly for results are miserable.” — from the Bhagavad Gita

This week, I wish you all productivity, balance, and patience.  Happy writing!

TD:D Blog Carnival: Volume 3, Edition 3

In TD:D Blog Carnival on September 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Welcome to another edition of the TD:D Blog Carnival!

I’m making this list a little short this week since it’s stormy in my neck of the woods and I want to post this soon in case I lose power… Good thing my dissertation writing and reading is done for the day!

Enjoy the posts below and make sure to check back next week for another edition.

The (Proposal) Defense

Preparing for Defense of Proposal by E. Alana James

“The proposal defense is one of the high stakes tests of doctoral education, and one where everyone learns – the committee learn from each other and the student from the committee.  One of the biggest snags is lack of correspondence in topics between the three chapters – this video helps identify that issue.”

Writing Tips

What I Wish I’d Known from The Academic Writing Club

“Because sometimes we can benefit from their wisdom, and because sometimes we just need a few tips, we asked our fans and friends to send us their tips for completing their thesis or dissertation, so we could share them with you.”

This is a great free download of tips collected from dissertation finishers from across disciplines.  Definitely a must read!

29 Steps, 1078 Hours by wwaters8400

“We’re big fans of making the dissertation into a series of small, concrete steps. That way, the dissertation seems doable, and you always know exactly what you have to do on it. One good place to do this is in conceptualizing the basic processes of the dissertation. There are 29 of them. Already, the dissertation seems more manageable, doesn’t it?”

The TD:D blog carnival is published weekly on Thursdays.

If you would like to submit a post for the TD:D blog carnival, email your link to tododissertation[at]gmail[dot]com by the previous Wednesday at noon.