START. Your first step to writing your PhD Thesis

Every writer will tell you the same thing about writing:

Writing always involves rewriting.
I suggest when you are +that when you are writing any kind of document you create a rough first draft as quickly as possible. The important thing is to get something down on the paper. Anything is better than nothing-at this early stage, don’t worry if what you write needs rewriting.

Watching artists at work provides a useful analogy. Artists do not start their painting in the upper left-hand corner of their canvas and create a perfect painting as they expand from that corner to the bottom right-hand corner. Rather, they sketch in the outline of the painting and then paint here and there on the canvas, continually changing their approach, adding colors here and there, clearing away areas on the canvas they don’t like, until after much painting and repainting they have a finished picture. This is a good model for writers. You “rough in” the article or book or whatever it is you are working on, writing it as quickly as possible. Then, when you've finished your first draft, you start polishing what you have written.

Generally, I recommend you write no more than five pages (approximately 1,500 words). A day on your project. I find that if I write more than this in a day, I become so tired that I’m not able to write well the next day. Writing five pages takes about two or three hours, sometimes longer if I’m having a hard time finding the information I need or the right way of expressing myself.

The five pages suggestion is advice for packing yourself. If an editor asks you to write a 6,000-word essay, and you write 1,500 words a day, it will take you four days to rough in the first draft. Writing 1,500 words may not seem like very much, but when you sit at the computer to write, you may find that it takes you longer to write an essay. If you are writing a book, a pace of 1,000 words a day in fifty days of writing yields a 50,000-word manuscript, enough for a book. 

Let me mention the importance of planning your time, pacing yourself, and setting a deadline for the first draft. I’ve never missed a deadline because I usually start writing my project as soon as I get them. That allows me plenty of time to work on and revise them. Leaving writing assignments for the last.

Some people are morning people and others are night people. You should schedule your writing for when you are at your best-if you’re a morning person, you should do your writing in the morning. I like to write first thing in the morning, right after breakfast. Many of my colleagues assumed that, since I’ve written so many books, I write all day long, every day. In fact, I seldom write on the computer for more than two or three hours a day. But when I start a writing project, I write steadily-almost every day, but never for more than two or three hours each day. Of course I do spend some time everyday writing in my journal, often speculating about what I’ve written and about new ideas or things I’ve left out of my draft. It’s also important to follow instructions. Writers sometimes become so excited about writing that they don’t pay attention to what they’ve been asked to write-that is, they end up ignoring the specifications that they have been given. This leads to problems such as essays, monographs, research project write ups, and even books that are not focused on the proper subject, aren’t written in the style that is requested, or are much shorter (or much longer) than specified

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