Back when I was in high school, I spent hours offline and online writing. In the digital environment, I wrote for an online fan magazine for Savage Garden fans and much of my spare time was devoted to crafting articles for my newsletter column. In the non-digital environment I was writing for my high school newspaper or writing in my notebook. All of these writing experiences were empowering.
As I entered into adulthood, I began to blog. When I blog, I often write and decide not to post what I have written for a number of reasons. Perhaps it is because what I am thinking and reflecting on has become too personal. Or maybe it’s just because I am not ready to share my “half baked” ideas with the world. However, what I have learned during this PhD process is that words are a powerful tool to express what is on your mind. I also find that writing is a very personal experience especially as I move forward in this PhD process.
So why am I reflecting on writing today? Long story short, I am experiencing some writer’s block lately and to be honest I think it is a case of the “procrastination blues.” What usually takes me about 5 hours to produce has taken me about 2 weeks. I spend hours moving paragraphs around and rewording things to make it more (or maybe it is less) coherent. I am more excited about checking social media then doing my writing. I am pretty sure everyone goes through these stages in their PhD journey. However, the question for me is how do I move out of this “hole?”
A friend of mine has been encouraging me to use an app called “Toggl” (https://www.toggl.com/). It is a digital timer. My goal starting today is to get about 5 hours of writing done daily. I have to start the timer when I am working but stop it when I take breaks. You get a running total of how many hours you work for the entire day if you use it continuously. I used this during my comps process when I wasn’t able to focus. It really worked, at least for me and then I stopped using it. However, I am going back on the “Toggl” train. Hopefully this is will get me out of my “writer’s block” aka “procrastination blues.”