Joined: 30 Jun 2020
|Posted: Sun Nov 15, 2020 10:21 pm Post subject: Tips against blank page anxiety when writing a thesis
|Tips against blank page anxiety when writing a thesis
The seven most common causes of blockages
A doctorate involves investing a lot of time and energy in doctoral research. Therefore, we want the thesis that we write to be up to the research carried out. We want a perfect text. We expect so much from his text that his writing is done in pain - or even not done at all. How many of these are already ready in the minds but never see the light of day! How to explain these blockages, this anguish of the blank page (or the empty screen) that torments every doctoral student?
Here are seven of the most common causes.
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fear of the judgment of others, fear of the consequences of a conclusion, fear of ridicule, fear of failure - but also fear of success - among others.
some people want to know everything and continue their research instead of writing; others fine-tune each sentence, making writing laborious; or, once the thesis manuscript is finished, they polish it over and over, often to the point of ruining it - or never returning it. I thus met a doctoral student who by dint of perfecting her text had transformed 250 pages into 3000. Her director demanded that she reduce it to 250. She did not succeed.
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The madness of grandeur:
you want to impress those around you, revolutionize your discipline, find the magic solution that will solve all problems. We set the bar so high that we are afraid to start writing our thesis, we are afraid of the consequences once we have impressed everyone, we are afraid of not succeeding in writing the perfect text that alone could serve these disproportionate ambitions.
The inner critic:
an inner voice that denigrates what we do ( this idea sucks, you will never succeed, the others are much better than you, for example).
Expectations from those around you
whether real or supposed ( if I fail, they won't love me anymore; if I fail, they'll laugh at me; my father has invested so much that I can thesis, he is proud of me, I can not disappoint him - among others).
The recipient of the text (for example a thesis supervisor who intimidates; the anonymous mass of readers who we imagine will criticize the text badly).
The environment (eg conflict, uncomfortable office - or no office at all - financial issues, noise).
There are still many other sources of blockages. Identifying the causes is the first step towards their solution. Here are some ways to overcome the anxiety of the blank page.
Combat the anxiety of the blank page when writing your thesis
Start by writing the easiest part. You will progress quickly, which will motivate you to continue.
Do a brainstorming about your subject before you start writing.
Address your text to a loved one: write the first draft of your text for this person - this recipient will make you forget those who block you.
Send an email to a loved one: write to them what you would like to write about. A real interlocutor who awaits information obliges to concentrate on the essential.
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Tell a loved one (or your goldfish) what you want to write about: sometimes talking is easier than writing.
Tell yourself that your first draft will be improved later. Wanting to write perfect text straight away is the best way to block yourself. If there is perfection, it is the result of improvements, it does not arise out of anything.
Change the tool: if you cannot write on the computer, try by hand.
Change location: if you can't write at the desk, try it in the kitchen, in a cafe, in a park.
Give yourself a limited time to write, such as half an hour, during which you will do nothing but write.
Go for a walk - walking relaxes and stimulates creativity - see the article Boost your intelligence.
If your inner critic is manifested, speed up the writing speed: the faster you write, the more difficult it will be for him to express himself.
Get out of your isolation: loneliness can accentuate anxieties, fears, doubts. Don't be left alone with your blank page: tell someone what you would like to write about, or issues that keep you from writing, or submit what you've already written to someone capable of constructive criticism.
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The anxiety of the blank page is a completely normal phenomenon for those who write their thesis. There are many ways to overcome it. What is important is not to panic and not to question your intellectual capacities.