Make It Easy For Yourself To Write Your Dissertation

Feeling Blocked When You Site Down to Write Your Dissertation?

Do you know that feeling when the circumstances for writing your Dissertation your Dissertation are right, but you just don’t feel like writing?

One day you might wake up early, or you finally have a few hours to yourself, but you just can’t get yourself to focus?

This is one of the worst feelings to cope with because you only have yourself to blame for your lack of progress.

What might start out as a “I just don’t feel like writing today” can snowball into full blow Writer’s Block. (Maybe you’re already there)

It’s a tricky situation. One moment you might be anxious that you don’t have the time, space, or mental energy to work on your Dissertation. Then, when you finally do have the time, and you can’t focus, you might just want to give up!

Not so fast. 

I do have some good news for you. When you start to take action, it will feel good. 

Let me repeat that because it’s really important:

When you take action, no matter how small, it will feel good

What do I mean by that?

One of my students, Nel, had Writer’s Block for 2 years. She thought that she couldn’t write because there was always something going on at home. 

Then, when her family traveled overseas for 3 weeks, she had all the time to herself. You the worst part? She still couldn’t write!

That’s when it hit her: Her lack of inspiration to write was not because of external circumstances. It was because she hadn’t figured out a way to keep up her momentum with writing. 

Whether or not Nel was distracted by family, she couldn’t keep up her writing momentum, because she didn’t know how to do it. 

Keeping Your Writing Momentum Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

Here is something that you probably already know: Starting is the hardest part of doing any project. 

But here is something that maybe you don’t know yet:

Taking that first action doesn’t have to be hard. 

Nel, for example, took some of my advice and one day she set a timer for 30 minutes and started writing. 

In the end, she wrote 167 words. That’s about one half of a page. It may not sound like much, but Nel felt like a gate had been suddenly opened. After 2 years of barely writing anything (and constantly beating herself up), she finally had something on paper!

Over the next year Nel made significant progress and handed in the first draft of her Dissertation to her committee.

Nel’s success came down to starting with writing just one half of a page over 30 minutes!

Build a New Habit That Will Be Meaningful For You

Today, we will take the first step towards building a new habit that will be meaningful for you.

Long-term change, in terms of your Disertation writing habits, needs to happen gradually. 

If I asked each of the Members of my Dissertation Writing Workshop to describe what is the #1 change they would like to see in their lives right now, I would get a lot of different answers.

Maybe I would get different answers from the same person if I asked on different days!

It’s possible that you would like to see different kinds of change in your life, and not even sure where to start. But, when you make a positive change in one area of your life, it will lead to positive changes in the other areas of your life.

For example, one of our Members, Sean, wanted to work fewer hours so he could be healthier.

Sean made only one small change in his routine: He delayed reading his email by 1 hour, and spent that time editing the code for his program. 

This simple change (which required no extra time), resulted in incredible improvements to both his work and personal life.

By delaying email and restructuring his day, Sean was able to get an extra 1-2 hours of sleep a night! This in turn led to him being able to spend more time with his girlfriend too and improve that relationship.

Unfortunately, the same is true about negative change. In the past, when Sean had to work 100 hour/week (no exaggeration), his health and personal relationships both deteriorated.

This is why it is so important to build habits gradually: you have to keep the positive and negative changes in check at the same time.

graduate school

What You Can Do To Get Started With Creating Better Writing Habits and a Better Life

First, Think of the #1 change you would like to see in your life right now. Keep in mind that when you improve that area, other areas of your life will improve too. (Hint: an area of health, such as sleep schedule or exercise are popular choices)

Second, Pick one ridiculously simple change you can make in the right direction to improve that area of your life.


Nel got into the habit of setting a timer for 30 minutes and just writing something, anything. This simple habit lifted the judgement she used to have about her own writing. When she shyly handed in a chapter to her Dissertation advisor, he wrote back that he was quite pleased with her work!

When Sean wanted to cut down on the hours he worked, he gradually started delaying when he checked his email. He began by delaying checking his email by 15 minutes. Instead, he worked on a high priority project in the morning during that time. Eventually, he delayed his email by a few hours, which allowed him to get his work done early in the day, and he was able to go to sleep earlier too.

Finally, out that simple change in your calendar for today

Example: At first Sean wasn’t sure what he would do instead of checking his email. His highest priority project was to write code for a simulation. So, in his calendar he wrote “15 min coding work” starting at 7 am. (He was an early bird. You might start at 8, or 9, or perhaps 6 am. The point is, put in your calendar what action you will take and when)

Got it?

These simple changes will make an incredible impact on the quality of your Dissertation and life!



The post Make It Easy For Yourself To Write Your Dissertation appeared first on Finish Your Thesis.

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Sep 13, Grand Remembrances

Today is Grandparents Day in the United States. Being a Grand is a special honor. I feel very blessed that my wife and I have two grandchildren. We were able to visit them today. Yes, we are still being cautious with the coronavirus, but we also find it very difficult to not see them when they live so close. So today we did drop by to visit Jacob (age 10) and Sophia (age 7) along with their parents. We brought donuts and caught up with them. Our grandchildren are still pretty young and this is a precious time in their lives – and ours!

I wish I had known my grandparents better. We never lived in the same place. Dad was a career Air Force pilot, so we moved around a lot. But we did get to see them once in a while when they would visit us, or we them.

A Plague of Giants

There are five known magical ‘kennings’ or types: air, water, fire, earth, and plants. Each nation specializes in of these kennings, and the magic influences the society. There’s a big pitfall with this diversity of ability and locale–not everyone gets along.

Enter the Hathrim giants, or ‘lavaborn’ whose kenning is fire. Where they live the trees that fuel their fire are long gone, but the giants are definitely not welcome anywhere else. They’re big, they’re violent, and they’re ruthless. When a volcano erupts and they are forced to evacuate, they take the opportunity to relocate. They don’t care that it’s in a place where they aren’t wanted.

I first read Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid books and loved them (also the quirky The Tales of Pell), so was curious about this new venture, starting with A PLAGUE OF GIANTS. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Elemental magic, a variety of races, different lands. And it’s all thrown at you from page one.

But this story is told a little differently. It starts at the end of the war, after a difficult victory, and a bard with earth kenning uses his magic to re-tell the story of the war to a city of refugees. And it’s this movement back and forth in time and between key players in this war that we get a singularly grand view of the war as a whole. Hearne uses this method to great effect.

There are so many interesting characters in this book that I can’t cover them all here. Often in books like this such a large cast of ‘main’ character can make the storytelling suffer, especially since they don’t have a lot of interaction with each other for the first 3/4 of the book–but it doesn’t suffer, thankfully. And the characterization is good enough, despite these short bursts, that by the end we understand these people and care about what happens to them.

If there were a main character it would be Dervan, a historian who is assigned to record (also spy on?) the bard’s stories. He finds himself caught up in machinations he feels unfit to survive. Fintan is the bard from another country, who at first is rather mysterious and his true personality is hidden by the stories he tells; it takes a while to understand him. Gorin Mogen is the leader of the Hathrim giants who decide to find a new land to settle. He’s hard to like, but as far as villains go, you understand his motivations and he can be even a little convincing. There’s Abhi, the son of hunters, who decides hunting isn’t the life for him–and unexpectedly finds himself on a quest for the sixth kenning. And Gondel Vedd, a scholar of linguistics who finds himself tasked with finding a way to communicate with a race of giants never seen before (definitely not Hathrim) and stumbles onto a mystery no one could have guessed: there may be a seventh kenning.

There are other characters, but what makes them all interesting is that they’re regular people (well, maybe not Gorin Mogen or the viceroy–he’s a piece of work) who become heroes in their own little ways, whether it’s the teenage girl who isn’t afraid to share vital information, to the scholars who suddenly find how crucial their minds are to the survival of a nation, to the humble public servants who find bravery when they need it most. This is a story of loss, love, redemption, courage, unity, and overcoming despair to not give up. All very human experiences by simple people who do extraordinary things.

Hearne’s worldbuilding is engaging. He doesn’t bottle feed you, at first it feels like drinking from a hydrant, but then you settle in and pick up things along the way. Then he shows you stuff with a punch to the gut. This is no fluffy world with simple magic without price. All the magic has a price, and more often than not it leads you straight to death’s door. For most people just the seeking of the magic will kill you. I particularly enjoyed the scenes with Ahbi and his discovery of the sixth kenning and everything associated with it. But giants? I mean, really? It isn’t bad enough fighting people who can control fire that you have to add that they’re twice the size of normal people? For Hearne if it’s war, the stakes are pretty high, and it gets ugly.

The benefit of the storytelling style is that the book, despite its length, moves along steadily (Hearne is no novice, here). The bits of story lead you along without annoying cliffhangers (mostly), and I never got bored with the switch between characters. It was easy to move between them, and they were recognizable enough that I got lost or confused. The end of the novel felt a little abrupt, but I guess that has more to do with I was ready for the story to continue, despite the exiting climax.

If you’re looking for epic fantasy with fun storytelling and clever worldbuilding, check out A PLAGUE OF GIANTS.

The post A Plague of Giants appeared first on Elitist Book Reviews.

The Artwork Of Gary Choo

Gary Choo is a concept artist/illustrator based in Singapore. I’ve know Gary for a good many years ( 17, actually ), working together in animation studios in Singapore like Silicon Illusions and Lucasfilm. Gary currently runs an art team at Mighty Bear Games, but when time allows he also draws covers for Marvel comics, and they’re amazing –

The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo
The Art Of Gary Choo

To see more of Gary’s work or to engage him for freelance work, head down to his ArtStation.

The post The Art Of Gary Choo appeared first on Halcyon Realms – Art Book Reviews – Anime, Manga, Film, Photography.