I’ve made a downloadable cheat sheet which shows you my own Thesis map, generated by the above method so you can make one of your own.
2) Set aside a protected time to write I’ve written so much about this, so I wont rehash it all here.
If you are interested in some techniques and ideas for creating protective writing time, have a look at the following posts: 3) Feel enthusiastic about what you are writing I think this is the ‘secret sauce’ in the 10,000 words a day recipe.
Rachel Aaron did some deep analysis of her productive writing days and compared these to the occasional not-so-productive days.
I think the thesis map is a big part of this clarity because it keeps the focus tight.
This organising technique works best for very late stage thesis students, but it can be a way of creating order at any time in your journey and working out what you need to find out or write more about.An important step in this process is for the student to spend at least a week making a ‘Thesis map’ before they come to Bootcamp.The map is essentially a series of sub-headings which the students use as prompts for composing new text, or re-using existing text.Students, particularly those in the humanities and arts, tend to agonise over the Thesis document ‘structure’.I think the anxiety stems from the idea that ‘Thesis structure’ is some kind of perfect platonic form they need to discover.The days Rachel was able to write 10,000 words were the days she was writing scenes she had been ‘dying to write’ – she called these the ‘candy bar scenes’.Days where she found it hard to muster 5000 words a day she was bored with what she was writing: This was a duh moment for me, but it also brought up a troubling new problem. In the fiction world the answer to Rachel’s dilemma was simple – make the boring scenes more interesting!You can change, add and move stuff around as you write.In our Thesis Bootcamps we ask students to just pick a spot on this map and start writing as fast as they can, not as well as they can. Not necessarily, but many students say that the writing they produce at Bootcamp is clearer than the writing they did before it, when they are worrying over every word.It works best when you don’t second-guess yourself too much.The philosophy is ‘make a mess and then clean it up’.