My 2018 Goals

We are three quarters the way through January, so you might be surprised to see a post about my 2018 goals and resolutions. However, I am trying very hard to stick with them this year and I thought putting them on here might help me keep going. You know – guilt me into sticking with it!

I have two sections to this: my goals and my resolutions. The goals are something that I can achieve and cross off the list, but the resolutions are an ongoing part of my year. In the past I have been pretty rubbish at keeping my resolutions. This year I tried hard to make them managable and achievable. I have even started a sort-of bullet journal to help me track my blog posts/workouts etc.

My Goals

  • Move in with my boyfriend (see my post here for more info!)
  • Publish a research paper (I’m doing a PhD and this is an important part of the process)
  • Finish my secret project. It is only secret because I use a pseudonym on here and writing this one out would tell you all my real name!

My Resolutions

  • Write a blog post (at least) once a week. I really am trying to get back into blogging!
  • Do yoga at least once a week. I used to be so into yoga (specifically Yoga with Adriene), but I barely did any in 2017.
  • Write for at least 2 hours a day, five days a week. I’m in the third year of my PhD now, and I definitely need to start cranking out the words so I better keep to this one!

Wish me luck!

 

Advertisements

How to Write More and Enjoy It

For those that don’t know, November is NaNoWrMo (National Novel Writing Month). Thousands of people will be picking up their pens to write that book they have been planning for years. Maybe you are thinking about starting that first novel or perhaps just want to write more words, more often for your blog or university/school work. This post will breakdown a few tips and tricks that I have learnt whilst doing my PhD.

For the past two years, I have been writing about 10,000 words every six to eight weeks for my PhD supervisions. It can be pretty intense and when I had just started the PhD, I was often rushing to get things done, staying up late, and getting up far too early to meet deadlines. Over time, I have got better at writing by simply learning what makes my writing sessions more productive and less stressful. For more on productivity, check out this post.

Academic Year and You

1. Know what you want to write

I’m sure everyone’s English teacher at school advised you to plan your essay before you start. It might be boring advice, but it is excellent advice. If you don’t know what you want to talk about or the angle that you plan to take with your blog post/essay/whatever, it is going to be much much harder to write. Personally, I find that my ideas develop as I write – it is part of my process – so I’m not suggesting that you should have every sentence thought out. Just take some time to think ahead and you’ll save yourself hours in the long run.

2. Just write something, anything!

When you are trying to write, few things are more terrifying than the blank page. Although I think planning can really help, at some point you have to start writing so just go for it. Don’t overthink things and just get some words out! We are all guilty of trying to craft the perfect sentence or paragraph, of agonising over every word, of deleting and rewriting over and over again. I try not to re-read whilst I’m writing; instead, I just get as many words out as I can and then edit later. For the first draft, any words are better than no words.

3. Set (sensible) goals

When I have a deadline approaching, everything (even cleaning the bathroom or taking out the bins) seems more appealing than writing. I have to persuade myself to write, and I do this by setting myself a goal for the day. It is important to make the goal acheivable but not super easy: I tend to go for 500 words as I can usually manage it even when inspiration isn’t flowing. Then tell someone your goal, like a friend, colleague, or partner. You’ll then have someone to hold you accountable and┬áto celebrate with! The prospect of writing seems so much less daunting when you know exactly what you want to acheive that day.

For some people writing comes naturally but for others (myself included!), it can take time to learn what makes you a more productive and happier writer. These three tips have improved how I work and made writing a much more pleasent process.

Happy writing!

Library shot PhD