Dr. Bessie and I know that as a doctoral student, most of your time is spent pounding on the keyboard pouring out your heart and soul to complete your chosen topic. We are aware that if you do not truly love writing or your topic, it is impossible to keep focused.
Yes, there are many struggles as we try to shape our scholarly words into concrete expressions that can educate, and add value to the field of our research. But there is fulfillment and joy when you finally finish!!
As much as we struggled to craft our dissertation, part of our calling as doctoral students should be to stretch ourselves beyond the writing. We need to tap into the passion of being a scholar.
Take a Step Back
However, if you do not make enough time to write, your writing will be just good enough and not scholarly. How do you find your passion? Take time to step back from your goals and look within.
You might even learn things you did not know about yourself. You will open new doors of discovery as you finish your dissertation. From my experience, I saw writing as a very nonlinear and strategic process.
But if you follow specific steps, you will evolve into the passionate scholar you were meant to be. Here are a few suggestions that helped me finish my dissertation.
Define Your Qualities
You might know your goals for completing your dissertation. But how do you find your writing groove?
Decide if you need to brush up on your writing skills. Set new goals so that you can be more focused in your writing. Commit to finding ways to meet your goals, and your writing skills.
Explore new ways to write (15 or 30 minutes a day) and stay focused on your writing.
Create A Vision
Once you have defined your goals and writing strategy, you will begin to create a vision to finish your dissertation and improve your writing.
Your purpose, writing and dissertation progress will improve. Any passionate effort will reinforce your goals and move your dissertation project along faster. As you explore details of your vision and purpose, your mission will become clear.
You will have a road map for writing and what you want to accomplish. Use this road map to guide your writing plans. Refer to your vision often to inspire you to finish the work. Allow yourself to visualize finishing your dissertation.
Remove the Roadblocks
As you outline your vision and mission, you may meet roadblocks that prevent you from making progress on your vision. Work to address these unresolved issues of emotional reactions that can stop you from finishing your dissertation.
Discover your roadblocks, work them out, and you will unearth more inspiration for writing your dissertation. Some people take a break from writing and reassess their goals as a way of resolving these issues.
I did it often when I got frustrated. I am sure Dr. Bessie would say she did the same. When you are frustrated in your writing, you never make any progress.
Think and Write Differently
Writing a dissertation is much different than writing a paper for other classes. You must forget some of the proper English that you learned. You need to learn new ways to write.
Your former ways of thinking and writing will be challenged. Just keep an open mind. Remain focused on your goal of finishing your dissertation and create the time needed for your best writing.
Create Your Plan
My final suggestion is to create an action plan. You may find there are many distractions, health issues, and family problems that change your direction at times. If you create a plan and stick to it, you can finish on time.
From my experience, I wanted to quit many times over the course of completing my dissertation. I had a major surgery and lost my mother and sister within six months apart.
I wanted to quit many times, but I stuck to the plan that I created. I finished my dissertation in the spring of the next year.
Was it easy? No, it was the hardest thing that I ever did. Was it worth it? Absolutely!
After you finish your dissertation never stop writing. Continue to grow and evolve as a writer, person, and scholar.
Use everything you have learned about yourself along the way and infuse it into your new life as a doctor and write with passion.
Far and away the best prize that life offers are a chance to work hard at work worth doing.