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It is important to understand that short breaks in writing will happen, and you can take those breaks without feeling guilty.
At a time when I needed encouragement, hearing any criticism, no matter how constructive, hurt my productivity. Find out what your committee wants and expects from your work. Don’t get distracted by small feelings of accomplishment: finishing one page means that you are now ready to write the next one, after all.
Knowing yourself and the kinds of feedback you need as you write is important on a project like this. Following the advice about feedback above, find out what kind of writing your committee expects.
The (occasionally contradictory) tips below represent the things I would have done differently, if I could have. Having a goal to work towards is incredibly important for sustaining motivation over a long period of time.
As someone who needs the pressure of a deadline to get anything done, I found that a list of due dates was essential for keeping me on track. That said, I pretty much immediately blew past my deadlines and had to keep adjusting them back.
The work they did for me was beyond my expectations, and the price was very very fair!!
I am so happy that there is a resource out there that can assist in this process. I appreciate ALL of the work I received from Dissertation Editor.Life unexpectedly happens often over a year-long period (or more!), and knowing that your deadlines will likely change will help to prevent you feeling guilty about that.Dissertation Editor truly showed competency, understanding and patience as we worked together for the editing of my paper.It totally helped me to do what I would never be able to by myself! I have reviewed the editing changes made and I'm happy with the quality of the work accomplished.One of my biggest stumbling blocks while drafting came from receiving negative feedback on a chapter. My fragile ego interpreted the critique as a condemnation of my viability as a scholar, and I moped around for several weeks, wasting time assuming I was worthless. I have the bad habit of working furiously to meet a deadline and then riding the endorphin rush of finishing the work for weeks. Dissertations take time, and you will need to take breaks and recharge at some point. No matter how busy you are, take the time to write for half an hour a day. You have other work to do, you have papers to grade, you have jobs to apply for, you have meetings to go to, your back hurts, your computer is acting funny, the stars aren’t in the right position. And it’s hard, but sometimes you pretty much just have to tell these reasons to shut up. Read this post by Amy Rubens about Exit Strategies. Working solely for the “reward” of defending or graduating is overwhelming, so find little places to celebrate as you go along. There will be times where you have to focus your energies elsewhere: teaching, the job market, writing publishable articles, sitting on committees, taking care of your family, watching cartoons. Sitting down to write, even when it seems like you can’t, is the only way to get anything written. Read this post by Terry Brock on “The Dissertation from Afar”, or this one by Micalee Sullivan on getting started writing. I am proud to say, at this point, that I have, indeed, mostly done this. Sitting right there on my hard drive (and in dropbox, and on a USB drive, and my backup hard drive, and on my friend's computer...).There’s still a long way to go between here and the final submission. This post isn’t just to brag about my accomplishments, but to offer tips for getting through the dissertation process from someone who mostly has and is now looking back on the places where I struggled the most.