Step 1: spend less time at your desk
The secret to writing at least 1000 words a day is to give yourself a limited time frame in which to do it. Dedicate less than a quarter of the day to making some new text and then take a break and return later to clean it up. This sounds counter intuitive, but trust me – it works.
Step 2: remember the two hour rule
Most people only have about two really good, creative writing hours in a day - two hours in which new ‘substantive’ ideas will make their way onto the page. Most of us are in the best frame of mind for this after breakfast and before lunch – whatever time of the day that happens to be for you. So writing new stuff should be almost the first thing you do when you sit down to your desk.
Step 3: start in the middle
Howard Becker in his excellent “Writing for Social Scientists” said: “How can I introduce it if I haven’t written it yet?”.This attitude is echoed in“Helping Doctoral Students to Write” , where Kamler and Thomson recommend that thesis writers think about their work in terms of ‘chunks’ rather than chapters.
A chunk can be anything up to two pages long – the text between each subheading if you like. No doubt you have some scrappy notes which you can transcribe or cut into a new file as a ‘seed’. Once you have planted the seed, just start adding on words around and over it – this builds a chunk. Don’t worry about where it fits yet – that’s a rewriting problem.
Step 4: Write as fast as you can, not as well as you can
This advice also comes from Becker, who points out that thinking happens during writing. The surest way to slow the process is to worry too much about whether your thinking is any good.So give yourself permission to write badly. If you can’t think of a word use another/equivalent/filler words: don’t slow down and start to think too much.
Do this ‘free writing’ in bursts of about 10 to 15 minutes. When you need a rest, review and fiddle with the text – maybe plant a new seed – then move on to another burst.
Step 5: leave it to rest… then re-write
Because you are writing without judgment, most of the words you generate in step four will be crap. Carving off the excess crap in the editing process will reveal the 1000 words of beautiful substantive text you are after. But take a break before you attempt this, or you wont have the necessary perspective. Go and have a coffee with a friend, watch some TV – whatever takes you away from your desk for a couple of hours. Then come back – maybe after dinner – and start sifting through, massaging and editing.
Be strategic about this editing – some parts will be easier than others. But do try to pull some ‘finished words’ – even if it’s only a paragraph – back into your draft each day. This gives you a sense of achievement which is important for morale.
Source : The Thesis Whisperer