Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cuddle buddy and writer's block

Now that I've been home alone with Maya for the most part of the day, it means me and her have gotten a lot of cuddle time, which I will miss immensely when I'm gone. 

She's the cutest when she's sleepy in the morning and looks at me with those puppy eyes

Today I've also made an attempt on writing that essay and it's getting there, very slowly I might add. Luckily I still have a week to finish it, and I'm gonna need all the time I can get. For some reason  this essay in particular has been super hard to finish. Usually I'm a pretty fast writer ´cause basically all my courses require me to write 10-15 page essays and at this point I have gotten used to writing a lot. But now suddenly it's like I have writer's block! So as an attempt to motivate myself, I thought I'd list some tips that usually help me with my writing:

time
Personally, I prefer to write earlier in the day. If I have a day off from school, I'll wake up, have some breakfast and immediately afterwards start writing. From 10 in the morning to about lunchtime at 1, I'll sit by the computer and write. Then I'll have lunch and maybe continue for one more hour. By 3 or 4 you will have already been writing for about 4 hours! I personally could never pull and all-nighter or sit at the computer for a whole day. That's why I try to get some work done in the beginning of the day so that I can do other things, like go to the gym, hang out with friends, watch tv or make dinner without feeling guilty about doing it. It's funny though - me and André have completely different study habits. He likes to start doing schoolwork late in the evening. So we usually never actually studied at the same time at home.

location and setting
Obviously it's important to find a space that works for you. I personally like to stay at home, because that way you don't "waste" any time by getting to the other place, getting ready and so on. At my old apartment I would sit at the kitchen table on a comfy chair. I sat next to the window, so that I could occasionally look outside to see what people below me were doing. I also liked being at home because I could wear whatever I wanted (pyjamas all day long, hello) and eat or drink whatever I wanted. I also tried staying away from music or TV - I'd just sit at write until I couldn't no more, and then close the computer and do something else.
This is where I would sit and write. Makes me really miss my old apartment!

no pressure
When you're writing a long paper, it's a given that at times all the work can feel intimidating. Sometimes you're trying to really push yourself to finish a certain amount of pages or to write a certain amount of words. I've done that to, but noticed that it just adds to the stress. What I'll do now is that I make myself a timetable and then I'll follow that schedule without having any goals as to how many pages I have to write each given day. Now for instance I've promised myself to write every day from noon to 2, and I know in my head that if I write approximately 2 pages each day, I'll be finished in time. It doesn't really matter if I don't get exactly two pages each day - as long as I get something done. 

sleep on it
I like to start on my essays ahead of time, so that I can actually set the essay aside for a while and come back to it later. If you write the essay in one sitting, you'll be blinded by all the text you produce. Sometimes I'll write something, put it aside, and re-read it a week later. That way you get some distance to the text and it may make you see the writing from a different perspective. 

I know there are several different ways of studying and writing essays, but this is what has worked for me!

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