Getting stuck?

Are you getting stuck with your research writing? Do you need some tips on continuing the flow of ideas into good research writing?

Here are a few brief ideas to save yourself time or find a fresh approach.

Save and store your unused writing

When you cut ideas and paragraphs out of your writing, instead of deleting them, copy and paste them first into different files under particular topics (e.g., method or sample features).

Keep in touch

Connect with publishers of the principal journals you read to receive alerts with news on the contents of each new edition. This gives you a feeling for what is currently in demand and what is not yet covered in these journals.

Recycle your work

Convert your conference paper to a book chapter, one or more articles or some blog posts.

Don’t complicate your writing

Do not overwrite. Keep to the story of what you set out to do, how you did it and why, what you discovered, what was expected, what was unexpected and why. Make long elaborate sentences into two or three shorter ones.

Refresh yourself and then return

When you meet an obstacle and cannot write any more, change your situation. This could mean you do some exercise, go outside, use a meditation app, meet a friend for a quick chat or have some tea. Make sure you start to write again, even if only some brief notes, immediately after this.

Stay true to your path

Explain the importance of your research. Connect it to other ideas and think big. Talk about this with trusted friends. Try explaining what you do to someone a lot younger or substantially older than yourself to get a different perspective. You will probably find that you add or remove parts of the story for different people. Just speaking about your research could help you to look at the topic with fresh eyes.

I hope some of these ideas are helpful if you find you just cannot write any more. Feel free to contact me at any time.