The blank page is the enemy of the writer. Whether you're undertaking a ten thousand word dissertation or have aspirations of writing a bestseller, the single worst feeling is sitting at your desk facing a blank word document.
Like anything else appropriate planning needs to be undertaken to secure successful execution. We're not saying that long nights procrastinating are on the cards but, having a clear and focused objective will go a long way to writing a body of work to be proud of.
Top Tip # 1
The right mentor is essential. It's imperative that the guidance that you receive is beneficial to the body of work that you're writing. If you feel that the advice you receive is of little relevance to your work then don't be afraid to challenge it. Any mentor should be approachable, don't mind the odd enquiring email, and offer detailed feedback. A good relationship with your mentor goes a long way to assisting you to produce high calibre work.
Top Tip # 2
Avoid talking about what you're writing to those closest to you. Sometimes well meaning intentions can have a detrimental effect on your writing. When writing a body of work it's important to stay focused. Those that ask inquisitive questions expect a grand answer, they want to see you succeed and can be overly supportive. They don't consider the painstaking hours of research. Remember they're not the ones who'll critique it once your labour has come to an end.
Top Tip # 3
Avoid quizzing fellows on their progress. As mentioned previously it's important to stay focused on your own objectives. Any conversation that you may have may induce that cold feeling in the pit of your stomach. Have confidence and belief in your own work, and more to the point, you shouldn't have the time to examine anyone else, all of your time should be taken up with completing your own work.
Top Tip # 4
Freak-outs are all part of the process. Inevitably they'll be those days when you'll start questioning your whole thesis. These moments should be considered then forgotten. Don't let anything shake your commitment to the task at hand. There may well be those moments when you sit back in your chair and massage the carpal tunnel from your joints. This is the time to rest. Make sure that you use it well.
Top Tip # 5
Don't be tentative with any revisions. When you feel as though the words cannot flow onto paper quick enough every single sentence feels like Shakespeare himself couldn't have composed a more poetic piece of writing. However, you must always consider the final word count and the polish of the body of work. Even the most revered and respected writers in the world complete numerous drafts of their work. Don't be afraid to remove passages of the work for refinement.
Top Tip # 6
Have a plan and stick to it. It's always advised that you devoted several hours in the day to writing then don't go to the gym, have drinks with friends, or decide to tidy the flat instead. Effective writing is bred from consistency. Should you forgo one session then that determined conscientiousness may be hard to recover.
Anyone with designs on writing an exemplary body of work should take on board these six tips. Whether your objectives are to have a bestseller with your name on it, or to receive a distinction in your dissertation by following this advice you'll give yourself the best possible opportunity to get what you desire.