Why is it difficult for most people to write?

Do you sometimes find writing difficult?

Who writes is committed

Right, the written word is valid and that makes writing difficult. While it is still possible to incorporate changes in the research process in the research phase prior to writing, writing means making a commitment. This includes making a decision, not just what is important, but also what is right. So it is more or less a agony of choice which sources, methods, theories, techniques go into the dissertation. What is important enough and what can be left outside? But - without specifying there is no diss!

My advice: Look at your texts from a distance. Try to pretend someone else wrote it. Perhaps it will help you see more clearly if you are not too close. Discuss content-related questions with experts, ideally with the doctoral supervisor. And: be brave! Collect arguments for your decisions and refute counter-arguments. Someone always has something to complain about, but that shouldn't be the doctoral supervision.

Whoever writes makes himself vulnerable

The fact that every dissertation has to be published doesn't make writing any easier. In the minds of many doctoral students, the images of the luminaries in the field haunt the world. What will they say? And of course it is often clear to the writer what criticism there might be of their text. On the one hand you know best where something can be improved, on the other hand you get so much feedback in the course of your doctorate that you also know what others would improve.

My tip: Perhaps it helps to realize that there is no text in the world that cannot be criticized. There are always critics who have objections.

Another consideration is that criticism is also the engine of science. Science evolves through criticism. Whenever someone else finds a gap or expresses criticism, there is a need for further discussion or research. Perhaps the thought helps you that criticism can also be positive and criticism never stops.

However, it is important that you do not take this criticism with you into your private life. You can learn that too!

Writing routines evolve

Writers have individual strategies and preferences, and everyone organizes their writing process differently. You write in different places, at different times and design your text production individually. Some write by hand, some type straight into their PC, others use dictation systems. Writers use different tools and techniques, they all have their own learning-to-write biography and therefore start their dissertation at different points. Especially at the beginning of writing or at the beginning of the doctorate, many writers do not yet know which techniques and routines will help you. These develop over time. Only after trying out different strategies can writers say what works for them and what doesn't.

My advice: Try and observe yourself. If something works well, keep it. Talk to others and get inspired. Don't necessarily try to imitate others because you have to find your own routine that suits you perfectly. If something works well, stick with it and expand it.

Writing means becoming concrete

Writing down the research means getting concrete and deciding what will be part of the text. While speaking about text can still be relatively general, the written text needs to get to the point and be clear. To write something down means to become concrete and to leave no room for interpretation. And it also means to commit yourself. Now it is difficult to make a decision if the doctoral project has not yet been completed, because there could always be new findings. Second, it could be wrong. My tip: write several drafts. This is a little easier because you know that you are writing several drafts. Print them out and place them next to each other. Analyze, discuss and argue. Pick a draft or take a pair of scissors or highlighter and write your text. Sounds like a lot of work, but it's still faster and more productive than not writing at all.

Writing can be boring and tedious

In every dissertation there are phases in which something has to be written because it simply belongs to the content. And some things are more fun, other parts less so. Some texts flow out of the pen or the keyboard, others have to be put together piece by piece. Sometimes this is also because you first have to learn the scientific language, or sources have to be verified. Then they tend to avoid writing and do something else instead.

My advice: If you notice that you are not enjoying writing, for example because the content is not satisfactory or because it is tedious and you suck sentence by sentence out of your fingers, then divide it into specific periods of time. So then just do it for 30 minutes or 1 hour, 2 hours and then do something else. Set the timer for this exact time, turn off the internet and the phone, and really only work on that part during this time. Keep telling yourself that there is only a certain time when you are maximally disciplined. And then reward yourself with a part that you enjoy more. If this tedious writing time doesn't stretch a little, you're probably more ready to write. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to be successful. Be sure there are other texts or days, then things will go better. And later you will be proud of yourself.

There is no end in sight

Some writing processes take a long time, for example because the topic is not well defined or the question is too broad. Sometimes the letter also lengthens because the writing assignment is not clear. What should actually be written, what is the specific goal, what does the doctoral supervision require?

My tip: If you have the feeling that you have to cope with an excessive writing process, then check whether the topic is clear, whether the question is specific and pointed and whether the agreements with the doctoral supervisor are made and clear. If necessary, correct your initial situation and arrange an interview with the doctoral supervisor. Visualization could be a helpful strategy here as well. The management of a writing goal plan provides an overview.

There are numerous other causes, such as a lack of feedback or uncertainties. You are welcome to take part in the writing challenge or the "Project Promotion" course, there you will receive support.