I would not call myself a good writer, but merely adequate. I fear writing sometimes, putting off writing papers until the last minute, when I have no choice but to write. This tendency to put off writing until the last minute is something I’m trying to get over, especially since I have to write not only my M.S. thesis this year, but also a book chapter. Plus I would like to get over that fear and be in a groove with writing before I start a Ph.D. program next year.

In order to get into a writing groove, I’ve scheduled 2 hours of writing for myself every weekday. I don’t have to write for those entire 2 hours, but at least it’s on my calendar reminding me that I need to do a little bit of work every day. Since I don’t have much (or really anything) written on my thesis, I’m also starting work on that by going through two books. One is The Classic Guide to Better Writing: Step-by-Step Techniques and Exercises to Write Simply, Clearly, and Correctly (R. Flesch and A. H. Lass, 1996). This book starts with the beginning of writing anything (making a plan) and goes through tying together paragraphs and using correct grammar. The other book is The Craft of Research (2nd edition. W. C. Booth, G. G. Colomb, and J. M. Williams, 2003). This second book goes into more depth on topics of use to someone writing a term paper, thesis, or article. For example, one of the first chapters describes how as a writer, you must think about your audience. In order to neither talk up or down to the readers, you must first decide who will be in the audience (depending on where the paper will be seen or published), their level of interest in your paper topic, and what types of information are they going to be looking for from your paper.

Between these two books, I’m considering (again) how to approach my thesis, before I really start writing. I also have a schedule for getting chapters to my advisors (posted on a page on this site) to keep me on track. Hopefully with all of these resources and some determination, I’ll become a writing machine. Or maybe, just a little less fearful of writing.