02 December 2009

Writing about Research Writing

I'm on a chapter deadline this month. It's an inevitable situation for a PhD student, and one that's always painful - sometimes more, sometimes less. Writing is one of the hardest things to do becuase it means taking the big chances; putting your ideas out into the world to see what someone else thinks about them. Ideally, those ideas are also well formulated and somewhat original. This month will be filled with moments when I have to admit to myself that reading and other forms of "research" are often tactics for delaying writing. At least once a week, but more likely two or three times, I will wonder if I can do this, what is the point of all, and why. There will be lots of word count checking as this is one of my main motivators.

It's ironic that my daily word count is a motivator for writing. The number of words produced in a day has little if any relationship to progress actually made on a writing project, especially in the early stages. Most of what I write now and in the next week or so will be moved, changed, or deleted. Effective editing is far more important than writing, it turns out. But the word count is something tangible. It's a way to measure work. Strangely appropriate that the humanities girl who writes about management feels a strong urge to measure her progress.

I'm writing about MBA programs, the financial crisis, and an interesting little website called MBAoath.org. Curious?


  1. Very curious. I think that the recent financial crisis is tremendously interesting from a social-science point of view, and that MBA oath thing was fascinating.

    Good luck with the writing!

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  4. Right-o then! Cool! I started a PhD in medieval history (had to abandon when only just into it - long story) but business and arts can still be friends! very nice to meet you.


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