I'm lagging behind with my posts because I'm so working on my thesis. I've got to the exciting part and ... well, I'm pretty excited =) I know how hard it is to sit down and start writing, so here are a couple of tips (which I've all learned the hard way...)
Rule # 1: It's not a horrible task looming over you. You must have chosen the topic because you thought it was interesting, so be interested. Writing a thesis is like crowning all your university work and it had better be sort of fun. So if you haven't chosen a topic yet, choose one that fascinates you.
Rule # 2: You can do it your own way. There are lots of guidelines but the decisions are yours. So start wherever you want. If you wake up with lots of ideas about the middle section -- start there. It's your work, who's to say what to do when!
Rule # 3: Brainstorm like hell. Supposedly all the work's already done in your head, whether you know it or not. Brainstorm a lot. Whenever you have a new section to write or you just cannot decide how to put a paragraph together. Draw those clouds together.
Rule # 4: Just do it. And redo it. Write and read and rewrite a section as many times as you want. If you have great ideas you don't have to wait until you find the best means to write them down. Draft, redraft, make a draft for the draft. =D
Rule # 5: Enjoy! I reeeeeaaaaally enjoy working on it, once I stop thinking about what a huge project it is. It's so much fun! You can see the data turn into numbers that turn into facts and theories. It's so exciting!
Rule # 6: Don't force it. If you're feeling blue or depressed, don't sit in front of your screen pitying yourself. Take a walk or a nap, watch a movie -- but promise yourself once you feel better you'll work hard. These activities (or passivities =D) are to relax your mind so that you can concentrate, and not to postpone work altogether.
Rule # 7: Give yourself time. Be realistic. The claims that I'll do this and that in the morning and in the afternoon I'll write 10 pages usually don't stand their ground. If you're planning to be working, don't tire yourself with other things beforehand. Set realistic goals and give yourself time to achieve them. It's much more depressing if your task is unrealistic.
OK, I guess that's all the wisdom for today =) Seriously, these tips have been lifesaving for me. I have to remind myself of their truth sometimes but in general I enjoy my work a lot.
Have fun with your theses! =) xxx