New year; new writing strategies

A new term has just started, and the deadlines we all left looming over Christmas are back with a vengeance. As we’ve heard from some of you that the process of writing is daunting at the best of times, we thought we’d share a few tips to get you started in 2014:

Submit your work-in-progress to one of the next two writing workshops for PhD students in the history department, held on 3 February and 12 May. Or attend the workshop to pick up tips and advice, and help other students with their writing. Read more at https://birkbeckhistoryphd.org/2013/07/15/phd-writing-workshops-dates-for-2013-14/

Find out what other people do: Queen Mary, University of London has set up a website for its Writing Matters project, where the history department staff discuss how they go about writing. We suggest you start by looking at the video on how to turn research into articles, chapters and books at http://blogs.history.qmul.ac.uk/writingmatters/2013/10/12/research-into-writing

The Paris Review is also a reassuring source for confirming that even the most talented writers in the world struggle with their drafts (Peter Carey, for example, says that writing is “like standing on the edge of a cliff. This is especially true of the first draft. Every day you’re making up the earth you’re going to stand on”). And they all have different methods for getting the work done: www.theparisreview.org/interviews

Look online: there are plenty of online forums that show that you are far from the only person writing, struggling and getting somewhere – search for #acwri on Twitter and you’ll see.

Add your own tips in the comments section below! 

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