At the mid-point of boot camp, we're all tired, but still writing. What keeps us going? The three most critical discoveries we made:
Learn the discipline of taking breaks. Ninety-minute blocks of writing with breaks in between really gets our writing moving. We get tired, but can sustain writing over a day or more because we use the discipline of taking a break. When we first begin, we feel fresh, and when break time comes around, we might be inclined to not stop writing. But in the long run, this is unproductive as we will get tired and lose energy. The discipline of taking breaks ensures that we rejuvenate and re-energize constantly and, so, can keep writing for longer.
Pay attention to your body. We live so much in our heads we forget how important the body is to supporting the energy we need for intellectual processes. Many of us discovered that taking a walk, doing some stretching, and most importantly, breathing, help keep us energized and alert for writing. When writing, we often sit still in the same position - just fingers moving. Breathing slows down. Our brains get less oxygen. Our muscles become stiff and tight. So, as above, the disciplin of breaks helps. Breaks ensure our bodies at least get to unfurl and our lungs get to expand.
Find a place where the dissertation is the only thing. Find a space that works for us. This may not be our beautifully set up space at home because that space might come with distractions. A space where we can minimize distractions is key. This might be a coffee shop, the library, an empty office at our workplace (that is not our own workspace with work distractions around us). The important thing is to find a space in which only our dissertations exist for the time we dedicate to writing.