Writing Warm Ups

One of the challenges of working on a PhD while also working a full time job is the (self imposed) pressure to maximize your productivity during the time you have to write. In the last few days, I’ve been thinking about why it’s so hard for me to just sit down and write, and I realized that I’m trying to start cold. When I go to the gym, I warm up; why not do the same for writing?

Woman running past a sign

The Great Run

So I’m going to try doing 5-10 minutes of “warm up writing” before I try to write anything I actually care about. Beyond that, however, I’m still figuring out just what these warm ups are going to look like. I am going to try both subject-relevant writing and more general “write everything you did in the last hour” or “a paragraph on something awesome research related you found this week.”

Have you tried writing warm ups? How do you get in the right mindset to write, especially when you know you only have an hour or two?