Writing related work

January is already half over. Scary, isn’t it? There’s still so much that needs to get done. And although I feel like I’ve done a lot, and crossed off many to-do items, the list is still big and keeps growing.

I’ve finally managed to make some real progress with writing this week. So that’s a plus. I’m probably 2/3 – 3/4 of the way done my related work chapter. And will continue to plug away at it today.

I’m taking a bit of an interesting approach. I started with the various pieces of related work I’d written for papers. Then, I started going through all my notes on other papers I’ve read. I’d take a paper and it’s notes and try and write up something short (couple of sentences/paragraph) from it that somehow tied it to some area of my research (if I couldn’t, then I’d skip it). In this way, the various sections within the chapter have been randomly growing longer, as pieces are added. It’s made the task much easier to handle. And not as overwhelming to approach.

And, as usual, as I go through my notes/papers, I’ve come across a few new ones to add and so I go search them out. At some point, I’ll still have to decide I’m just done. But for now, I still have a set of papers to look at and a few areas I know I want to add to.

This approach of just focusing on one paper at a time has made the task feel manageable and not so overwhelming. And feeling overwhelmed was a huge roadblock to even getting started. I knew I had all these snippets, but wasn’t sure how to approach putting them together. If I only have to think about one paper at any given moment, then it doesn’t feel so hard.


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