One of the questions I have about my PhD research is when to start writing proper. I have been immersing myself in books since term began – something which is expected of me, I’m sure – but haven’t yet written anything of my own. Yes, I’ve spent many computer hours typing up quotes and working on my annotated bibliography, but when will it be time to actually put pen to paper (or, more likely, fingers to keyboard) and start writing?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot of late, and haven’t really had guidance from my supervisors in when I should begin. A lot of the staff members who have spoken to us en masse at various inductions have told us to keep writing throughout, but how do you pick a starting point?
I have thus come up with my own schedule of sorts. I’m aiming to begin penning a random chapter over the Christmas break, probably a reworking of my MA dissertation, where I talked about both Woolf texts. It’s not a necessity to do so until I have my yearly appraisal in April/May next year, but for my own benefit, I’d really like to know that I’ve read and learnt enough thus far to actually write a coherent, structured chapter.
For those of you who are studying or working on similar projects, when do you know when it’s time to write? Do you wait from guidance from those in authority, or do you try and write throughout, and then sift through your words to pick out what’s most useful for your final project?