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Does anyone writing a thesis or dissertation primarily at home have creative approaches to finding a writing space in a house shared with family? I love them dearly; I just can't seem to find a place to get utter isolation unless everyone else is asleep. Thanks!

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Can you put a desk in a closet? Just kidding, sort of. I think it's probably impossible unless you already have some space which is not heavily-trafficked that you could make into a writing space by rearranging furniture or something similar. Have you considered working primarily outside of the house, such as in the public library, a coffee shop, etc.?

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Thanks, guys! Your suggestions (I have considered a closet, for real) help. I do have an office at work, but I was trying not to spend more time there than I already do. My son really needs to know I am going to in the house after work, and my spouse is the stay-at-home parent, so I guess I just need to have another talk about "do not disturb." Emotionally complicated stuff, as usual, from parent-spouse-professor-doctoral candidate land. I wouldn't change anything about my life, but if one can manage it, youth is the time for such academic shenanigans . . .

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  • 3 months later...

My apartment was so tiny that there was no way I could work in total isolation.

But I did make my husband (the only one I shared it with) aware of my writing schedule. Because he knew what it was, he generally left me alone when he knew I was deep in dissertation writing - he would only interrupt me to bring me something to eat or massage my shoulders or give me some encouragement. (Love that man.)

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  • 2 months later...

Finding writing space and peaceful environment to write can be difficult especially with a kid at ho,e. You might have to talk to your spouse and make him/her clearly understand the importance of your writing. Once you and your spouse on the same page, it would be easier for you to come up with a writing schedule without getting disturbed by the child or other family members.   

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They might find it easier to leave you alone when you're writing if you take a different approach to your writing. For example, you could adopt the Pomodoro method, which is writing for 25 minute intervals and taking 5 minute breaks in between (for the first 4 intervals). Then, after the first 4 intervals, you work for 25 minute intervals and take 15-30 minute breaks in between, up to a total of 10 intervals (i.e., a little over 4 hours of very productive writing in one go). This approach allows you to go say hello to your child, have a coffee with your spouse, etc. And since they're seeing you more often, they won't feel as inclined to bug you in those 25 minute chunks of time that you're writing! I use this method and find it helps me stay incredibly productive! 

There's a Pomodoro app that has a timer set for 25 min intervals, then it alerts you when it's break time! I use the app, which is great, but you could just use any timer. I like the app because you can name the tasks you're working on and then look back at how much solid time you've put into each task. It also provides a graph so you can get a global look at how productive you've been over the past week, month, etc. Oh, and it's free!

Edited by clinpsy
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2 hours ago, kimmibeans said:

Hey clinspy, which app do you use? I have terrible writing ethic, so I could definitely use something like this.

Yeah I find the short intervals (25 mins) really help me stay productive when I'm writing. Although some people prefer longer intervals of work (e.g., 60-90 mins).. it's a matter of trying out different methods and deciding on the one that works best for you. I use the app called 'Pomodoro Time' (https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/pomodoro-time-focus-timer/id973134470?mt=12)!

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I have the same problem... right now it's 2:30 and I'm writing but a little blocked @__@ sigh, I have an unofficial deadline with my supervisor and I can't seem to get anything on paper right now!

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