Literature review: a note to self

Tonight I have been working on the literature review and input coded snippets of literature into my draft structure. Some literature couldn’t just be copied and pasted in as I still need to process it to come up with the words and understanding. Strategies I have put in place this time round seem, for the most part to be working so far. One example is using my research journal to write out my concerns and thinking. I feel that I have done a lot more preparation for drafting the literature review than last time. I feel more organised. I’m happy with my structure. I’ve budgeted my word count so the beast doesn’t look so daunting. I’ve mapped literature to the paragraph. I’m hoping that with this preparation, I have given myself a clearer idea of what I’m aiming to achieve with each paragraph, the point I will be making, so I won’t be writing aimlessly. I’ve tried to set it up to make the writing process less painful and more enjoyable.

My next action is to suck it up (you know, all the anxiety, doubt and mysterious sudden loss of confidence) and start in the middle where I can gain the most momentum for the rest of the literature review. I’m going to start with fleshing out the few empirical studies in my research area.

I was just wrapping up some work for the evening with a bit of a pep talk to myself in my research journal when I thought I’d share it here. My notes turned in this direction….

Keep calm, keep a clear head. You’ll get there.

Don’t worry about quality at this stage.

Write the story! Get it out!   (a bit of creative writing mindset here)

Put the ‘big girl’ shoes on.

I’ve done enough to this point to tackle each section individually.

Now stop skirting around and write!

Lose yourself, have fun learning about it!

At this point of the literature review process I’m more than happy to kick my own rear end. I know I should be writing by now, or getting it together into the one document. But I have been writing. Truly. I wrote about the empirical studies last week without even realising it. This is what I need to get going.

The last point is also true. I need to remind myself that my research project is important, super interesting and I’m super keen to find out more! So here goes.

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