Quotes,  Random

Friday Inspiration

This week I discovered a blog I instantly fell in love with. It is called Brain Pickings and I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in mental processes, finding inspiration and just being reminded of how much we love what we do.

This week I also spent an insane amount of hours reading and writing for my dissertation. Yesterday I was in front of the computer for 8 hours only stopping to have lunch and drink some tea. So, despite how much I love reading and writing these days are a little bit hard but not too much πŸ™‚ I still love doing research and writing and yesterday I even managed to do some creative writing which I haven’t done in a good while.

I saw the following picture in a post called The Pace of Productivity and How to Master Your Creative Routine and thought it would be a great idea to share it with you on Friday since we are all tired, sleep-deprived and leisure-deprived.

Source: Brain Pickings
Source: Brain Pickings

Also from that post, I loved this quote by writer Isabel Allende reminding us that sometimes – and never overdoing it – we need to force ourselves to do something. In my case, writing or doing research, even when we don’t feel like it. The reasoning is simple: if we don’t force ourselves then it’s not a job, it’s a hobby.

The notion that I do my work here, now, like this, even when I do not feel like it, and especially when I do not feel like it, is very important. Because lots and lots of people are creative when they feel like it, but you are only going to become a professional if you do it when you don’t feel like it. And that emotional waiver is why this is your work and not your hobby.

Happy weekend, everyone!



  • Ann Weisgarber

    I needed to read this, Elena. Thank you for reminding me about the importance of sticking with the routine of writing. There are days when I don’t want to face the blank screen but tapping away at the keyboard is the only way sentences turn into paragraphs. If the paragraphs are terrible, I take a walk and let myself daydream. Usually solutions come to me but only if writing is part of my daily routine. There’s nothing wrong, though, with having fun along the way. It can’t be all work!

    Hang in there with your dissertation. You’re eight hours closer to the end than you were before. Congratulations on a making it happen.

    • Elena

      I agree it can’t be all work, but there is this wide-spread belief that creative people somehow are productive without an effort, without really working on it when the reality is, a text needs lots of work!

      And I do agree that sometimes a walk, a book, a tv show, a videogame just provide us with the break our minds need to get back to work. I never let myself work more than 3 hours in a row. I may go and make tea, read the newspaper, listen to a few songs… Whatever works for you!

  • Iris

    Ah, dissertation writing! I find it quite brave how you say that you still like research and writing a lot. I got to a point when I had to finish my dissertation when, even though I wanted and still want to be a researcher, I couldn’t say I enjoyed it very much at times. On the other hand, I do understand the feeling that the idea and the pull of research and writing will always be enjoyable, even if the particular part you are working on is not. And that is definitely where those quotes come in that you cited.

    Anyway, good luck with the rest of your dissertation!

    • Elena

      Thanks for the good luck!

      I must admit there was a moment when my grandpa got really sick that I found it impossible to keep writing and just wanted to quit. But I knew better and left the text there waiting for things to pick up, and they did! Then, as I had half of my dissertation written I thought I would never finish it because it didn’t make sense. I sticked with it and it ended up making sense, I just didn’t make it at that moment.

      Any dissertation reading tips? πŸ™‚

  • amanda

    Can I just say how glad I am I didn’t have to write a dissertation? Not that I mind reading and writing, but by the end of my university schooling I was so over papers and the like that I think a dissertation would have put me over the edge! πŸ™‚

    Two good quotes to keep in mind, though. I read somewhere recently that we should make practice of doing what we dislike, because even if we are fortunate to follow a path we love, at some point there will be an aspect of it that we dislike or aren’t very good at, and if we’ve already learned to stick with things we aren’t fond of, we can get through the hard times easier.

    Good luck with the dissertation!

    • Elena

      The good thing about my dissertation is that I didn’t have to do it, I decided to do it because I want to be a researcher and a professor at my alma matter so, the more I research, the best qualified I’ll be for the job and the best professor I’ll be for my students.

      I think that the most important thing I’ve learned from writing this dissertation is that I love writing, no matter what and that I’m 100% sure this is what I want to do the rest of my life. Of course there are boring bits – quotation marks, Harvard referencing etc – but they are not nearly as boring as other options.

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