Thesis Writing as Creative Writing

For anyone who knows me, I’ve been stuck in thesis writing for sometime now and its sh*t – being stuck I mean.

Its frustrating, its confidence destroying, its time-consuming….you name it – I’m not sure its “writers block” and many argue that this doesn’t even exist -but even so- I’ve been stuck and its a bit like quick-sand I imagine, the more I panic about being stuck- the more stuck I get.

So – I  participated in Academic Writing Month (#AcWriMo or #acwrimo) and this has helped me – plus I launched into reading “Mapping Your Thesis” (White, 2011)- this was recommended by the Thesis Whisperer (and if you haven’t seen her blog– get over there now!) and I’ve got to say – I had to take the same approach and just start to read the bits that are relevant to me- anyways, White has this great part in his book about writing being a thinking process –

you are not writing your first draft of your thesis to produce a nice written work – you are writing as a way to get all those thoughts, complexities and jumbled up messines in your head down on paper – and the process of writing is what actually matters…

His quotes are so liberating

Insight develops as a consequence of writing because thinking and writing are inseparable processes (White: 2011: 153)

I’ve been doing it wrong all along 

...often comprehend the thesis process as a sustained period of research followed by a sustained period of writing. It is, however, an outdated approach stemming from pre-computer age when research could not as easily be written up and amended as the research proceeded. {White, 2011: 153}

I recommend reading the whole of Chapter 6 in his book.

If you’ve been following me on Twitter – you’ll also know that I just did a DIY Thesis Writing Retreat – more on this another post.





Wow – this


About Sarina Kilham

I'm a Doctoral Researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. Trained as a social scientist and with a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture, I'm interested in farmer's experiences of growing feedstock for biodiesel production. My research has focused on biodiesel production in Brazil and Timor-Leste. Also on Twitter @sarinakilham and blogging at
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