The 'Method' Method for Scientific Writing

A woman’s hands hold a book open with her left hand and a mug of tea in her right. They are sitting on a blue marbled surface surrounded by another mug of tea, tea bags, fancy toast, candies, and a lined notebook. Image by Public Co from Pixabay

This writing method, the method, is better described as a writing ritual. Whether or not your brain has been adequately warmed up with a writing warm up and is ready to transition to writing, it always helps to have an external, perhaps physical, cue that it is time to write.

The exact ritual will, of course, vary from person to person. It can also vary according to the type of writing task as the mental state and process for writing a letter of recommendation or grant is necessarily different from that of drafting a manuscript.

My preference is to make a hot cup of coffee or tea before I sit down to write. The process of making the drink, along with the soothing comfort of holding a hot mug, help me to relax and shift my focus to writing. Other rituals can be a bit more… extreme, like the famous authors who reportedly sleep next to their manuscript, or hang upside down in anti-gravity boots.

If you don’t already have a pre-writing ritual or habit, create one. Choose your ritual, whether it’s changing your sweater, eating a special snack, or putting on headphones, then make sure you repeat it every time that you start to write. You may not notice much at first, but as you build the habit, you will begin responding more and more quickly to your chosen cue.

This post from the Literary Hub has another perspective on using the Method to write your first draft.


The introduction and full list of methods for writing the first manuscript draft.

Ada K. Hagan, Ph.D.
Ada K. Hagan, Ph.D.
Owner, Lead Consultant

I am a microbiologist with a passion for making science accessible. I hope to use my background in communications and higher education to help make scientific concepts more easily understood and make the academy more inclusive to future scientists from all backgrounds.

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