I most recently came across the Snowflake Method of novel writing (ironically, via HabitRPG) and adapted it for dissertation chapter writing. I thought it would provide some basic steps that would work well in my compilation of a dissertation chapter existing in pieces in various term papers and conference presentations, and it has indeed proven most helpful! Even with having taken two weeks off from dissertation writing to move out of my apartment and attend a conference, I have progressed through eight (almost nine) of the ten steps and have a clear direction for completing this chapter (planned for submission in a month, by the end of July 2014). Once complete, I will try employing the method with a stalled chapter I began during the winter semester and see if it helps me progress there as well. I’m also interested in trying the Adapted Snowflake Method with a chapter to be written from scratch, but that will have to wait until these next two chapters are complete. If any other dissertators have success with the Adapted Snowflake Method, do share in the comments! Any suggestions for re-adaptation are also welcome (especially considering that I originally adapted it to fit with my personal writing process).
My use of HabitRPG has also proven beneficial. The website makes developing good habits and abandoning bad habits into a game, and my use of it has definitely boosted my productivity by making me more conscious of how I spend my time and reminding me to write daily. I’m even earning points for writing this blog as I’ve listed it as habit I’d like to encourage. Moreover, my first encounter with the Snowflake Method was through a challenge created in HabitRPG. In the game, there are various groups that create various challenges players can choose to join; such groups include Scholars and Writers, and their challenges are often directed toward productivity. As I’m not teaching, I can’t speak to its success in a classroom environment, but I look forward to testing it out when my fellowships expire. Until then, I will continue playing (and writing) myself.