There are 2 mindsets to make clear before even starting:

(1) you can never write it 100% perfect and (2) even if it is not, you will finish it.

As a perfectionist, the first thing is the biggest obstacle of mine. As a hobby-writer, it is even harder to get it along with. However, the writing here is not just about putting everything you have in mind into words, but 80% of the process is about reading and researching. Remind yourself of that fact constantly and put it in the context of the 80/20 rule as well! Therefore, it is okay to not having the writing typo-free and, especially when you write in a foreign language like I’m doing right now, it’s also impossible for most native speakers for having their paper grammatically perfect.

So, be kind to yourself and try to get 80% of the work perfect. For the rest 20%, don’t mind asking for others’ favor!

A cup of tea, an open notebook, headphones and glasses on a desk.
A cup of tea, an open notebook, headphones and glasses on a desk.@DAAD/ Anh-Hoang

Be kind to yourself and try to get 80% of the work perfect. For the rest 20%, don’t mind asking for others’ favor!

Anh-Hoang

It takes me to the 2nd problem that we need to deal with:

finishing the writing. The first 80% is going to make you feel like you can never have it over with. It’s all about reading and more reading, from the abstract to the content until the footnotes and even the bibliography of one after another paper. Sometimes just to find 1 scientific term that you can use in your own work. It’s gonna be lonely and tough. It’s gonna make you feel like you are super green to the subject; like you know nothing and like you have a whole lot to do. But it’s gonna be worth it, because you are doing something meaningful, for your own self. It is totally one of the most satisfying feelings, when I managed to write 10 pages about the topic, even when earlier on I knew nothing about European law. Because when I’m done, I know I have got a bit more educated than myself of yesterday.

More important, you have to have the first finished term paper in order to have the second one and the next ones.

It’s all about writing a scientific term paper, but maybe you can apply the same mindset to every challenge you are facing today and in the future. .

When I’m done, I know I have got a bit more educated than myself of yesterday.

Anh-Hoang

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