Minimize distractions any way you can

While you are writing, it is worth making the effort to remove or escape from as many distractions as possible. Because each sentence in a scientific paper depends so much upon those around it, losing momentum usually leads to losing one's train of thought. Try to find a time and place when you can be relatively undisturbed.

Inevitably, from time to time your thoughts will tend to fly off in surprising directions while you are immersed in your work. Don't try to remember one set of ideas while working on another. They will either sidetrack you, or flutter off and never be recaptured. Keep a note pad near your work. Pen unrelated ideas onto a list when they occur, and deal with them later.

Watch what you eat. This tip may seem frivolous to those who have never been involved in a really lengthy writing project. However, as Alley (1996) points out, writing makes people restless, and that often makes them hungry. The wrong choice of snacks can derail your writing momentum. If you must eat, choose foods that require only one hand, don't stain papers, and don't make you thirsty or (worse yet) sleepy.

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