Sunday, November 03, 2013

Academic Writing Month 2013 goals

Late last summer after I got a draft of a paper done and before the fall semester started, I decided to finish revising a conference paper to make it a (hopefully) publishable article by the end of this semester. I did some work in September, but as October dragged on, I found it increasingly difficult to work on my own writing, and I put the paper aside. November is Academic Writing Month, so I'm going to use this month to get back to work on the paper. I have the basic structure of the essay, but I need to do some work on the literature review part and flesh out some of the arguments and support.

I basically have only one goal for the month: to finish revising the paper so that I can send it out for review in December. I realize that I will need to break down that work into smaller pieces so that I don't fall behind, but I'm not interested in keeping track of daily word counts. I think for me it would be better to say how much time I'll spend on the paper. I think my best bet is to say that I will spend an average of at least 5 hours per week on the paper. (If that seems too low, it's because I'm teaching 4 writing courses this semester and I don't want to overly stress myself by setting unrealistic goals. I know that for me, that's counterproductive.) 

Tomorrow part of my job will be to go to the library and pick up a book that might figure into my literature review. (Just getting me to do that is a major achievement! My recent visits to the library have only taken me as far as the coffee shop next to the entrance...)

Back to grading now...

[Update, 7:55 p.m.: I think one thing I should try are some Pomodoro techniques. When I was working on my dissertation, I was helped forward by the technique of writing non-stop for 20 minutes, then doing research for 10 minutes, and then another 20 minutes of writing, followed by another 10 minutes of research. (At least I think that's what I did. Something like that. Maybe it was 15/10/15/10 or something like that.) At any rate, it got me writing instead of reading, which helped. Maybe it will help this time, too.]

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