Summer Writes: Week One Wrap-Up

Grumpy Cat landed a movie deal this week. What did you do?
Grumpy Cat landed a movie deal this week. What did you do? (Photo credit: catster.com)

We’ve reached the end of our first week! (Or, if you’re including Saturday in your writing week, you’re almost to the end!) How did you do with your daily and weekly goals? Did you gain any insight into your work process? What are you going to change for next week? Let us know how things went and your goals for the coming week in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “Summer Writes: Week One Wrap-Up

  1. I finally finished a large chunk of newspapers that I was very eager to get through. Unfortunately I didn’t plan what needed to be done after that, leading to a few days of futzing around scanning things, carelessly amassing articles, making travel plans, and eating. As I have two weeks until my research trip, I’m going to spend the next week doing newspaper research on the groups that generated the papers I’m going to look at in Chicago. Writing-wise, I’d also like to start using my research notes to make a broad timeline I can work from. Baby steps.

  2. Despite a persistent sinus headache and some relatives visiting for bridesmaid dress fittings*, I sent Chapter 2 off to my advisor about an hour ago (only a couple days past my deadline). 🙂 . I’m pleased with how it has turned out so far, but I’m anxious for feedback. I also started drafting those two short piece of writing (encyclopedia essay and book review). They’re now at detailed outline stage so my goal for next week is to finish complete drafts of both. Time permitting, I’d also like to get into the archive for a few hours this week to search down some leads that fill in a couple holes in chapter 2. The draft was sufficient without them, but if I can find a few tiny receipts hidden in hundreds of rolls of microfilm, it will really take the chapter to the next level. So, I’m pleased with my progress and just have a few small-ish goals for this week before I move on to tackle the next big monster: Chapter 3.

    *Sister-in-law is getting married the week of June 17th so I’ll be taking that week off.

  3. I was really proud of my progress this week. I met or exceeded my daily goal of eight pomodoros every day except Saturday, and logged NINETEEN pomodoros on Friday while I was revising and editing my chapter, which I sent in at 3 AM on Friday night/Saturday morning. I felt a little burned out Saturday, and since I had racked up a total of nineteen extra pomodoros throughout the rest of the week, I felt okay doing three instead of the eight I had planned. I was also pretty good about sticking to the break times, which has been a problem for me in the past, but mostly because I gave my phone to my boyfriend so that he could yell at me to get back to work when it was time.

    For the coming week, I have a little bit of a challenge. I leave on Wednesday for DHSI, a five day digital humanities course in British Columbia. We’ll have sessions going all day Thursday through Sunday, so my goal is to get at least four pomodoros done Wednesday through Saturday, and at least eight a day on Monday and Tuesday before I leave. I have two big things that I need to be working on right now–planning my course that starts on the 11th, and a major revision of chapter two, so I’m going to try to split my time evenly between those. I want to establish a pattern now of devoting time to both teaching and the dissertation so that neither suffers this summer, and I stay on track to defend in the fall.

  4. I had some solid pomodoro time in this week: I got through three tedious, but very useful, annual reports. I also booked airfare, hotels, and a rental car in Missouri and Kansas for a trip later this month, giving Visa’s fraud prevention team something to do. Seriously – I got an email, a phone call, and a text regarding such suspicious activity. Aaaand then I hosted a party last night. My academic work ethic abandoned ship sometime Thursday afternoon and was replaced by my cooking-like-a-madwoman work ethic. Sadly, no pomodoros for that.

    I’m driving down to College Park tonight to get an early start at NARA tomorrow morning. This week’s goal is to survive four days in the archives. Wish me luck!

  5. Well, I accomplished one of my goals, which was to draft a detailed outline of my dissertation and as many detailed chapter outlines as I could. This did not start out as a goal last week, but I happened upon a couple of interesting job listings, so I devoted the second half of the week and weekend to revising my CV and writing a cover letter and my teaching philosophy. That’s all great, but I am the queen of productive procrastination (I busy myself with seemingly important tasks, thereby avoiding what I really need to get done, which = dissertation if I want to be ready to take one of these hypothetical jobs next year).

    Thus, I am now searching for a pomodoro iPhone app because I am in dire need of assistance focusing.

    I am presenting my dissertation to an online research group tomorrow, and Wednesday through Friday I am taking an online seminar on the qualitative analysis software I’m using. When I am not doing these activities, I want to open-code and write summary digests for THREE of my interviews.

    You all will be happy to know that I made a kick-ass pasta salad last night, and I gave my dog a bath.

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