Spring Writes: Week 3

Can you lick my daily writing habit?
Can you lick my daily writing habit?

Hello, Spring Writers! Welcome to Week 3. If you haven’t added your goals for the week yet, enter them in the comments below, and I’ll add them to this post. In the meantime, check out Karen E. Bender‘s “10 Commandments for Becoming a Writer” if you’re looking for some inspiration, and note her advice on keeping a writing schedule.

And working off of Carly’s goals, last week I shared Claire Potter’s post about “writing in chunks.” Do you take a particular approach to doing the heavy lifting when it comes to writing? Tell us in the comments below.


Carly: Complete the last fellowship app that’s outstanding (I hope it is outstanding!) and finish that UHA proposal I mentioned last week. I plan to finish up a project for CENFAD that should take quite a lot of this week’s hours. And I’m getting into writing the next big drafty chunk of dissertation.

Meg: Same goals as last week.

Nicole: 1) This week I need to finish the “mucking” through to pull out key portions of the previous years of finished writing I did that’s applicable to my 2nd empirical chapter. It took a few days to get almost done with 2011 (moving to now).
2) I also need to do the “mining” of the gold in that muck by placing things in my outline and dumping out the unusable stuff into a file I can find one day.
3) I need to commit to my present outline. I’m taking a talk I gave and using more or deeper examples in the data. There are organizational questions about the whole diss. and its relation to this chapter that will keep coming up, arrg, but I will proceed with the outline I have. (Things like, how much of state policy belongs in chapters that are not “the” main state policy chapter? Do I want the state in every chapter, and to make three different points about state policy, or for it to be everywhere as part of one big point about the contradiction of state presence and absence? Arrg. Maybe moot right now. A decision that will need to get made.)
4) I need to see what’s missing once all the “mined” gems are in the outline, and go to my actual raw data to get more as needed. This is important in terms of using more current fieldwork than what I previously wrote up in some analytical way. This is what I’m most nervous about, as it has the most potential for sinkholes and quicksand (getting off task).
5) I’m going to have to pull up more on the literatures I’ve discussed too, but only to continue along with the outline. I don’t want to get lost there!!
6) I need to begin the chapter with some descriptions of representative organizations. But before knocking myself out, I have to have some reason for the features I decided to describe that fits into the rest of the chapter’s main three themes.
7) THUS: In a week I want to be well into working with finished writing of chapter 2 (you know, sentences and paragraphs that go together, transitions, coherence). I had set the goal of this draft done 2/12!
8) Unrelated to this: hopefully I can get the R and R paper back to the journal by this time next week. This is out of my hands right now.

Bunny: Post four papers, and reply to two threaded discussion questions.

Dan: Four poms on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and eight on Wednesday and Saturday. I’m also going to try to get to the work earlier in the day, probably just by knocking off work as soon as I get up. If I can get that momentum, it really helps. And I want to finish these textbook entries just to get them off of my plate!

Roberta: Dedicating at least 1/2 hour to the dissertation every day is the goal again. Typically, if I actually work on it, I do well more than a 1/2 hour. Yes I can and YES I WILL!

Sarah: Finish UHA panel and send it to the other participants for review (also keep trying to find a discussant); draft initial abstract for a different conference; make archival research plan for the next two months; keep cool and calm about my house’s leaky roof.

Melanie: Finalizing my chapter outlines (every semester!) and meeting with my advisor, getting stuff together for fellowships, UHA proposal, blog post, and doing a f*ckton of reading for a seminar on Friday.


10 thoughts on “Spring Writes: Week 3

  1. I was only 50% successful last week which was frustrating. But even that 50% success was an improvement over the last couple of months. So, dedicating at least 1/2 hour to the dissertation every day is the goal again. Typically, if I actually work on it, I do well more than a 1/2 hour. Yes I can and YES I WILL!

  2. aha! my mom is in the group, awesome, welcome Mom. still tying things up from last week- finalizing my chapter outlines (every semester!) and meeting with my advisor, getting stuff together for fellowships, UHA proposal, blog post, and doing a f*ckton of reading for a seminar on Friday. not a huge writing week, but doing a lot of prep that will get me there quickly when the time comes.

  3. I was better about my goals this week, hitting four poms on Tuesday, eight on Wednesday, four on Wednesday, and four on Saturday, and I finished drafts off all five textbook entries! Thursday I went to Paris for an ACT UP meeting, and spent the morning before I left responding to a request for materials from one of my applications. So I didn’t set the timer, but I was definitely working. Saturday I’m not sure why I had trouble hitting my goal, but I think the answer lies in being more deliberate about my writing time. As in, beyond setting pomodoro goals, I need to block off specific blocks of time during the day that I’ll spend writing or revising. So my time goals are going to be four poms Tuesday and eight Wednesday through Saturday, but on top of that, I’m going to block off the same time Wednesday through Saturday to do this (again, I’m taking tips from What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast). So on all of those days, I’m going to write from 1 to 5:30. That’s eight pomodoros, with just a little bit of wiggle room in terms of breaks. As always, I’ll be using Focus Time, my pomodoro time-keeping app of choice, which just got an iOS7 makeover, and now lets you categorize your pomodoros by the type of work you’re doing. In terms of work goals, this week I need to revise all of those textbook entries to submit them by Saturday, and submit two fellowship applications as well as one travel grant. So… it’s gonna be a busy week.

  4. I need to make significant progress on a research report this week, as well as prepare for two conference presentations that I’m doing next week. Unfortunately my time to work on these tasks is chopped up with other obligations. Here is the schedule I want to stick to:
    Tuesday: work on my stuff from 2 to 5pm
    Wednesday: 9am to 1pm
    Thursday: 2 to 5pm
    Friday: 9am to 1pm
    If I can devote these hours to working on my stuff, I will be in good shape!

  5. So, I am in the process of posting my second paper and discussion question postings, fell short of my goal but I had a way busy week! Had to play “big boss” as well as myself, short staffed, and some drama, oh and there’s my big program that I am trying to “gift” to some very deserving fellow officer! I also wrote a briefing/schedule of events for a Japanese Defense Force (JASDF) Flight Surgeon that will visit my clinic in March, that was fun and a performance report (had to find all the data, and it should count as a paper)!
    My plan for this week, better focus, less distraction! Post two papers, discussion question post/reply , and get research accomplished for at least one additional paper!
    I enjoy the postings of the group, you all are doing some incredible things!
    Thanks for the support!

  6. Hi.
    1) Chapter 2 is still my main agenda. I am working on it still, not as far as I had wanted to be (target was 2/12 to be done with this draft– ugh). To continue my mining metaphor, I am still pulling things/ “gems” into my revised outline from two 50 ss page documents of raw material (one of prior examples, the other of prior lit and analysis). There have been more things I have been pulling up to make tables that I will or will not use, fill out examples, etc. So, still in media res, though the place of this chapter in the progression of the whole diss. is much clearer now that I revised all my chapter summaries (was not in last week’s goal list but got done this week). In a week’s time I hope to be closer to being done (though I have another commitment beginning Thurs. AM). [Still working on tasks 2, 4, 5 + 6 from last week.]
    2) I may be able to get a paper back to a journal this week– out of my hands somewhat– will take a bit of time if so.

  7. Monday: 4 poms on Russian Ethnography.
    Tuesday: 4 poms on football fandom article and 6 poms on candidacy readings. Make sure to pick up books from the library that you should be reading that day!
    Wednesday: 2 poms on Russian ethnography and 2 poms on writing abstract for the conference.
    Thursday: 4 poms on Dissertation proposal and 4 poms on readings.
    Friday: 4 poms on dissertation proposal and 2 on formal aspects of Russian.
    Weekend: Revise methodology section of Fulbright proposal.

  8. FocusTime (my Pom app) got an update and now has categorized intervals (reading, researching, writing, etc). While I miss all the little stars bunching up at the bottom of the screen, I now have a new way of obsessively quantifying my workdays. And color-coding, too!

    This week: draft the conference proposal I didn’t get around to last week; continue the long process of finding a discussant for UHA; two full days at NARA working with a new record group; one evening session at LoC to keep up on historiography. I think that should be plenty.

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