Announcing Summer Writes III


April may be the cruelest month, but May comes in with the full vengeance of end-of-semester deadlines. However, after all of the grades are turned in, reports filed, and end-of-year events attended, summer begins. Of course, that doesn’t mean we get a break: summer is the time when many of us try to move forward on the projects we put off throughout the rest of the year. How to best make use of that time? How about a writing group? A week from today, on May 19th, we’re kicking off the third edition of Summer Writes!

Here’s how it works: we each decide what we want to accomplish during the summer, and set weekly goals to help us get there. Each week, we report our goals to the group, and a week later tell everyone how we did, along with our new goals for the new week. Along the way, we might spice things up with some Twitter workblasts or other virtual boot camp-y things, but that’s totally up to the group. And that’s it!

So if you want to join us, between now and the 19th, leave a comment on this post to introduce yourself, tell us your overall goals for the summer, and what you’re going to do during the first week. On Monday, I’ll put up a post with all of our weekly goals. As the week comes to a close, come back and let everyone know how you did, and what you want to accomplish the following week. We’ll repeat that for the following eleven weeks. The point of the group is to keep ourselves accountable to incremental tasks building to our larger goals, so it works best if we post every week.

When you’re setting your goals, be specific and realistic. Instead of saying, “I’m going to write every day,” let us know how long or how much you’re going to write, on which days. Are you going to write two hours each day? Four pages a day? Five pomodoros? Are you shooting for a #graftonline? Keeping Historiann‘s cloister-like schedule? Are you going to read some books or articles? Spend a day in archives? Look for grants and fellowships? Write a journal article in twelve weeks? Let us know! The more specific you are with your goals, the more you’re likely to get done. And instead of planning to write a trilogy of monographs in twelve weeks, set goals that are challenging but attainable. They don’t even need to be writing goals! Maybe you want to finish up all of the research for your dissertation. Maybe you want to launch a website based on your project. We are here to affirm your choices! Just make sure that your goals are realistic, or you’re likely to get disappointed and burn out.

So if you want to avoid having a major OH SH!T moment around August, come join us! We’ll help you stay on track.


8 thoughts on “Announcing Summer Writes III

  1. Revisions for manuscript due by August 29th. This requires some more reading as well as cutting/adding. My goal is to work on 10 pages a day of cutting/revising. It’s a bit hard for me to set a clear goal, but this is what I’m going to work with (since it’s not like straight writing, I figure 10 pages is a relatively in-line goal)! Thanks for the opportunity again!

  2. I’m throwing my hat in the ring this summer. Picking up a semi-dormant research thread–that means interviews and archives for a few weeks, then 2-3 hours per day of writing. My goal: an article-length piece I’m not ashamed of by the end of August. Woohoo summer!

  3. 1) Two chapters of the dissertation by July 31. They can be sloppy, and I’m not starting from scratch on either of them.
    2) Finalize job application materials for ye olde job market.

    • Oh, and next week’s goal: return to data analysis and start mapping out chapter 1. Writing schedule: MWThFSa 9am to 2pm.

  4. My goal for the summer is to have a full draft (minus intro and conclusion) of the guts of the dissertation no matter how messy. I have moving parts of the work but not in any coherent narrative so while not from scratch, it is a major undertaking. While I will post specific goals for each week, I have an overall plan of writing M-F from 7:30am-11:30am using a modified Pomodoro method of 4-50 minute sessions with 5 minute breaks in between. I will use the SelfControl App during those hours to avoid the temptation of surfing the web or going down rabbit holes. Those hours are WRITING and not other tasks like mini research session or entering/tagging sources into Zotero. That work will happen each afternoon in preparation for the following day.

    My goal for the first week is to make one final research trip to DC for 5 days to read, scan materials I was unable to get to last summer. The writing sessions begin on May 27th.

  5. Two main goals for the summer: turn one of my dissertation chapters into an article and submit for publication, and get a formal proposal for the edited collection based on my oral history project. Along the way I also have three weeks of archival research to get done, and I want to continue working on my digital archive project. I’ll also be doing some freelance work. Monday of this week I’m not setting a writing goal because I have other things to do, but the rest of the week I’m setting a goals of eight poms Tuesday through Friday. Specifics to do this week:

    – read through the relevant chapter for holes and revisions
    – go back through my notes in Scrivener on this chapters to see what I planned to do with it post-defense
    – condense the two separate book proposals I have into a single document

  6. Hi. I am in the final stages of the dissertation. I need to get it submitted to my committee by mid June. The defense is in early July. There are a lot of things that need to happen first to get it in shape and vetted by my advisor (some is, some isn’t yet).
    This week I need to:
    1) Get co-authored paper in for conference Monday, so all the last minute stuff has to happen tomorrow. Joint decisions, transitions, spell check, reference check, formatting check, etc. If this can be done by 2 pm, that would be great. (Then I need to a make plan to turn paper into short talk with coauthors so this does not eat up too much time now.)
    2) Get as far as possible revising diss empirical chapter 2, by filling in info on the cases, now that I have restructured the argument and lit review.
    3) Do the methods chapter– this will not be that bad but has been delayed. It is mostly fusing together existing writing.
    4) Expect critical feedback to get back to me about empirical chapter 3. Hopefully it will not be dire. I have to avoid being discouraged by this. 😦
    Nice to meet you.

  7. Hi everyone,
    I’m new here but thought I’d give the online writing group a try. You all come highly recommended! I’m defending my dissertation next month, so I’m pretty narrowly focused on that, as well as a collaborative conference paper. Goals for this week (likely spilling into next week):
    1) Major revisions to my introduction and literature review. Currently, it is very rough, so this is a big task that requires reading, synthesizing, and writing.
    2) Write conclusion
    3) Format dissertation in line with Graduate School requirements (due June 1st)
    4) Complete conference paper (today!)
    5) Work on conference powerpoint/presentation
    Schedule: Today is devoted to the conference paper. Tuesday is filled with non-work things I’ve been putting off. Wednesday-Friday work 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
    Thanks, and good luck!!

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