Fall Writes: Week 3

Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco. Source: Anti-Eviction Mapping Project
Ellis Act evictions in San Francisco. Source: Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

Welcome to Week 3 of Fall Writes! For writing advice this week, check out Erin Wunker’s post, “On Writing and Paying Attention,” at Hook and Eye. And maybe also check out Cathleen Medwick’s post on “How to Silence Your Inner Critic” on Oprah if that seems like it might be useful to you. (Suggesting for a friend!)

And without further ado, our weekly goals:



This week I just want to get through reading all the policy reports and adding my notes from that and from other responses as part of this R and R as margin comments in the article manuscript (pre-changes). Side comments will allow me to think through which of the changes I want to and can make rather than messing up the whole *-ing thing/ losing clarity.


For this week, my goals are as follows: seven hours of work Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, an hour during lunch Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and two hours Monday and Wednesday evenings for a total of forty, including teaching. At least half an hour of work on the book manuscript, Sunday-Friday. No work next Sunday (instead of Saturday, because Sunday is full of fun events). In terms of concrete goals, I need to get a course proposal out to Dr. Karen so that I can get some feedback on it before a big-deal postdoc deadline rolls around, and I will most likely get comments back from her on a job letter, which I will then need to turn around. I also need to review some interview transcripts for Staring Out to Sea, the oral history project for which my digital humanities students will be working to build a website.


This week I need to finish revising an article draft by Friday night, so I can send it to my department writing group. My goal today is to spend five hours revising one section of the article of the article that I’ve been struggling with.On Thursday and Friday I want to spend about eight hours each cleaning up some of the clumsy transitions and underdeveloped paragraphs. On Saturday and Sunday, I want to spend about four hours each day continuing to take notes on the documents I brought back from a recent research trip.


Goals for the week:
1. Complete “institutional circuits” chapter by end of the day tomorrow (Weds.).
2. Spend Thursday and Friday finishing an outline of my probation findings. I want to finish a crappy first draft of this chapter or half-of-a-chapter no later than Oct. 20.
3. Based on the revisions I’ve made to other chapters, I need to revise my introduction and add stuff to my lit review, also by Oct. 20.
4. Sat/Sun–more job apps, hopefully the last for now…


More Adventures in Unconventional Funding Sources: Amtrak Edition

If you occupy a writerly corner of the Internet (you probably do, if you’re reading this and are not my grandma—hi Grandma!), you might have seen this item about Amtrak offering informal “residencies” to some folks who had the good sense to ask for them. This would, I think, be an ideal (and green!) way for an oral historian who needs to travel to conduct some interviews and make significant progress on a book manuscript based on said interviews at the same time. An oral historian… like me. As I imagine it, they would send me to from New York to a couple of cities in the Midwest to interview more folks for the African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project, and I could edit interview transcripts work on the manuscript during the train ride. Based on my previous adventures in unconventional funding sources, I think some social media enthusiasm would probably help, so if you think this is an AWESOME idea, please share this far and wide, on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, SnapChat, Tinder, Grindr, whatever—and/or tweet at them (@Amtrak):

I think @Amtrak should send @danroyles on a #writersresidency to interview folks for African American AIDS Activism Oral History Project!

Just think of the pun opportunities! “I’m totally ON TRACK to finishing this book manuscript!” So share and share alike—and thanks!