Summer Writes: Week 2



Welcome to Week 2 of Summer Writes! Congratulations on making progress toward your goals during the first week. Pay attention to what other people in the group are doing, and borrow liberally from their process! I like Roberta’s scheduled approach from last week—not just setting an overall work goal, but setting aside blocks of time that are dedicated to work—so for Thursday and Friday I’ve scheduled blocks of work time for my own goals this week.

On that note, I wanted to highlight a post today from Gradhacker about having a “common theme” for graduate school and the power of habit. Kaitlin Gallagher has written a lot about work process, habits, and attitudes—things that cut across the graduate experience.

And if you’re wondering about the theme for the weekly posts this go-round, it’s writing systems. The image this week is of quipu (or khipu), an Incan method of record-keeping using knotted strings of llama or alpaca hair. Read more about quipu/khipu here.

And as always, happy writing!

Weekly goals:

Roberta: My goal this week is to create a better working outline to begin writing coherently and to insert the useable quotes around which to write chapter 1. I will be unavailable for anything other than writing from 7:30-11:30am. I plan to write in 4 – 50 minute sessions with 5 minute breaks during those hours. Planning for the following day, updating Zotero, etc. will happen between 1:30 and 4:30pm.

Chez: Monday and Tuesday are devoted to completing my introduction chapter/literature review, as well as putting finishing touches on conference presentation with co-authors/presenters.

My format check is due to the Graduate School on Sunday. I have one chapter left to format, as well as back matter. I plan to wrap that up Wednesday morning before leaving town. Otherwise, I’ll have to complete it during down time at the conference.

Meg: For Tues. and Weds., I want to follow a schedule of intensive writing work from 6:30 to 830am and 10am to 2pm, then do my non-writing tasks from 3pm to 6pm; Thursday: work on the plane from 11:30 to 1:30; no planned work Fri-Sun.

Goals for this week:
Priority #1: Make powerpoint for conference talk on Friday
Priority #2: Revise my CJ job cover letter for SW and finish writing research statement to send off to trusted reviewer next Monday
Priority #3: Continue working on parole chapter–main goal: the dreaded lit review
Priority #4: Start thinking about how I’m going to revise the journal article I just got an R&R for

Nicole: 1) Finish methods chapter. Talk through this at the writing center. Decide whether there is time to ask an editor to look it over.
2) Present conference paper. Start talking with co-authors about target journal/s and kinds of feedback we want first.
3) Use conference as a way to get ideas for fall syllabus (oy)
4) Keep fixing chapters under revision:
a) Ch 2 (major redo)– including implementing comments from writing center. I want to try adding a description of a service fair during the setup (though this may be better in the intro of the diss)
b) Ch 3 (clarifying argument and kind of causal claim)– may include talking to committee member about 3. This also involves re reading about causality, typological studies. I think doing all this will also help with 2.
5) Start diss. intro, based on outline– I want to try using writing on a motif of the process I’m studying (poorly described as) a bridge that I’ve used and cut elsewhere– may be better in the diss. conclusion.

Melanie: For this week, my goals are to pack all my archive gear (and other crap) for Chicago, finish a draft of the conference paper to deliver (so like, 5-7 pages), and do notes for a few books that I won’t be taking with me.

Steph: For this week, my goal is to finish up the revisions on my one chapter (about twenty more pages to go–cutting/polishing, etc.) and read one book to add to my introduction. I did pretty good with my goal last week: managed to finish up revisions for a chapter and read a book while I was doing some research for another project.

As a “side” task that I need to get done that has been lingering since the middle of last semester is finishing up an encyclopedia article, so I really want to get that done this week and have it done with.

Dan: Part of this week is going to be spent taking care of some contract work (because $$), but I want to keep making progress with research and writing. Toward the end of last week I got sidetracked doing Internet research, so this week I want to focus on putting words on the page. I’m going to start by taking source notes and then try to work those into narrative sections that I can graft on to the existing chapter. Tuesday I’m going to knock off one review as early as possible, and then do six pomodoros of work on my chapter to article revision. Wednesday I have to go down to Philly to take care of some business, so during the superfun Megabus ride I’m going to try to finish up the rest of my contract work, and I’m going to spend a few hours in the archives at Temple looking at a recently-processed collection that could be very useful. Thursday and Friday I have a more normal schedule, so I’m going to follow Roberta and Meg’s lead by scheduling writing time for myself. Work those days is going to happen 10-noon, 1-3, and 330-430, for a total of ten poms both days. That’s also going to require me to not let my breaks stretch too long, so that’s going to be one of my process goals as well.