Hey all, still getting back into a groove over here. The job market this year is coming fast and furious, and Monday I was laid up with the onset of a head cold. So without further ado, here are your goals for the week:
1. Continue on with probation chapter. Mon. and Tues.: fine-tune my detailed outline/data excerpts and finish eliminating the unnecessary excerpts for a more focused argument; Weds.-Fri. continue writing and refining, working in parole chapter too as necessary.
2. Revisit institutional circuits chapter as my argument develops.
3. Put together 30-min. teaching demo in advance of practice session next Sunday(!!!).
1. I need to decide what to cut from my dissertation chapter in turning it into an article on formerly incarcerated women’s processes of achieving “rehabilitated femininity.” Currently, I discuss five key areas, which I think is too much for an article. I need to figure out if I have enough data to focus on just one or two areas.
2. I need to figure out what literature, specifically, I’m in conversation with. This will require reviewing articles I’ve read and identifying new ones.
1) (for R and R) Finish this revision and get the finished draft to my personal editor — goal is next Friday 10/10
2) (For R and R) Build memo once I can get the revised draft done.
3) Finish redoing gender/religion paper abstract and get that out.
Hi everyone! Last week was crazy full of job and postdoc applications, and I completely forgot to put up a post on Monday! Add your goals to the comments section here, and I’ll get a new post up tomorrow.
Welcome to Week 2 of Fall Writes! Don’t forget to update us on your goals for the week, if you haven’t done so already. And if you’re lurking/on the fence about joining the writing group, go ahead and introduce yourself in the comments. Virtual accountability and goal-setting make for writing magic, I SWEAR.
I. For the R and R: to answer questions from reviewers without messing up the point and flow of the article:
1) Continue rereading all the policy reports to answer reviewer 2 questions and to pull out key quotes
2) Make a brief case for how the policy was being pitched around social goals (if there were really any) in the rhetoric–unless this can’t be done in a way that is coherent or relates to what I’m saying, in which case, explain it in the memo.
3) Make the changes in the article already noted, plus the best points of the above. That includes following up Reviewer 2 feedback to theorize even more. There are some places I can push more, but am concerned about muddying up the clarity.
4) Any helpful direct quotes from interviews that are topical? If so, add, per reviewer request.
The big blocks of writing with groups of other faculty are good, though not sufficient to finish quickly.
II. Do some brief research on a couple of journals for joint ppr (Thurs. call).
Same work schedule as last week: seven hours of work Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and an hour during lunch Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and two hours Monday and Wednesday evenings for a total of forty, including teaching. No work on Saturday. As far as more concrete goals for the week, I will probably need to turn that research proposal back around, since I sent off a third draft earlier this evening. If we can get that squared away, I need to turn my three-page research proposal into a six-page research proposal, and send that off to Dr. Karen for the next round of reviewing. I am also due to send her a first job letter on Wednesday.
Mon.: Work, no writing
Tues. am: Write up diss revision notes from last week’s meeting; start outlining changes to the chapters.
Weds-Fri.: Put in at least 4 hours of concentrated work on diss. revisions in the mornings; start working probation analysis into parole chapter.
Sat.: Finish off second wave of apps that have Oct. 1 deadlines.
1) Spend 10 hours revising an article that I need to send to my junior colleagues by September 26 for our department writing group. This includes reading more secondary source material to provide better context in one section.
2)Spend 10 hours working on a fellowship proposal due in November. That was one of my goals for last week, but student issues took up more time than I expected. The proposal is supposed to be ten pages, so I would like to draft 3-4 pages this week.
3)Spend 10-15 hours organizing and taking notes on the archival material I collected this summer.
Welcome to week 11! We’re really in the homestretch, so it’s time to start wrapping up those summer goals—at least for our purposes, anyway. If you’re like me, you’ll be working right on through August, but it’s good to stop sometimes and reflect on what you’ve accomplished. So as you set your goals this week, think about what you can do to make yourself proud at the end of week 12, whether that means devoting some time to a neglected project, challenging yourself to get a bunch of words down on the page, or hammering our your syllabi for the fall.
And as always, happy writing!
Roberta: My goal is to get that context research completed so I can begin to sketch out a rough draft of chapter two by next week. I continue to complete at least 4 -50minute pomodoro sessions each day and often put in 6. Feeling good about the amount of progress I’ve made so far this summer even if the plan changed dramatically from my original (unrealistic) goals.
1) finish revisions for article and resubmit on Saturday 2) check footnotes/tie up loose ends for two book chapters by Sunday
Melanie: Lately I’ve been working on refining my chapter outlines and rewriting + expanding my first chapter. My goal for the summer is to still finish a draft of my 1950s chapter, which needs to be ready to workshop in early September. My plan to turn in a whole first half might have changed a little bit as I think I may need to add another chapter… but I’m just rolling with it. At the very least, I finally know what this whole project looks like, which is incredibly empowering. Hoping to knock out a few pages by the end of the week when I am back in Philly but not putting much pressure on it as I am TIRED.
Meg: My one must-do task is to pull together a 5 or so-page paper by Thursday and submit it to the panel organizer for a conference I have in a couple of weeks. Anything I accomplish on top of that will be gold! Goal for Fri-Sun (if still alive): get back to diss. Revisit chapter synopses I wrote and start expanding into more detailed outlines for the remaining two empirical chapters and the intro/lit review.
Dan: This week I want to log four 50′ poms a day for the remaining three days, since it’s Tuesday night already and I’m very behind! But I definitely need to order those books, edit and resubmit the blog post, start on article revisions, and work on job materials.
Welcome to Week 6! We’re almost to the halfway point of the writing group, which is a good time to take a hard look at your goals for the summer. What do you need to do to get where you want to be seven weeks from now? If you haven’t set your goals for the wek yet, put them in the comments, and happy writing!
Meg: I want to return to the parole chapter as my priority this week, mixing things up with the R & R when I feel stuck. My goal is to write 500 to 750 new words each day, Mon-Sat., and ambitiously get this chapter back to my advisor early next week.
Nicole: In brief, I need to turn in my whole dissertation Wed. or even Tues. night. The remaining thing is revising empirical chapter 3 and then proofreading.
Naoko: – brainstorm requests/guidelines for ultrasound training next week
– begin writing ultrasound MOO with Nanomaxx device in mind
– being qualitative training guide
– submit revised NNIPS-3 paper
– send along revised neonatal referral paper
– complete review for BMC
– if time allows, begin drafting Intergrowth paper
Chez: complete dissertation revisions, complete dissertation formatting, start planning for articles coming out of the diss. To help me focus, I’m setting writing times for myself: Monday 9a-1p and 2-5 p; Tuesday 9a-2p; Wednesday 1-6p; Thursday 3-8p; Friday 9-11:30 a; Saturday as needed.
Dan: One 50-minute pom in the morning and one in the evening, bookending my work in the archives. Also, start preparing my classes for the fall by identifying major tasks and breaking them into discrete tasks.
Steph: Finish editing Chapter Five and integrate some more literature into two parts of the chapter.
Roberta: Most of the work this week is organizing and reorganizing and a return with a vengeance next week to committed writing time.
I’m going to keep it short and sweet this week. But as we head into Week 5, think about what you need to do between now and the end to meet your goals. Maybe it would help to set some intermediate deadlines building to your overall goals? Similarly, if you’re not making progress on one part of your project, think about breaking it down into smaller, more manageable chunks, and work those into your weekly goals. And happy writing!
To do this week: It is really down to the wire for when things need to be in to my advisor and then the committee for the defense. I am trying to stay calm.
1) Empirical Chapter 3 revision. Still take out any remaining points that sound causal, replacing it with associational language, add elective affinity, and keep going with the reordering. Also spend some time doing within-type contrasts and adding whatever I can say about gender to the within-type generalizations.
2) Empirical Chapter 2 revision based ideas about varied roles of state, non-profit cooptation, and state withdrawal I set up in the intro, visions of citizenship in the intro, and table from the chapter before. Needs more within-type contrasts; talk about how there is the most contestation in one type in particular.
4) As time permits, work on conclusion more.
5) Remain calm overall; I can’t get upset about any difficult feedback now; hopefully committee members will understand 3 full weeks in advance isn’t possible.
This week I’m going to be in the archives at Chicago, so writing may be a challenge. My idea is to do a 50-minute pom in the morning before I go to the library and one in the evening, M-F. This week I’d also like to finish the section I’m working on, which is the final substantive section of the chapter/article. I’m setting a deadline for finishing revisions to this thing by July 4th, so I can send it to some trusted readers for feedback, and move on to other projects.
Chez: – complete revisions on dissertation that came out of the defense
– complete formatting of full dissertation
– start planning possible articles coming out of the dissertation, based on committee members’ feedback
Meg: Now the focus needs to be on turning around this R & R and finalizing my research statement for job applications before I start mapping out a second chapter.The word count goal worked well for me last week, but won’t work so well for these types of activities, so I am going to try the 50-minute poms that are working for others, aiming to do between 4 and 6 each day.
Melanie: I am going to do additional research for my very rough chapter 1, and start filling my outline for chapter 2 in with research I’ve done so far so I can get a better sense of the gaps. Hitting the archives every day and doing a little writing every day, as I am finding I have too much research momentum at this point to take full days off to write.
The point is that the writing process is both creative and destructive—you have to put words, ideas, and evidence on the page, but you also have to be willing to destroy them when they’re not—or no longer—working. Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black talks about this in his own creative process, as well as his enviable work ethic:
Killing your darlings can be daunting, but at the first stage of the writing process, it’s also a relief. If you know you’re going to edit later, you don’t need to worry about making the first draft perfect, and that frees you to just write.
Steph: 1) Read article for Chapter Four revisions.
2) Move through at least 15 pages of revisions for Chapter Four.
3) Finish revisions to introduction.
Roberta: My goal this week remains largely the same, a minimum of 4 50-minute poms with 5 minute breaks and no more than 6 poms in a day no matter what (to avoid burnout). I’m going to lower my daily word goal this week so I don’t feel defeated. I’m aiming for 750 words a day for 5 days = 3750 for the week as I continue to work on Chapter 1.
Dan: This week, my goals are pretty much the same as last week—five fifty-minute poms, working 10-12, 1-3, and 330-430.
Nicole: Goals this week– keep triaging and get things to advisor!
1) Read the coming peer feedback on written intro, and do references. Make any necessary adjustments and pass this on to advisor ASAP.
2) Apply the agreed on changes to Chapter 3. This means taking out the “embededdness” argument and any points that sound causal. Replace with associational language and the new phrases. Also spend some time doing within-type contrasts and adding whatever I can say about gender to the within-type generalizations. This is doable.
3) Tues. or Thurs, get methods back from editor, make any necessary tweaks, add a little more on Milwaukee organizing and neighborhood history, and get this to advisor stat!
4) Pull through on Chapter 2 revision. It is moving. I just need to keep pulling it together. Like w/Ch 3, also do some within-type contrasts; talk about how there is the most contestation in one type in particular. This is the last frontier/ will require some brain cells.
5) Start to sketch out the conclusion with the stuff on the bridge metaphor.
6) I can’t get upset about any difficult feedback now.
Chez: – finish my conclusion chapter (Monday!)
– finish my presentation for the defense, incorporating feedback based on last week’s practice run
– do another practice run with friends on Thursday
– reread my dissertation
– anticipate and prepare for likely questions I’ll receive from committee members
– defend on Friday!
Meg: Goal: Mon.-Fri. I aim to write 1,000 words/day and possibly send very rough chapter draft on Fri. night or next Mon. am
Welcome to the third week of Summer Writes! Hopefully your writing is more easily understood than that on the tablet pictured above, which has baffled scholars for generations. Click on the link in the caption to learn more. And yes, I’m aware, as per a conversation with Melanie, that ancient writing systems “aren’t Beyoncé.”
Do you have a story about impostor syndrome to share, or maybe some effective coping strategies? Share them in the comments below! And happy writing!
Chez: – Complete introduction and send to committee members (I need to do this Monday)
– Write conclusion
– Work on presentation for defense
– Schedule and do a practice defense with friends
Naoko (who dodges goats and water buffaloes while running): – height paper – submit Tuesday morning at the latest
– data collection form for gold standard assessors – I have been avoiding this like a plague, but need it for IRB application, MUST DO!!!!!!!
– IOM IRB application – hopefully have everything, including Nepali translations of consent forms, to submit, hopefully hear back from Dr. Ghimire w/ final permission to submit
– go through Carolyn’s e-mail regarding clinical imaging protocol
– nail down timing for ultrasound training
1) Ch 2 (major redo)–still need to implement previous comments from writing center meeting. I will add in needed information for the cases I am adding to the paper: “Growing our Garden” and any of the ones that are close to the state but not in a hierarchical relationship w/it ,especially that draws on info NOT already in chapter 1! I need to figure out what is missing in terms of talking about implications for participants’ citizenship in the 4 cases and try to say it, though the scale jump from NGOs to clients may be a challenge. [Add a description of a service fair during the setup (though this may be better in the intro of the diss)?] Given what I’m learning about how I’m situating cases in types in Chapter 3 redo, maybe add some discussion of ideal types as it is helpful.
2) Ch 3, clarifying argument and kind of causal claim: read stuff on ideal types and elective affinity (Weber), gender prism recommended by committee member. At least skim the article on morality to see if this is going to be helpful, and Chad’s book review. Talk briefly to someone who knows more about this sociological literature on Wed., and run the causality framing situation by him (being wary of getting sidetracked for the actual defense). Talk about this or ch 2 at the writing center Wed.
3) I need to begin writing the diss. intro, based on outline, and not get overwhelmed by the importance of it being good… just functional is more important right now. [Still not sure if intro or conclusion should discuss and deconstruct motif of the process I’m studying that’s poorly described as, a bridge, written about in my drafts of other stuff but not used in current chapters; thinking this level of abstraction is better in the diss. conclusion.]
4) As time permits, getting feedback on paper presentation this past week and starting to plan fall punishment class.
Meg: Priority #1: Continue working on parole chapter. Revise/reframe based on feedback from conference talk.
Priority #2: Start thinking about how I’m going to revise the journal article I just got an R&R for–hopefully meeting with advisor will happen this week to move that forward.
To meet these goals, I want to keep the following schedule for the week:
Mon: Work on plane back in the morning (6am to 9am), then 2pm to 6pm if I’m not too wiped out.
Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sun.: intensive writing work from 6:30 to 830am and 10am to 2pm, then non-writing tasks from 3pm to 6pm.
Weds: 630 to 830am and 3pm to 6pm
Roberta: I’ll write during a dedicated four hour block of time each morning. Specific goal is a minimum of 1000 WORDS A DAY for each of the five writing days this coming week.
Dan: I’m going to continue working on the structure of my article for the coming week, as well as work in new sources, and keep aiming for my 10-noon, 1-3, and 330-430 writing schedule T-F (for a total of ten poms), with the understanding that one of those days is likely going to be partly taken up by buying and setting up a new laptop.
Melanie: Get caught up on some emailing and revisit my chapter outline. I’m in for the long haul so I’m not getting too aggressive because conference attendance is, for me, an important part of the writing process that doesn’t always yield a word count (beyond texts and tweets).
Dylan: I plan on outlining the chapter this week, graph by graph. If there’s time leftover, I’ll reach out to the next batch of potential interviewees via email.
Steph: Read one article and skim a book for revisions for my fourth chapter and at least tidy up the introduction for that chapter, as well.
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!
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.
Welcome to the beginning of the third installment of Summer Writes! I’ve listed our goals for both the summer and the week below. At the end of the week (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday—whatever constitutes the end of the writing week for you) come back and update us on your progress in a comment to this post, and let us know your goals for week 2. I’ll collect those into another post for week 2, and so it goes until mid-August. Remember that specific and manageable goals tend to work best for keeping momentum and morale up!
And if you’re on the fence about joining us, go ahead and leave your goals in the comments as well. It’s never too late to join. And, as always, happy writing!
Steph: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.
Dylan: 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.
Meg: For the week: Oh, and next week’s goal: return to data analysis and start mapping out chapter 1. Writing schedule: MWThFSa 9am to 2pm.
For the summer: 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.
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.
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. 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
Nicole: Get dissertation submitted to 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.
Melanie:My goals for the summer are to turn in the first half of my dissertation (meaning I will revise two chapters, and write another) and to finish the research as best I can during my two month stay in Chicago (which, writing-wise, I think will mean rounding out summer with a pretty good outline of the latter half of the project). While in Chicago, I’m shooting to spend some part of MTThF doing archive work, and making sure that Wednesdays are a writing and processing day so I don’t get burnt out and overwhelmed. I am also working on a conference paper for early June and beginning collaboration for turning it into a co-authored piece but I am keeping my writing goals pretty focused on the dissertation.
Chez: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.