I’ve been thinking ahead to summer, counting days in various categories: number of days left to teach, number of days total till I have to present my Kalamazoo paper, number of days between K’zoo and when I leave for 5 weeks teaching in our summer-abroad program in the UK, number of weekdays when I will be within walking distance of a major UK library.  I still have to look up when classes start again in the fall, so I can work out number of days between my return and when I’ll begin teaching fall classes.

This all makes summer seem much too short, and it hasn’t even started yet.  It feels particularly short because, in addition to the big trip, there are 3 more smaller excursions I want to fit in.  Well, smaller, but at least 2 of them involve a plane ride, and the third is a full day’s driving if I don’t fly.

This is all to say that much as I have enjoyed hosting the writing group this spring—and I have, it’s been great fun—I think I should take a break during the summer.  I’d love to be a part of someone else’s group, because I do have writing projects to work on (planning them is why I started counting days).  But with so much travel, I think my internet access may be spotty at times, and weekends may be very full indeed.

Running a writing group doesn’t have to involve inspirational quotes every day.  I did make more work for myself with that gimmick, though I enjoyed doing that, too.  It really only needs one post a week, plus curating comments and cheering people on.  I recommend making a list of names of participants and saving it, then fill in goals for each week as they get posted.  Then you don’t have to go through a lot of comments to find the goals the next week.  And having a format like the four-paragraph one I mandated also helps keep things organized; you don’t have to read through a long comment to try to figure out what the goal was.

The various groups over the past year have been so helpful.  ADM and Notorious deserve a big round of applause for having the idea and running the first two iterations.  Let’s keep it up!  I’d be happy to come back in the fall, if there’s interest, but I think I’ll have logistical problems doing it in the summer.

So I’m calling for volunteers: who would like to run a summer writing group?  Please leave a comment!

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13 thoughts on “Thinking ahead

  1. I’d love to join one, but will be travelling quite a bit myself, so would struggle to stick to a schedule. Maybe in the autumn?

  2. I’m happy to host. I’ll be completing my dissertation this summer and so will be on a very consistent writing schedule. I imagine the group would be quite flexible given travel and other interruptions over the summer. I’d like to stick to the same check-in structure, but would add a “next check in date” line to account for anticipated absences of various lengths.

    (If someone else wants to host, I’m happy to just join in as well.)

  3. I think I’d like to host in the future but right now I have no idea where I’ll be living/working so it’s a bit more than I should take on. I’ll join whoever does host though.

    btw–I just check in, sorry I’m late. We lost power yesterday and by the time it came back on we made dinner and went to bed and it hadn’t crossed my mind.

  4. I’m willing to host, or co-host, or pinch-hit, or whatever might be useful. It sounds like amstr has a clear plan, and I’d be happy to fall in with that as long as hosting will help rather than hurt amstr’s progress toward the diss (having finished a diss over a long period in difficult circumstances, I feel very protective of diss-writing time). Since I don’t have an individual blog, I’d have to set one up — probably a dedicated one for the purpose. But that wouldn’t be hard, and might be a good plan anyway if we decided it was best to have several of us share hosting duties.

    1. If you want, we can use my blog (I can add you as an author) since it’s a dedicated writing blog that’s very new. Then perhaps we can switch off weeks or work out some kind of system. A dedicated blog for the group also sounds like a good idea–then as hosts switch, the check-in spot stays the same. It could be the one I have set up, or a new one; either way works for me.

      I’m actually in a pretty sweet spot with the dissertation and with the hours I’ll have dedicated to it over the summer. (All my childcare magically worked out today!) That said, I’d be happy to share duties or let you take it all. I mostly need the weekly check-ins to make sure I stay on track.

      (How’s that for a disorganized and non-decisive answer?)

    2. C.C.–Can you send me a message on the “contact” tab at writingaccount.wordpress.com? I’ve got a post ready that I’d love to run by you. It’d be great to work out some sort of co-hosting.

  5. OK, it’s amstr for the win, and you can sort things out at the dedicated site. I’ll post a link both this Friday and next, to let everyone know where to go. Thanks for offering! I’m sure it will be a great group. Each one seems to develop its own personality.

    I’m going to have to get a new laptop, as the one I’ve been using seems to be dying. So I hope I can manage the last week or so of posts on a suitable schedule. If anything gets hung up, put it down to computer problems.

    1. I believe Dame Eleanor’s initial post said through May 4 for this iteration. I’m proposing May 14-Aug 24 (15 weeks) for summer, assuming that many folks will have a few weeks off in there.

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