[Updated to add: No, you may not join this group in what is essentially its fourth week. There are 47 people already enrolled; that is more than enough for me to keep track of. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of my page, you will find a list of topics: click on those for previous writing group incarnations (which in turn have links to other groups, like Another Damned Notorious Writing Group) and read more about how writing groups work around here. You are welcome to go off and start your own group, with the rules and start/end dates of your choice; if you leave a comment here that you want to do that, I will advertise the site for you, by putting up a separate post with the link. You can also plan to sign up for the winter writing group that JaneB and Trapped in Canadia will run; I’ll be advertising it in December. Thank you for your interest, good luck with the writing, and I’ll hope to see you around—next time. We now resume our regularly scheduled 47-person check-in.]
Week 3! How did it get to be week 3 already?
This semester has already kicked my butt. It’s not the classes. It’s not the service. It’s not even the schedule, not even the cats, not the attempt to hang on to a research agenda along with all the other stuff. But it is all of those things together. I have dropped every possible ball this week. My in-box is filling up with requests, complaints, questions, and who knows what else because for
two three days now I haven’t been able to bring myself to look.
I know, from experience, that all the things I dread won’t be so bad when I finally make myself look at them, and I will wonder what got into me when I start picking up the dropped balls and stashing them in the toy box (or maybe they’re bowling balls, and I can fling them at something; that would be satisfying). I’m not so behind that I can’t catch up.
But it does seem like a good time to think about lowering expectations, maybe even about Sucking Less ™. Two hours to write is lovely; 15 minutes is acceptable. Two pages is great; ordering a book ILL and taking notes on an article Moves The Project Forward.
I hope I’m not raining on anyone’s parade. If you’re having a fantastic semester whacking down your goals like a weedtrimmer instead of playing whack-a-mole, carry on! That’s fantastic (and please spread some of the good karma around). But if you’re Overcome By Events, see what baby steps you can manage to take.
After all, better a baby step in the right direction than running fast in the wrong one.
Here’s the roll of people and goals; please remember the four-paragraph format, and check in by 6:00 p.m. US Central time on Sunday, 16 September.
alloverthemap: Last week’s goal: get Project RM to on-hold state; work like I did the week before.
Amstr: Last week’s goal: 1) freewrite 3×20 min. and solidify outline, 2) read for Ch. 2, 3) new Ch. 2 draft: 1500 words, 4) make easy revisions of Ch. 3 from writing partner review.
Another Postdoc: Last week’s goal: free writing and brainstorming about the overall theme and argument of the book. I will also choose two books that I will use as models for my book. And I will make a list of potential presses and the contact information of editors.
Bavardess: Last week’s goal: Tidy up article draft and send to supervisors/friendly reader for review; Draft one thematic chunk of the historigraphy section for my proposal; Refine the proposal section covering definition of terms.
cly: Last week’s goal: re-read chapter four and finish the article.
Comrade PhysioProf: Last week’s goal: [checked in but no specific goal posted]
Contingent Cassandra: Last week’s goal: finish creating prompts for all major assignments; finish the current freelance piece; work toward a better sleep schedule.
Daisy: Last week’s goal: Revise Intro and Discussion sections for Paper A, and the Intro and data sections for Paper B; two hours a day of writing time.
Dame Eleanor Hull: Last week’s goal: 2 hours research/writing per day, progress on MMP MWF and translation T-Th.
Dr. Virago: Last week’s goal: continue writing the invited article (at least 250 words), but at least start thinking about the review essay.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: Last week’s goal: outline of the article. I need to get a better sense of what manuscript or incunabulum fits where, and therefore what can be skimmed or checked from film.
Erinys: Build a framework. Strip the diss of anything relevant. Put it in the article in some sort of order.
GEW: Last week’s goal: Spend 15 minutes per day, six days per week, on dissertation work, for a total of 1.5 hours
highly eccentric: Last week’s goal: Try to knock out another 1000 words; two or three days’ of writing time.
historisusan (Professor Susan): Last week’s goal: start reading primary sources
humming42: Last week’s goal: Print the existing mess and figure out its order.
JaneB: Last week’s goal: complete and file the job application and review the status of the multi-author paper (goal a).
JLiedl: Last week’s goal: 1500 words for the chapter.
jmmcswee: Last week’s goal: (1) start filling in comprehensive outline with specific notes/references and ideas; and (2) read at least 5 articles pertaining to my paper topic.
John Spence: 1 side of note-making on the introduction to the short edition, and turn a page of transcription into a page of a ‘first edit’. I won’t be able to log in next weekend; I will report back in two weeks (next week, now).
Kirstin: (Main Goal: Write an article based on my dissertation.) Last week’s goal: Finish weeks 3 and 4 in WYJA book.
kiwi2: (Main goal: To submit two papers (Paper X and Paper Y) and complete my part of the analysis on Paper Z.) Last week’s goal: do the analysis for Paper Z, and re-do the graphs for Paper X.
kiwimedievalist: (Main goal: Give articles a break, and work on novel idea which has been floating for years.) Last week’s goal: Spend an hour a day, planning out the novel and working out where the research is needed.
Kris: Last week’s goal: give the talk; figure out the next steps for the paper.
luolin88: (main goal: 1. submit article that still needs revisions; 2. submit article that just needs proofreading and re-formatting; 3. write MLA paper). Last week’s goal: work 1/2-1 hour Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Matilda: Last week’s goal: a 15 week plan/ read the first part of main material/ re-read three basic articles on this subject.
meansomething: Last week’s goal: 1) 1,000 words on lyric essay; 2) 3 sessions of 20 minutes each on poem sequence.
metheist: Last week’s goal: find a catchy intro for the chapter; solidify my argument in the introduction to the chapter; and put in my statistical and anecdotal examples. Fresh writing should be about 10-15pp.
Notorious Ph.D.: Last week’s goal: read/skim the three “classic” works on the Big Question and write a 400-word synopsis.
nwgirl: Last week’s goal: Continue work on AB section and combine with J section.
Pika: Last week’s goal: Two sections of part 1; download and print the newly found papers.
Pilgrim/Heretic: Last week’s goal: at least 8 hours of writing per week, or 2,000 words.
rented life: Last week’s goal: Create character web for book. Finish Book T (for research). Look into additiona sources to see if they are really necessary. Begin reviewing notes from Book S.
Premodern: 2 hours a day of reading/writing, and 1000 words of the chapter by the end of the week.
Salimata: Last week’s goal: decide on a paper; do the activities for Argument from Belcher’s 12-week book; carve out 30 minutes each day except Wednesday to do so.
Sapience: Last week’s goal: Get application for at least one, but preferably two, fellowships done. Read a BOOK for the review article.
Sisyphus: Last week’s goal: work an hour each day and revise 7 more pages of ch 3.
sophylou: Last week’s goal: continue writing, with hoped-for goal of half an hour every other day. Read and take notes on one or two articles or book chapters.
Susan: Last week’s goal: [I’m not sure if this is a different Susan or the same as Professor Susan/historisusan listed above under H; if different, then she’s MIA; if the same, see above]
tracynicholrose: Last week’s goal: Reread P&P paper and complete an outline for the TS intro.
Trapped in Canadia: Last week’s goal: finish reading the book and write the stupid book review; write lectures.
Undine (Not of General Interest): Last week’s goal: Begin work on a new chapter, to the tune of at least 1500 words.
What Now?: Last week’s goal: Five hours of research, spread over at least three days; plus, committee meeting to present the budget request.
Widgeon: Last week’s goal: Prepare comments for the dissertation I’m more familiar with. Read and write notes on two important books that will be helpful for my book chapter.
Z (Mictlantecuhtli/Profacero): Last week’s goal: one research-writing block Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, shortened if necessary.