The cognitively-restructured May-August 2013 writing group will start up here on Monday, 13 May (I’ll probably set the post to publish on Sunday, actually, for those Southern Hemisphere folks who are a day ahead).  Below, you’ll find a list of people who have demonstrated interest so far.  Some of you have even been so good as to indicate the project you’ll be working on, at least in general terms (conference paper, review article, dissertation revisions, etc).  I’d appreciate it if all of you listed would post a similar brief description of your project, even if you’ve already done so; it would be helpful to get all the information in the same spot.  You can also withhold details and give your project a pseudonym such as “Floyd” or “Project A.”

Any or all of you may well work on other projects over this period; certainly I will have multiple things in the works.  The point for this group is to pick one that you are committing to finishing by mid-August.  It might be the highest-priority project or the one that needs to get done even though it isn’t actually highest-priority.  Up to you!  Just pick something.

JaneB will run the Top Left Quadrant Group for those who want “support with making time and space for a variety of activities that matter, but aren’t yelling for attention”: those things that are important but may not be urgent.  If you’re at a point where you really want to think about how to juggle your multiple projects, or you need to think more about process, her group may be a better fit for you.  You can of course contribute to both groups.

I’m making the post-day Monday to encourage looking forward and planning ahead.  If we all worked together in an office, we’d get together on Monday morning (coffee or tea in hand, no doubt) and take turns telling each other “Here’s what I’ll do this week.”  And then we’d go to our desks and get our secretaries to bring us the Floyd Files.  I can’t provide even one secretary (samples of secretary hand, yes, if you’d like one), but I hope you’ll think of this as your Monday-morning-coffee-planning group.

Allan Wilson (formerly known as kiwi2)
Dr. Virago
hypatia cade
John Spence
Pym Fan
Sisyphus (tentative; but since I borrowed Floyd, I’m listing you!)
What Now?

63 thoughts on “Advance planning

  1. I would love to participate in the focused writing group this summer. I have a book manuscript that must be completed (and I have been feeding off the writing groups since fall to inspire). First goal accomplished: when new group starts, join it!

    1. Book manuscript title is Cutting Edge Research Book (CERB) and i have a bunch of it drafted in parts. So full draft of Chapters 1-6 must be completed. I have parts of all chapters right now, but need to get full draft to publishers I talked to at last Important Conference.

      1. That sounds like a lot, but it depends on how developed your chapters are. If we meet for 14 weeks, that’s one completed chapter every 2 weeks, plus two weeks for polishing. Can you do that? Do you have a sense of word count you need to reach? Do you still have research to do?

      2. All excellent questions. I am actually almost almost done with everything. I have been working on this on my sabbatical this year, but need this for the final push. I have word counts, and as I said drafts of the chapters, so this is the coming round to the finish line part.

  2. I’d like to participate in the focused group. I have a paper that needs to be revised into an submittable article, and it’d be great to have a place to account for this project so that it doesn’t disappear.

  3. I’d like to participate as well. The goal is an article to be submitted to “big name journal.” And I promise not to post personal musings and the like!

    1. As DEH says, you’ll be very welcome to do that over at my place! In marking jail right now, hoping to get the escape tunnel in place by Tuesday and post then about the Top Left Quadrant group…

  4. I’d like to participate. My goal is Article B, languishing in mid-first draft, to be finished by the end of the group.

    I promise I’ll whine about life over in JaneB’s group.

  5. Thank you for hosting, DEH. My goal for the group is conference paper B, which is due in late September.

  6. My big summer project is an article for a collection, due in September. Realistically, I won’t focus on it until I get to London in early June – I’ve got to get a journal issue and introduction done first – but once that starts, it’s all I’m doing.
    Thank you, DEH!

      1. I’ll happily check in. May 13 is about when I will start having a life (I think) and thinking again.

        Oh, and since others are giving their projects names, I’ll call mine book spinoff

  7. By the end of the summer, I’d like my WGS Project to be a finished essay. (And in the course of researching/writing the essay, I’d like to establish whether WGS could eventually become a book.) Looking forward to our Monday morning coffee/planning meetings!

  8. Thanks for hosting this. My big summer project is an article that feeds a grant that I’m waiting to hear about. It needs to be submitted in conjunction with a grant revision (“grant article”). I have other related things I will be batting about (“collaborative article”, “grant revision”, “protocol handbook”) but I’d like this to be a priority amidst the other things. I am out of town introducing my infant to her great grandparents from May 18-26, but after that I’ll be an active participant. Sorry for missing the first week.

      1. Doing quite well actually. The baby is 4 months old and pretty happy but also pretty time consuming. She sleeps well 90% of the time which means that so do I — very useful for full cognitive processing. I’m half time at work til August which is also good for feeling sane and balanced and horrible for getting writing done (thus this group). I am jr. warden at my church with all the craziness that entails as well… sigh. Writing. and Science. I could happily fill comments in JaneB’s group I think but if I do that I wont ever write, just put out fires. so here we go 🙂 I still follow along on your blog as usual (and sometimes comment with the name ajowen if I’m too lazy to log in and out).

  9. I would like to contain the Many-headed Monster this summer. One head is chapter 4 (about 20pp more), the second head is the introduction (?-15pp) and then groom the hair on the heads of chapters 1, 2, and 3.

    1. have you read those weird fairy tales about the chick who found three heads in a wishing well and combed their hair and then she gets rewarded with weird things? This reminded me of it…

  10. My writing project goes by the pseudonym “Article RT” which is officially due in November but which I need to get done by the end of August (i.e. when term begins).

    This timeline’s perfect as I’m worried Article RT will otherwise be buried in the deluge of a particularly crazy summer that culminates in packing Eldest off to start her own university career.

  11. Am I in?

    The darker side of mestizaje


    This paper considers Jorge Isaacs’ María (Colombia), Cirilo Villaverde’s Cecilia Valdés (Cuba/U.S.A.), and Aluízio de Azevedo’s O Mulato (Brazil), in light of current theoretical work on race, modernity and the state. All three novels are key works in their national canons. Like several other narratives from the Latin American nineteenth century, they feature marriage plots that fail due to a combination of incest and miscegenation: endogamy and exogamy come together since the patriarch is the literal, and not merely a figurative father.

    These novels have been read as stories through which the national community is “imagined,” with the miscegenated subject as a figure of union for the new nations. Their tragic endings do not entirely support the romanticized readings they have sometimes elicited. In fact, these texts may not so much project future harmony as trace interlocking conflicts around race and identity, paternity and patrimony, legitimacy and exile; at stake is not only the formation of the mestizo nation but also that of the racial state that lies behind it.

    If race is consitutive of the modern state, as scholars including David Theo Goldberg (2002) and Joshua Goode (2009) hold, or of modernity itself, as Denise Ferreira da Silva argues (2007), the liberal assumption that inequality can be addressed within the framework of the modern nation may misrecognize the situation it addresses. A look at theoretical and historical work on race and the state, as opposed to mestizaje and the nation, may help understand some of the ambiguities in these texts and their dominant readings.

  12. I’m interested. Goal: get the article version of the J project (currently a c. 2/3 completed draft that is mostly a bit beyond the shitty first stage, plus an outline/extensive notes) ready for submission.

    My priorities for May are to finish grading and the chapter I’ve been working on this spring (now due by early June, but I’m aiming for earlier), and to take a much-needed vacation. But it will be a staycation, and it won’t have begun by 5/13, so I will check in then and use whatever procedures are in place to indicate that I will be on vacation/otherwise occupied in May, and will post my first weekly goal on 6/2. Hope that will work; I should be able to post regularly (and would appreciate the opportunity to keep myself responsible for regular progress on this project) during the rest of the summer.

    Thank you for hosting, DEH, and thank you for the McPhee posts; I’ve been enjoying those. Did you see the recent piece by William Germano in the Chronicle ( )? It seemed to offer additional inspiration, as well as support for the idea that academic writers should be seeking to learn from writers who, like McPhee, write for general audiences.

    1. OK, so like Susan, you really start in June.

      I am apparently that rare academic who does not yearn for a larger audience. There are about half a dozen other scholars I want to impress, and if I reach them, I will feel my life has not been wasted.

      1. Me! I’ve never been interested in a wider audience either… although my current topic is friendlier to that than my diss. topic was.

      2. Thanks for the flexibility! I really do need the break.

        I’m not sure one necessarily has to want to reach a larger audience to find the techniques used by writers who do useful. Some things (use of jargon/terminology), but others, as you’ve ably demonstrated in your commentary on McPhee, don’t).

    2. That last sentence didn’t quite come out right. It should read “Some things (use of jargon/terminology) may differ, but others, as you’ve ably demonstrated in your commentary on McPhee, don’t.”

  13. Overall goal: 4 book chapters in Reincarnation book. Ideally, 1-4, but since I have a chunk that’s clearly for later in the book, it might be more like 1, 2, 7, 10 (or something).
    I have disorganized sections of several chapters written and these need to be re-read, edited/added to, and order needs to be decided. I’ll likely be doing Camp Nano with this project, and setting a word count later in the summer to help me along.

  14. My sole summer research goal is to finish the manuscript for the revised book project. Will be working up a weekly schedule this week.

  15. Thank you for hosting, DEH.

    My big goal this summer is finishing a journal article. I ‘ve written a draft a couple of years ago, but I do want to revise and widen it into a publishable journal article. It is a challenge for me, but I think it is worth doing.

  16. I’d like to focus on my Methods Paper this summer. I’ve been putting it off for over a year and it is important that it makes it to the front burner. I’ve been working with this method for a while now. It is one that others have used but is still considered pretty avant garde. In my field it is non-existent. I want to describe the ways I’ve used it and what I feel are its assets for my field. I’ve never written a paper on methods before so drafting it will be a stretch for me. I’ve been doing some reading and taking notes here and there but haven’t pulled anything together. My goal would be to have a complete draft by the end of the summer.

    Thanks for hosting. I’m looking forward to group.

  17. Many thanks DEH for hosting.
    The project in focus is Cox 1.
    Aim:To turn a piece of research into a fully written article ready for submission. This will involve: checking and curating all data; ensuring all analyses to date are appropriate and complete; undertaking a further analysis that has not been done; drawing graphs; writing a complete results section; rewriting a half-baked introduction; writing a discussion.

  18. My goal is to submit article H to a journal by the end of the group.

    I have a complete draft now. It is even rather polished, but I will not have much time, so I think this is the most realistic goal..

    –Luo Lin

      1. A new K. But I live just across the ditch in Aus. I’m happy to change my handle if it saves confusion.

  19. I would still like to participate. My goal is to prepare an edition of a short medieval text (with introduction and translation), to submit for review.

    How many weeks are you planning to run the writing group for? I’d like to plan ahead and think about how to spread tasks over the period.

  20. I’ll be writing an article that I’ve had brewing for *way* too many years, so let’s call it Slow Perk. I need to get this sucker *done*! This is my main goal for this summer, in general, so it’ll be good to have accountability on it.

  21. Floyd is flattered!

    In fact, my project is to revise and resubmit Floyd. The first task on Monday is to open up and actually read the entire rather harsh review comments (with a good cry break if necessary) and brainstorm a plan. Maybe even a Plan!

    1. Do you have a friend or writing buddy who could read and “translate” the comments for you, so that all you get is “fix this” rather than anything harsher?

  22. OK, my project is called MCG, and is a grant proposal/literature review. Need to get it done along with lots of other projects, so a weekly goal on it would be helpful, though I hope that doesn’t mean it will be the only thing I get done this summer…!

    1. Actually, apologies– I should make my acronym be MCA. The grant proposal has a deadline, so it will get done somehow; MCA has no deadline, hence would really benefit from socially-supported-self-deadlines. Let the writing group magic begin!

  23. I’ve gotten a very odd Revise and Resubmit.. Essentially the editor wants me to take my full paper and write a new very small paper from it (with a completely new literature review, motivation etc.), leaving the main paper mostly intact to be sent to a different journal. My worry is that if I allow this process to take 14 weeks, then it really will take 14 weeks. But if I don’t have some sort of accountability I might never get that second paper off before the semester starts (given all the other non-writing projects I’m doing this summer). Could I join and set an earlier artificial deadline, say 7 weeks or half the time?

      1. Great, I will call them small paper and big paper. I’m attacking small paper first and should be done reading all the helpful previous literature suggestions from the editor by the time the group starts and will be ready to start outlining. For the big paper I’ll just be deleting some sections and working on an extended letter to the second editor explaining the situation, as well as incorporating the excellent suggestions of the referees that could not fit into the small paper.

        I like to do the writing in daily timed chunks rather than word-targets, but I can manage the time chunks as needed to reach the end goal. I’m thinking that an hour or two a day each morning (5 days a week) should get both out, polished, and with helpful feedback from colleagues here within 7 weeks. (You may not have noticed, but economics papers aren’t noted for elegant writing.)

  24. I’d like to join — but my goal might be a bit too nebulous.

    I have a number of small projects (tasks?) to get done between now and August, some related to my big research project, others not, so it will be a bit of a messy summer, but I’d like to make time for progress on something rather more substantial. The next step of my big project, and the bit I’m really stuck on atm, is finding a way of turning all the ideas and material in my head into a tidy (tidier?) framework which would serve as the basis for a book. So my goal would be to produce a detailed plan for Book Two by the end of the writing group. A lot of this would be “conceptual” work, rather than quantifiable writing, so I’m not sure how this will fit into the writing group more generally. (Part of my difficulty in attacking this project more generally comes from my struggle to devise a way of working which suits this kind of work rather than the more narrow concerns of “write this section; read that book”.) There will also be a number of weeks in which I’ll have side “tasks” which will take me away from the core goal.

    What do you think?

    1. I think “detailed plan for book 2” is clear enough for a project. And I like the focus on conceptual work, actually (see some of Z’s recent posts based on comments I’ve pulled out of Undine’s archives—we’ve been thinking about ways to work for a long time, it seems).

      1. Looks like I’m in, then! I think the challenge will be to find something measurable within this plan to serve as a focus for my need for structure and progress.

  25. Like zabeeltwo, I have a semi-nebulous project: I want to research, plan, and outline (insofar as I ever outline) the first chapter of Projected Book. I’ve been stewing and waffling on this “project” for about two years, and I think that I finally have a working structure, so I hope to get myself into a position where I could conceivably start writing in the Fall.

    I hope that this is okay. Thanks for hosting!

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