Good advice from scientists:

Allan Wilson (formerly known as kiwi2)
write and submit Cox 1
polish dissertation for September defense
Contingent Cassandra
submit Article J
Dame Eleanor Hull
complete rough translation of all my assigned chunks of Translation Project
Dr. Virago
finish draft of Slow Perk article
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
finish Article B
finish MCA
Heu Mihi
research, plan, and outline the first chapter of Projected Book
finish MS for Revised Book Project (RBP)
hypatia cade
complete Grant Article
finish Article RT
John Spence
edit, introduce, translate short medieval text and submit it for review.
submit Article H
combine two conference papers into one article
revise article draft for publication
contain the Many-headed Monster: about 20pp more of Head 4, ~15 pages introduction, groom the hair on Heads 1, 2, and 3.
clone Small Paper from Big Paper and submit both
write Conference Paper B
finish/polish draft of Cutting Edge Research Book (CERB)
finish Book Spinoff article
Pym Fan
turn WGS Project into finished essay
4 chapters of Reincarnation Book (fiction)
Revise and resubmit Floyd
revise paper for submission as article
complete draft of Methods Paper
What Now?
Finish one chapter of book project
Design Fancyproject; write up grant application for Fancyproject
finish article for Big Name Journal
Paper on the darker side of mestizaje
produce a detailed plan for Book Two

32 thoughts on “Maygust 2013 writing group, week 12

  1. Well, I had a bit of an epiphany this week. I think I’ve reached my goal as best I can (or, perhaps, should). I have done a lot of thinking about what this book should cover, how it should be written, and how it should be structured. I have most of this down in a plan in Scrivener. It’s not tidy, it’s not definitive, but it’s there. At the beginning of the week, I was very worried about how I would make this plan a detailed roadmap for the next few years. But then I began to think about the ways I write, and realised that I start out with a plan, then end up doing something quite different as the mood and material take me. I.e. I realised that time spent honing this plan now will be merely procrastination, given that I have enough of an idea to get started, and really “enough of an idea” is all I ever need. I tend to work things out on paper and think as I write, which is what I need to be doing now.

    So … to get started: August will be a month of writing. Time so sit down and get to grips with a first draft of the Intro.

    1. That does sound like a helpful epiphany! I too tend to figure a lot of things out as I go. Best of luck with your month of writing!

    2. I am inspired by the idea of August being a month of writing. May it be marvelous all around.

  2. Thanks for the article reference. Totally awesome! I like what he says: “Once you get your courage up and believe that you can do important things, then you can. If you think you can’t, almost surely you are not going to. Great scientists will go forward under incredible circumstances; they think and continue to think.”

    Look back at July: I taught the entire month, which took some time and energy away from writing. However, I did accomplish: 1) rearranging chapter 1 and the edits to chapter 2.

    For this week: I am done teaching, and I gave myself and my advisor a hard deadline of 8/5 for a draft. I am positively scared that I won’t make the deadline and will turn in something really bad. But then, whatever I turn in will be better than what I have . . . so I say go forward with joy and determination. Today, I will finish three sentences in chapter 2 and start to the edits to chapter 1 (I got feedback yesterday from readers). I did grammatical editing last night, so now I need to work on the first nine pages of that chapter to make my argument more solid. I then need to edit to sections–signposting my argument. I believe that I can have these edits due by Tuesday. For chapter 3, I again need to solidify my argument. I’ve already started this–footnoting some of the authors that I’m working with and clarifying my voice and how I’m using the theories. Those revisions should be done by Friday. Chapter 4 needs to be finished. Like I thought though, my argument for that chapter is becoming clearer as I work on the previous ones.

    1. Congratulations! Joy and determination are good things.

      I’ve felt like at every stage of the dissertation it starts seeming smaller and less unwieldy (more wieldy?). I started with one chapter, and then I was able think about the second. After I had two and a half chapters I started being able to think about how the whole thing might work and wrote an introduction. Now that I’m near the end, it seems much more manageable. (Though I’m still mired in revising my final chapter, so it’s hard to see the forest for the pine needles.)

      I’m rooting for you and making that deadline!

  3. I missed ckecking-in last week. These two weeks, I have mainly worked on teaching-related project which consumed most of my energy, so I have not worked on my revision project at all. Anyway, I have decided to make a short research trip this summer and thereby I must re-consider my research plan this August.

    1. I’ve come across a number of sarcastic posts and comments in social media about what an illusion it is that faculty only work nine months. Lucky are we who have the whole summer to ourselves! If only I could fill my summer time with research and writing instead of service and teaching. I hope you have much energy and enthusiasm for August research.

      1. Thank you for your comment, humming42! My research trip is only one week long and I am planning to search archives. I hope I can do something real this Augustl.

  4. Hey there. I missed checking in last week because on was on vacation, and because of that, I also didn’t do any work last week (hurrah!), but I never reported on the week before last, so here goes.

    So, I finally got around to changing an “INSERT ARGUMENT ABOUT X HERE” to an actual couple of paragraphs, and made other such insertions throughout the Slow Perk draft in progress, and am now up to nearly 10,000 words. I still need to finish inserting the last few pages of hand-written notes, and then go back to the beginning and re-read everything.

    Slow Perk is finally getting close to being a *readable* working draft. So in these next two weeks, I’m going to put the finishing touches on it that will make it at least presentable to friends who won’t mind footnotes that say “Insert citation to so-and-so here.” Then I’ll give it to a few key people to read.

    I’m still not confident in the more ambitious part of the argument (which I’m hanging onto for the moment). I still think it’s a little thin. But I need to see if others think so.

    1. Hurrah indeed for a vacation which involved not doing work!

      I love the name “Slow Perk” for this piece, and I wish you the best of luck in moving it toward a working draft.

  5. Back to normal life today, meaning 30 minutes on this project tonight. I commit this time. More detailed comment later — for the week, etc.

    1. Opened document, did not get further.

      What is not working: I am drained by various things and have not found effective enough ways to replenish. (Yes, I know what these would be, but they are not quite within reach. I am also not quite managing the resources I can in fact manage, well enough.)

      What does work: not allowing myself to feel pressure. I like to talk about work and work in company but the idea of “accountability” is giving me trouble, taking away motivation & the sense of autonomy.

      What is this: not feeling powerful / autonomous enough. It all has something to do with the parent situation. I have already used the word autonomy twice in this post. It seems I am beset by ghosts from past sitting on my shoulders and weighing me down.

      What I will do: work on that.

      1. OK: here it is: I am depressed due to some concrete situations but also because these push me into that trapped feeling one has when as a minor, one has to live with one’s parents. So, feeling kind of hemmed in and incarcerated, I lack the mental freedom one needs to feel like a full person and move ahead in life. That is why I am not doing well with mss. or a great deal else.

        Why: extreme fatigue. I cannot shake it, and I need to be gone a long time during summer, be somewhere refreshing, and I did not get this, and I need it. The right change of scenery, or the ability to do some more things around here than I can afford, or not having the Issues I have – any one of those 3 things, would make the difference. But I am not sure what to do in the absence of that.

        Except make affirmations. I think I have to make my mss. my best friend. I like working in company but not the “accountability” concept that seems to be so helpful for the majority — that concept seems to alienate me from work. I am so acculturated to duty to others and so allergic to it that “accountability” to a group about a project I have backfires really badly … although working in group without using that concept is good.

  6. I also missed check in last week (and the week before). We successfully moved but that meant that all work related things have been TLQ instead of planned. I think this week will be the same, so my goal is just to touch the paper before next Monday in hopes of staying acquainted with the issues and being ready to come back at it when I get more space.

  7. I made so little progress this week, it’s a little sad. But I did make big progress in getting through some blocks. I finally admitted that I am completely overwhelmed. Owning it made it easier to get past. I also took the weekend to get life in order so I could work well this week. How’s that going, you ask? Not that great today. But I have high hopes for tomorrow.

    If I got half of my edits done this week, and half next, I’d be happy. (Sooner is better, of course, but I need to act more turtle than hare at this point.)

    However much I manage to get done, I need to type in my changes by Sunday pm and treat the other revisions as a second pass.

  8. I pulled my memos into a detailed/annotated outline of the paper. I have become convinced it is too much for one paper but wanted to see what an outline would look like if it was all in there. I sent the outline to my co-authors with a description of how I’d like to cut it into 2 papers.

    Today I am at the beach. My goal for this week is to do absolutely no work. No work on the Methods Paper and no work on anything else. Next week starts the madness at my institution but I think if I take this week I will be in good mental shape to pick the paper back up even amongst the chaos.

  9. It was a pretty kick-ass week, actually, at least as this summer is going: Wrote about 2,000 words, found some more good research, feeling good about this chapter-in-progress. I’m very aware that there are only three weeks of full-on summer left, but there’s also only so much I can get done when I’m teaching two summer school courses, so I’m happy with getting something done each week.

    That said, my goal for this current week is to have another kick-ass week! Let me be less vague: I want to write 1,500 words (and have already identified the specific topics) and get through a specific body of sources.

    As of last night, I recommitted to the goal of having a complete rough draft of this chapter by Friday, August 16; I had been thinking that it wasn’t going to happen, but after last week I once again think it’s a reasonable goal.

  10. Perseverence was my watchword this week, and I did get some editing done. I hope to finish with Chapter 2 this week, but even that sounds like a Big Task. Still, with August quickly approaching, it’s time to hunker down and get some Serious Work done. I am planning for perseverance to rise above procrastination even more.

  11. I both congratulate and envy those who had a kick-ass week. My week was hijacked by unwelcome distractions, anxiety, and insufficient sleep. No progress on the WGS essay. THIS week (OMG, how many weeks do we have left??) I’ll be happy if I manage one or two drafting sessions.

      1. Thanks, luolin88. Draining is right. I think a nap and a stint of desk-clearing would help a lot. (In fact, those should be additional goals for this week.)

  12. I lost most of my momentum last week. My goal for this week is to touch the project. My best opportunity for that will be on Wednesday morning.

  13. A late checkin here, but an ok week. Early in the week I lost my mojo (as in, what am I doing here? Why on earth am I persevering with this when my career plan feels as though it is a bit of mud I can scrape off my shoe?). However, I sat down with my paper later in the week, and over the next one and a half days fulfilled my time goal more than satisfactorily. Onnce I touched my project again, I was away. My thinking changed as I started to read associated literature, and revise the introduction, realising I am now seeing the bigger picture around my data that I had not been able to fully articulate before.
    I still have to contact my collaborator though – a goal for this week. And a second goal this week: another two, two hour slots of writing. If things go remarkably well, a third goal: prep my next data set.

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