Z’s notes on Donald Murray on what writers need:


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

35 thoughts on “Maygust 2013 writing group, week 14

  1. OK, I have achieved 319 words this week.

    I also sense that the conference paper version of this I need for 1st week Oct. is almost done, except for the last part of the abstract, which I fear I cannot research/write by then or have time to explain at said conference anyway.

    And I need to start working on the conference paper version of part II of the paper which is for the 2d week of October, but is actually due to said conference on 15 September.

    So for a moment I have to stop thinking of this as an article and think of it as 2 conference papers. Second one has to be in Spanish which is another reason I need to change gears. So at this point it seems the whole entire article will have taken the summer *and* the upcoming semester, as in, into Christmastime. Hmm.

    It is very difficult in the present patch, for some reason.

    What is not working: trying to have normal happy life and write this as well. This is simply too much pressure.

    What works better: allowing self to go to seed, keep irregular hours, things like that. Saying do or die. Not waiting until I feel better or more rested or something.

    1. Keep moving forward.

      My hours are irregular and I am not happy about this. I seem to be still on Pacific time and finding it difficult to get back to Central time. And I normally rely on early mornings to let me do something—or just exist in peace—before the world starts wanting things of me.

      1. Keep moving forward, yes.

        The transition back from West Coast to here is very difficult. Not to New Orleans, which resembles SF, but to the rest of the state, which resembles … maybe Columbus, OH.

        Early morning is key and I have not been claiming these, finally started this today.

        Did decide I have too much pressure on me, and part of this pressure is the pressure to enjoy the summer, feel that endless summer groove … feeling pressured to find that, meant I never did. So this morning I decided to stop requiring that and things improved.

    2. I’m at the stage where I have to do binge writing to make it work. Interrupted worktime (even for things like cleaning up, or showering) isn’t working for me right now. One thing I do always keep in the rotation–walks. I find if I have regular breaks for short walks during intense work times, I and the paper are both better off.

      I hope the upcoming week is productive for you.

  2. I had completely disappeared for the last 3 weeks due to conference travel in countries with incredible bad internet connection.
    Now I’m back and I have to speed up a bit with my writing projects:
    this week I’ll focus to get my project background good enough to hand it to my co-author. This means: finalization of the summary of the last sub-chapter, which will be about half a page and then starting the re-wording so all the disconnected sub-chapters get a flow and tell a good story.
    As all my administrative duties had been on hold as well while I was away, this will require a bit more effort than usual.

  3. I did not check-in last week. I feel lazy and did nothing but some administrative obiligation, which was not too much. The big goal has been going poor. These things are discouraging, though only one consoling thing is I am checking- in this week.

    1. Hang in there and re-focus your goals! I have to scrap my big goal as it’s just not possible now with how much other stuff got in the way. You’re checking in, so that’s good.

  4. I also feel discouraged. Somewhat irrationally so. It all depends on perspective. I am discouraged about getting a chunk of translation back from its next reader on the team, with comments and a request for notes (which I was putting off); the implications are not just that I need to add notes to this set of lines, but will need to add them in the grooming process for the other chunks that I’ve roughed out, before they go to this reader. This makes me feel way behind where I should be with this project.

    I must remember that this particular team member is retired and not prepping for classes. Or moving.

    The good news is that the latest draft of the MMP-1 is up to 3500 words, at the end of Section One. This involves some new writing and lots of moving in material from earlier drafts. The topic sentences and outline are working. I will still have to work editing and on filling out notes properly, but I think this will be, in some sense, the final draft, the one that gets everything in the right order. I’m already killing some darlings (not beloved sentences but toiled-over bits of historical connection carefully culled from documents) because I can see now that they really get in the way of the story I’m telling. But they took so much work to figure out!

    I’d be happier if I could get up early enough to get my work in before the Persons from Porlock start demanding various pieces of paperwork. But at least I’ve made some progress.

    1. Did I tell you I visited our alma mater building when I was in B, and discovered that Comp Lit has been moved into the French office, with French? Proving the Comp Lit really was French all along … I have attended two French universities, really, that one and the U of S. Paulo in Brasil, famously FrenchAnd that where Comp Lit was, has been taken over by some other continent … Spanish and Portuguese, too … did not have time to figure out where? And that the computers in the main library are from the 90s or so?

      Anyway all of this is by way of saying I met up with someone from those days who is irrationally discouraged also by slow writing. One must not judge, she says, but keep going forward — as you say.

  5. Week 14?! So much time, so little accomplished. And two weeks before classes begin. It’s time to figure out a plan for the Fall, to make sure that I find ways to keep research and writing on the map.

  6. Microfilm. Microfilm. MIcrofilm. Semester starting soon so having to tweak a bunch of things, meetings, etc. But research-wise it’s all microfilm, and I am making progress with it, so, goal met. I also got a blog post written about some of the things I’m finding. Blogging on it is nice because it’s a space where I can start organizing my thoughts in writing without already having them organized, if that makes sense.

    Next week’s goal: Microfilm. It has to go back on August 21. And I should probably get one of those wrist splint things, as my hand is starting to go carpal tunnel on me.

  7. My goal for last week was finishing the ER chapter revision and sending it off to my advisor. And I’m almost there! I had three uninterrupted workdays (thanks to Camp Nonna at my parents’ house), and I finished the revision in the car on the way up to camping. I’m going to give it a quick proofread this afternoon before sending it off.

    I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me in the next two weeks. I’m supposed to send a ready-to-proofread draft to my advisor and my editor on August 25. This week, I’ll clean up Arc (to send to 2ndary advisor and put in the complete diss), clean up FQ and Titus per editors comments, and work on the conclusion and front matter. That will leave cleaning up the intro and conclusion and making figures for the next week. (The figures are all handdrawn [I took photos of them with my phone and tacked them into the chapters], so I need to make them look pretty.) I’m feeling hopeful! I have parental reinforcements coming for this week, and I have at least 3 hours a day the following week and may be able to arrange more childcare.

    I feel like celebrating, and I will a little, but then it’s nose to the grindstone to get this thing finished.

    1. Wow! You are doing so well. Since we are at a similar spot, I tend to gauge my work with yours. You just keep pushing on, and that encourages me to do the same. Good on you!

  8. Oops, I forgot to check in yesterday.

    Last week was the end of summer school and not at all productive for writing, although I did get some clarity about the boundaries I need to draw in order for this co-authored project to move forward. We’ll see if that helps or not when we have our big meeting to discuss the project next Tuesday.

    This week (the last before school stuff gets started on Friday) I am finding myself caught up in administrative and teaching matters; I’m acting chair of the department this year, for the first time, and am finding that tackling two or three projects a day is the only way to keep my anxiety at bay. But I do have a writing goal for the week, which is essentially to catalog what remains to be done on this chapter, list the resources available and still needed for each piece, estimate time, etc. Plus I have a few sources that I am almost done with that I’d like to finish up and cross off the list. So basically it’s a tidying and list-making week, which I think will also be useful in helping me wrap up the summer, know what needs to be done this fall, and be prepared for next Tuesday’s meeting (which I’m dreading but also looking forward to what I hope will be a clear way ahead).

  9. So somehow Monday happened without me realizing it. I did not meet my goal. Work and still not unpacked makes it hard. Goal: unpack my writing desk and write 500 words.

  10. My goal for last week was to finish the draft. I almost made it. I’m still working on the fourth chapter. I realized that the secondary information is missing and then tying everything together is harder than I thought. So, major meltdown again. On a very positive note, I actually spoke on the phone to my advisor, and we are on the same page again. Well, I finally flipped to the page that she was on 🙂
    Goal for this week: have the hardcopy of draft fedex’d by end of week.

    1. Those last bits are so frustrating. I’ve been reading through the draft my editor went over in June, hoping against hope that there’s not a big note to Add Analysis or Find More Sources. So far, nothing crazy has come up, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

      Good luck this week! You can do it! Congrats on being this close to the finish line.

  11. Late checking in. OBE. Discouraged. But once I get a handle on this week’s craziness (there are deadlines involved, so a handle must be got!), I want to go back to my incomplete rough draft of the WGS essay and fill in some bits from an older, more detailed but less organized start I made before the summer.

    Another, not unrelated, goal for this week: Resolve the tortoiseshell’s ongoing diarrhea! (Diarrhea in a multicat household is no damn fun.)

  12. Oops, forgot to check in yesterday! Well, I didn’t really do any work on Slow Perk last week, anyway, so it’s just as well.

    What *did* I do with my week? I wrote and rewrote and revised and rewrote again my narratives for my promotion dossier (I’m going up for Full). And…yeah, that’s about it. Oh, and I think I did actually do some polishing of Slow Perk to be able to put it in the dossier as work in progress, but that hardly counts.

    Semester starts Monday and I’m in full OMG! Too soon! panic mode.

  13. I forgot to check in. As expected, last week once I’d had my last day at the archives was shot with packing, cleaning, and travel (though I did get a letter for a promotion review drafted on the plane), then getting home, settling back in, and dealing with new post-docs and other admin stuff. I have unpacked what I brought home, and am getting ready to look again tomorrow, so I can maybe get writing. I think the draft is not in bad shape, but I just need to do it. If I can get several hours in tomorrow, and then next week work every day, I’ll feel in control. But I also have to write a syllabus, and deal with admin stuff. Today I spent a few hours excavating my desk in my office, which is a disaster….

  14. A very late checkin- almost next week I know. Rather obe, but I did progress a bit, emailed collaborator and much of the draft is now written. I will be travelling this coming week but hoping to do a burst in the final week to polish the draft.

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