Sept-Dec 2012 Writing Group, Week 6 Check-In

For a topic this week, I’m cribbing from Dr Isis: “A friend just gave me a new framework for ways of comparing things: normative, ipsative and aspirational. So think about reaching a goal, say training for a marathon.  Normative – how do I compare to others around me with whom I train: are they getting better faster than me? Ipsative – how do I compare to where I was: am I running at a consistently faster pace than a month ago? Aspirational – how do I compare to where I want to be – can I run 20 miles without puking?”

Does one of those methods work better for you than the others?  Or do you use different ones depending on what stage of a project you’re at, or what sort of task you’re doing?

Amstr: 1) finish Ch. 2 draft (hand off to reader on Tues), 2) finish 2 books on hand, 3) clean off desk and photocopy lots, 4) type changes, fix footnotes, and reverse outline Ch. 3.
Another Postdoc: 2500 words on the intro and lit review.
Bavardess: 2500 words on the intro and lit review.
cly: get back to my project.
Comrade PhysioProf: I really am gonna write the Specific Aims page on Monday. I SWEAR!!!
Contingent Cassandra: Do DH application (by 10/1 deadline); do a freelance piece due Friday; figure out exactly what I need to do for P project presentation and finish handouts in time for copying .
Dame Eleanor Hull: get closer to two hours/day of research; send a draft of the revised proposal to recommenders and to someone else who offered to read it. See if I can move forward with the MMP and translation project, as well.
Dr. Virago: Do some serious writing and thinking about my two writing projects. 1) 250 words on the invited article and 2) some background reading for the review essay.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: Next two weeks goals: (I will not be able to check in next weekend, as I will not have internet until I get home late Sunday night) Take good notes and figure out the further questions that can be answered when I am back home.
emmawriting:  LOI collaborators identified, summary drafted. Review letter outlined, referees identified. Results of Study 1 (Short Paper) written. One new study started. Another new study prepared. RAs reviewed. Email delayed.
Erinys:  30 minutes/day for 5 days. 1 research trip to the library.
GEW: 15 minutes per day, six day of the week, for a total of 1.5 hours. In addition, I’d like to do a bit of extra reading or database searchers.
highly eccentric: Write Things on both Monday and Friday.
historisusan: keep reading.
humming42: Excused absence.
JaneB: 1) review the status and make a work-plan for the few-author paper (goal b), with permission to have the plan start in November if necessary! 2) sort out travel plans for the paper I’m giving in October, 3) chip away at the analyses for that paper October, 4) make decision about focus for the big grant application.
JLiedl: 2000 words on the keynote.
jmmcswee: no check-in.
John Spence: Index 20 pages.
kiwi2: 1.Final rewrite of Paper X before sending to a senior co-author this week.  2.Work for at least 2 hours on the analysis for Paper Z. Including emailing for help if I need to.
kiwimedievalist: work on reading for my book.
Kris: just read one chapter out of the book I have sitting on my desk, unopened.
luolin88: 1/2 hour Monday and Friday.
Matilda: finish reading the first part of the material/ finish reading the starting-point book/ write 15 minutes a day.
meansomething: 1) Aside from obtaining a necessary source just discovered, let the lyric essay have a rest week while I focus my prose energies on a residency application. 2) Four 12-minute sessions on the poem sequence.
metheist: 1000 words.
Notorious Ph.D.: 90 minutes of work a day, split between reading and taking notes-and-musings on the readings.
nwgirl: 1 hour/TD and 4-5 hours/NTD finishing the revisions to the AB/J section, finishing the library book that came in, and deciding what remains to be done to chapter 1.
Pika: have to finish this over the weekend, to have the rest of the week for polishing and finishing part 1.
Pilgrim/Heretic: MORE GLOW.
Premodern: 45 minutes of writing every day (again), with more substantive chunks on non-teaching days. By the end of this week, I hope to have some sort of 10-page draft.
rented life: Write twice, (or contine with part I was expanding), keep reading books T & D.
Salimata: 20 to 30 minutes on the paper on Mon, Tue, Wed, and Fri; working on the argument section in Belcher, and after that, the secondary lit section.
Sapience: rewrite presentation. Pass my defense.
Sisyphus: a) make a list of small tasks that still need to be done! b) set aside at least 30 minutes every day to chip away at the small tasks! or c) actually revise my prose for that 30 minutes if I have the energy! If not, I have to at least reread the passage I am revising again, so that I don’t forget everything I am planning to do.
sophylou: get some previous writing typed up and organized.
tracynicholrose: Draft narrative for LM talk; write internal grant; finish edits on P&P paper.
Trapped in Canadia: review sources for conference paper, write a whopping 400 words for that paper, write two tests for my classes, and finish that annoying book review.
Undine (Not of General Interest): Another conference paper to finish; work on reviewing project.
What Now?: 1) finish working through the primary sources; 2) finish reading a secondary source; 3) take a stab at the first section I’m going to tackle.
Widgeon: Finish revisions of conference paper really and truly. Start going through digital images of primary sources collected in June.
Z (Mictlantecuhtli/Profacero): 6-7 research blocks, ideally of 2-3 hours each, less if necessary, point is to work daily or near daily. I will in this time: reorganize books and files to get all book materials around me, start storyboarding.

Sept-Dec 2012 Writing Group, Week 5 Check-In

Topic of the week: the real schedule.

If you’re like me, you begin the semester with all sorts of good intentions about when you will get up, how much sleep you will get, which slots in the week will get used for grading, writing, exercise, and so on.

Then the schedule totally goes to hell.

Along about now, I figure out what actually works.  No, it will not be possible to get up at 5:00 and go to the gym, but it is possible to get up at 6:00 and go for a walk.  Taking time out to write in the middle of the day not only works but means that the night class doesn’t get me so wired that I can’t sleep afterwards (something about the restorative effect of quiet time reading and writing, I think).  Nonetheless, the day after the night class is just not going to be productive.  Give it up to recovery and errands, and work on the weekends and early in the week, instead.

How about you?  What is the real schedule turning out to be?

The goal list:

alloverthemap: no check-in.
Amstr: 1) draft 6000-10,000 words of chapter, 2) read as necessary, 3) freewrite 3×20 min. (or as often as I’m stuck), 4) finish Ch. 3 revision pass (by Mon.)
Another Postdoc: draft the other sections of this paper.
Bavardess: Proposal – Draft the rest of my historiography section; first draft of my theoretical framework, including definition of terms; Article – complete footnotes/any additional citations for pp.1-5.
cly: finish a grant application and try to extract my teaching dossier from a finicky external hard drive.
Comrade PhysioProf: drink a cup of something that ain’t fucken tea.
Contingent Cassandra: Make progress on P project work, especially overdue correspondence, as possible; Do MLA DH workshop application.
Daisy: dropping out.  We wish you well!
Dame Eleanor Hull: get closer to two hours/day of research; send a draft of the revised proposal to recommenders and to someone else who offered to read it. See if I can move forward with the MMP and translation project, as well.
Dr. Virago: finish this damn editing job so I can get back to the writing!
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: Finish the other half of the outline.
emmawriting: delay e-mail; Examine LOI template carefully and draft ideas; paper 1: Finish factor analysis writeup; paper 2: Plan/start short-article writing; Push other research forward
Erinys: no check-in.
GEW: 15 min per day, six days for a total of 1.5 hours. (Possible tasks: work on primary source explication in chapter five, review important quotations from from primary or secondary sources and type them into document.)
highly eccentric: skeleton out my paper for ANZAMEMS & identify further research; do same for PhD proposals.
historisusan/professorsusan: start reading all the stuff I identified — that should be about two weeks’ work; keep Tuesday and Friday as research days.
humming42: will check in October 5-6. I hope to have the editing and revising for chapter 2 done by then, along with marking the sections that require new research and writing.
JaneB: 1) get the appendix and figures sorted, circulate the manuscript 2) review the status and make a work-plan for the few-author paper (goal b) 3) sort out travel plans for the paper I’m giving in October
JLiedl: Draft outline for October keynote; write 1000 words.
jmmcswee: (1) Convert my book notes to written work, (2) read 5 more articles for my paper, and begin a solid intro, and (3) Put 500 words (regardless of quality) into my comprehensive.
John Spence: another page of transcription into a ‘first edit’; check out one other possible source to rule it in or out; working on an index for my book (20 pages of book).
Kirstin: no check-in.
kiwi2: Final rewrite of Paper X before sending to a senior co-author this week. Second, to complete a final batch of lab work (2 days) which will complete the “story” I have for Paper Y. And, to SUBMIT the revisions for my most hated paper.
kiwimedievalist: no check-in
Kris: read up on relational autonomy and write notes.
luolin88: 1/2 hour Monday and Friday.
Matilda: continue to read the first part of the main material/ read the starting-point book/ write at least 15 minutes a day
meansomething: 1) 500 words; some necessary research; an hour of experimenting with the form of the lyric essay 2) 4 20-minute sessions on poem sequence.
metheist: no check-in.
Notorious Ph.D.: work at least 90 minutes every day (preferably mornings), in which I a) finish integrating the “found” material with the more recent writing; b) do markup and figure out where I need to make changes; c) skim and take notes on 2 books that just came in.
nwgirl: Revise the newly combined AB/J section, smooth out the transitions, and skim related library book that just came in. To do this, I need to work at least 1 hour/day on teaching days and 3 hours/day on non-teaching days.
Pika: complete draft of part 2.
Pilgrim/Heretic: more of the same. Morning writing, 2,000 words for the week.
Premodern: 45 minutes of writing first thing every day.
rented life: no check-in.
Salimata: decide on a paper by actually reading the two candidates: print them out and take with me on train! also, read/do Argument chapter from Belcher, also on train. 15 minutes a day.
Sapience: write a rough draft of the 10-15 minute presentation I have to give for my defense, try to get at least another 700 words done on the article.
Sisyphus: a) Make a list of small tasks that still need to be done! b) set aside at least 15 minutes every day to chip away at these small tasks! if not c) an actual prose-revising session on any day I can muster the energy!
sophylou: do some writing, any writing, no time limit, just some writing; read over at least one notebook relating to project (airplane time!); if time, go through last two books and track heroine’s consumption.
tracynicholrose: Follow-up memo on BE analysis; 1st draft of internal grant for next study; finish edits on P&P paper.
Trapped in Canadia: review sources for conference paper, write a whopping 400 words for that paper, write two tests for my classes, and finish that annoying book review.
Undine (Not of General Interest): 1500 words on chapter; finish conference paper and begin a reviewing project.
What Now?: 1) finish working through the primary sources, a finish line that is within sight; 2) finish reading a secondary source book that I started last week; and 3) 4 sessions of free-writing, 15 minutes each.
Widgeon: Finish revisions on conference paper. Start organizing files and notes to prepare for work on the chapter.
Z (Mictlantecuhtli/Profacero): place research time in morning rather than evening, or in addition to evening, so that a different kind of project planning can take place. Try working on new things in morning and old in evening, as in book in morning and fiction in evening. See about finding a place to work on fiction (not house or office).

Sept-Dec 2012 writing group, week 4 check-in

Last week we had some really helpful discussion in the comments about managing energy levels and figuring out how to use time usefully.  Let’s try a fun topic this week, also picking up on a brief thread in last week’s comments: what are your favorite office supplies, and how do you use them?

Four paragraphs (or extra commentary if you want), check in by 6:00 p.m. U. S. Central Time on Sunday.  See you in the comments!

Alloverthemap: no check-in
Amstr: 1) keep reading for Ch. 2, 2) freewrite 2x20min., 3) make a first revision pass on Ch. 3, 4) resubmit revised abstract to writing partner.
Another Postdoc: switch from the topic that was the “one big thing” (book proposal) to an essay; write out the data description section of this paper.
Bavardess: Complete one thematic chunk (H1 and H2) of the historiography section; refine definition of terms ; draft up a two-page skeleton with the main sections and related key texts for supervisors.
Cly: send the article away, write an outline for the chapter and make progress on ANOTHER job application. At least I will try to accomplish something from that list…
Comrade PhysioProf: Checked in (type up Specific Goals?).
Contingent Cassandra: Figure out what I can realistically do on the P project before mid-Oct. conference; move that forward and/or get back to J article-in-progress. Catch up on P project correspondence.
Daisy: no check-in
DEH: continue the attempt to have 2 hours a day for reading/writing/ research. Do something each day to Move Forward. Revise fellowship application and send it to recommenders.
Dr Virago: give *some* attention to the invited article and the review essay.
EAM: outline the article.
Emmawriting: MC5 online and collecting data; one grant proposal draft fully done, including data analysis for pilot data; one service thing.
Erinys: Build a framework. Strip the diss of anything relevant. Put it in the article in some sort of order.  Work one hour/day on the article.
GEW: 15 min per day, six days for a total of 1.5 hours. (Possible tasks: Work on intro and methods for chapter five, type quotations from primary source, finish chapter I started reading.)
Highlyeccentric: re-arrange the content according to the colour code, and give it some semblance of argument or at least headings.
humming42: Figure out chapter order.
JaneB:  1) have a complete ‘final draft’ version of the multi-author paper and circulate it to the rest of the team (goal a), 2) review the status and make a work-plan for the few-author paper (goal b), 3) write the first draft of an administative duty report which is due 1st October, 4) write on at least 5 days.
J Liedl: Complete chapter and do one round of revisions so it can go to series editor.
jmmcswee: (1) Solidify comprehensive topic with a concrete outline. (2) Convert all my book notes into written work. (3) Read 5 articles (with written notes) for my paper. (4) Say ‘no’ more often to tasks that I am not responsible for.
John Spence: Excused absence; will report next week.
Kirstin: write for at least 15 minutes every day this week.
Kiwimedievalist: Actually work on something academic – re-writing an introduction to a set of collected essays. Try and get this done on Tues and Thurs, particularly.
Kiwi2: draw the damn graphs.  I also have some revisions to do on a paper, but that is secondary to the graphs.
Kris: collect up all necessary materials and readings for a more powerful methodology discussion; read at least two sources for the discussion.
meansomething: 1) another 1,000 words on lyric essay; 2) 5 20-minute sessions on poem sequence.
Luolin88: 1/2 hour Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with an emphasis on Sucking Less and moving the article forward at least a bit.
Matilda: continue to read the first part of the material/ a book relevant to the topic of my presentation in November
metheist: Change tactic. Write my introduction because I am going to present it to a seminar here.
Notorious, Ph.D.: write 200 words a day.
nwgirl: Work on AB section and combine with J section.
Pika: finish the 0.5 section of part 1 that I didn’t manage yet. Start working on part 2 (which is really the main thing) and finish half of it.
Pilgrim/Heretic:  focus back on writing, stick to my morning schedule, and really get 2,000 words down.
Premodern: 3 2-hour blocks of reading and writing; 1500 words.
Professorsusan:  I have two full days for writing, and I want to poke around and figure out my structure/focus. It will mean lots of dipping in and out. I will also try to do the cutting editing stuff at night.
Rented Life: Finish book T, start book D. Write 2 times (minimum) this week–no time limit.
Salimata: decide on a paper by actually reading the two candidates: print them out and take with me on train! also, read/do Argument chapter from Belcher, also on train. 15 minutes a day.
Sapience: revise the dissertation abstract, order the rest of the books and articles I need for the review article I’m supposed to write.
Sisyphus: brainstorm a way to fix my schedule. Then I’ll try the same goal list as last week.
Sophylou: read and note one article. Start (for the umpteenth time) difficult book in field. And skim through at least two of the four of the novels the article is about and note every time the heroine makes a purchase.
tracynicholrose:  Finish edits on P&P paper and send to co-authors; continue work on TS intro; reread LM paper.
Trapped in Canadia: write six lectures and mark fifty primary source analyses to mark.
Undine: 1500 words on the chapter and begin work on a conference paper.
WhatNow?: Five hours of work; plus, actually start writing.
Widgeon: Two full research/writing days. Complete revisions for 9/25 talk. Read and take notes on sources.
Z: The same concept as ever: seven total research blocks; can fall back to six; blocks are supposed to be 2.5 hours long each but can be shorter, even much shorter; the point is continuity and not being distracted, no matter what.

Sept-Dec 2012 Writing Group Week 3 Check-In

[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.
emmawriting: MIA
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.
Moria: MIA
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.

End of weekend writing group notes

This week’s check-in is now closed.  Thanks to Pika for explaining the probable cause of the time-traveling comments; I’ll keep that in mind, in future.  By the same token, though, if your comment doesn’t appear immediately, please don’t re-post it.  Assume it has, for who knows what reason, gone to the spam folder, and that I will rescue it the next time I log in.

Thanks also to all of you who have commented on each other’s posts, given encouragement, and offered congratulations as appropriate.  Amstr especially is acting like a co-host, and I do appreciate it, especially as you’ve just been hosting a group and might be wanting to coast now.

Next week I’ll try replying to several people in a single comment so as to cut down on the intimidation factor of having 134 comments or whatever it is.  Replying to comments individually certainly does inflate the numbers.

I am also grateful for your expressions of concern about the Tiny Cat.  She should probably get her own post soon, rather than having updates on her health buried in comment strings.

Have a good week, everyone.  May you write in good health and good spirits.  See you on Friday for our next check-in.

Sept-Dec 2012 Writing Group Week 2 Check-In

This post is scheduled to appear at noon on Friday (US Central Time).  Please check in by 6:00 p.m. (again, US Central) on Sunday.  Comments will close at that time.  Anyone who is MIA for the second week in a row will be dropped from future lists of participants.  If you know you will miss a week, let me know in advance and I will try to keep track of you (though given the way things are going around here, I can’t swear I won’t forget that you told me).

How did your week go?  Whether your goals were process or product, how did you do?  What worked?  What didn’t?  What are you going to try next?

Please use the four-paragraph format (last goal, accomplished, next goal, commentary), and keep your goals specific and succinct.  Save commentary for the last paragraph, even go to five or six if you want, but look at the length of the roll here and make it easy for your hostess to find your next goal.
Roll call:

alloverthemap: Main goal: finish Project Q; last week’s goal: get Project RM to on-hold state.
Amstr: Main goal: finish dissertation; last week’s goal: 1) read for Ch. 2 revise, 2) re-read Ch. 2, 3) freewrite 3×20 min. about revise, 4) make easy revisions of Ch. 3 from writing partner review.
Another Postdoc: Main goal: complete a book proposal and make a working outline; last week’s goal: read advice books/columns, construct “Book Publishing Plan,” complete conference paper for submission.
Bavardess: Main goal: finish article, finish draft of PhD proposal; last week’s goal: print and review current article draft, outline proposal.
cly: Main goal: finish fifth chapter of book; last week’s goal: re-draft companion-to-something article and submit two job applications.
Comrade PhysioProf: Main goal: complete and submit a new R01 application to NIH for the October 5 due date; last week’s goal: write the Specific Aims page.
Contingent Cassandra: Main goal: finish J article; continue P project; plan/schedule additional P sub-projects; continue freelance work; last week’s goal: finish teaching prep, finish the current freelance piece.
Coree: MIA
Daisy: Main goal: finish my thesis; last week’s goal: read draft of one paper and decide how to approach revisions.
Dame Eleanor Hull: Main goal: Finish and submit MMP; last week’s goal: 2 hours research/writing per day, progress on MMP and translation.
Dr. Virago: Main goal: write 2500-word article and revise double book review into a review essay; last week’s goal: get *something* done on one of those two projects.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell: Main goal: plan, research and write first draft of new article; last week’s goal: plan the research trip.
emmawriting: Main goal:  1. Three grant proposals: one in LOI form, one simple one in draft form, and one full proposal. 2. One article fully drafted. 3. Data collected for two main studies plus 3 minor ones; last week’s goal: By Sept 15th, data analysis done on two studies; final decisions made on what goes into which grant proposals and 6-week plan made; MC5 scales sent to RA for translation. [Does this mean you won’t be checking in again until the 15th?]
Erika: MIA
Erinys: Main goal: publishable article; last week’s goal: Figure out the argument of the article.
GEW: Main goal: write 20-25 pages of chapter 5 of my dissertation; last week’s goal: Read one chapter or one article and write 500 words.
highly eccentric: Main goal: keep writing new(ish) medieval academic content; last week’s goal: write M, T, F, finish “ugly draft” of current article.
historisusan: Main goal: write an essay for one of those Oxford handbook thingies; last week’s goal: one manuscript proposal to review, a book review to finish, and a set of revisions for another article.
humming42: Main goal: finish chapter 2 of the book manuscript; last week’s goal:  set a timeline for Chapter 2.
JaneB: Main goal: a) complete and submit a paper with multiple co-authors, b) complete and submit a substantial second paper from a different project, and c) write and submit a grant application for December 1st; last week’s goal: think about my bigger picture wishes and aims for the coming year.
Jason: MIA
JLiedl: Main goal: complete my own chapter for an edited collection, write a keynote and turn a conference paper into an article; last week’s goal: write 1500 words for my chapter.
jmmcswee: Main goal: (1) Full draft of my first comprehensive, and (2) full draft of an opinion paper I would like to write; last week’s goal: (1) Outline a tentative draft of my comprehensive, and (2) map out the main ideas for my paper.
John Spence: Main goal: prepare a short edition of a medieval text; last week’s goal: finish a few introductory paragraphs for a short extract from a medieval chronicle.
Kirstin: MIA
kiwi2: MIA
kiwimedievalist: MIA
Kris: Main goal: finish a journal article; last week’s goal: complete the conference paper that is the first step towards the final paper.
luolin88: MIA
Matilda: Main goal: conference paper (November) / a journal article based on the paper; last week’s goal: make a 15 week plan and finish the main part of the short article.
meansomething: Main goal: 1) 10,000 words on a lyric essay; 2) a complete draft of a poetic sequence; last week’s goal:  1) reach 2,000 words on the lyric essay; 2) four sessions on the poems, of at least 30 minutes each.
Metheist: Main goal: finish my dissertation; last week’s goal: finish the last chapter.
Moria: Main goal: fellowship application; last week’s goal: 4000 new words.
Notorious Ph.D.: Main goal: transform a conference paper I gave last January into an article MS; last week’s goal: figure out what the article is going to be about.
nwgirl: Main goal: revise four chapters of my book manuscript; last week’s goal: write the AB section of chapter one.
Pika: Main goal: Large proposal (P1) due mid-October, small proposal (P2) due mid-December; last week’s goal: concrete outline of planned work, list specific research tasks and how they fit with staffing, download and read submission instructions and prepare a template for the proposal.
Pilgrim/Heretic: Main goal: 30,000 words written towards a book draft; last week’s goal: at least 8 hours of writing per week, or 2,000 words, whichever comes first.
Premodern: Main goal: new book chapter; last week’s goal: Write 1000 words and read 4 or 5 articles/book chapters; carve out 2 hours each day for this reading and preliminary writing.
rented life: Main goal: Move fiction book project forward and figure out my idenity as a writer; last week’s goal: Continue reading Book S for research; Begin a draft of a smaller writing piece.
Salimata: Main goal: turn conference paper into a ready-to-submit article; last week’s goal: decide which conference paper to use.
Sapience: Main goal: job market materials and applications, review article; last week’s goal: Finish revising my letter for writing program jobs, and start the reading for the review article.
Sisyphus: Main goal: Revise and Beautify chapter 3 of diss as book chapter; last week’s goal: revisions/cleaning up citations for chapter 1, and work a bit every day.
sophylou: Main goal: rework article for submission; last week’s goal: send e-mail, read over the article and revision notes, take notes on at least two relevant articles, do some free writing.
Susan: MIA
tracynicholrose: Main goal: 1. Finalize and submit P&P paper; 2. Turn LM paper into HM presentation; 3. Complete first draft of TS paper; 4. Complete analysis and write up findings for BE paper; last week’s goal: 1. Reread P&P paper; 2. Read and take notes for TS paper; 3. Complete outline for HM presentation.
Trapped in Canadia: Main goal: write two chapters of my dissertation; last week’s goal: revise the first conference paper.
Undine (Not of General Interest): Main goal: finish two chapters of the book manuscript; last week’s goal: finish a chapter, polish (references) for a piece that’s due, look at the overall picture.
Way To Go Homesteader: MIA
What Now?: Main goal: draft first chapter; last week’s goal: five hours of research.
Widgeon: Main goal: turn a conference paper into a book chapter; last week’s goal: two research days per week? (Sorry: DEH wasn’t sure what the deliverable for this past week was.)
Z (Mictlantecuhtli/Profacero): Main goal: Keep to semester’s research schedule; last week’s goal: stick to weekly research time goals, 17.5 hours in 6 blocks.

Sept-Dec 2012 Writing Group, Week 1 Check-In

Updated to add: Because it’s a holiday weekend in the US, you can have till tonight to check in (not sure what’s happening with our Kiwis—do you get a holiday, too?), but after this, you have to check in by Sunday at 6:00 p.m. U. S. Central time.  I teach MWF at an hour that requires me to get up at oh-dark-thirty, so I will normally need to get the next week’s goals sorted out before I go to bed on Sunday.  And I will close comments at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday just to make it clear that I mean it.  Nine people who indicated interest have yet to check in at noon on Monday 09.03, and we have probably about as many folks who have joined us here without any previous notice.  Welcome—but because it’s a big group, please check in on time even if you have to report “no progress.”  Let me know if you’ll miss a week.  Otherwise, you’re likely to get dropped./add

We have 43 participants this time, if I’ve counted correctly.  Some of you have already mentioned goals, but just to be official and keep everything in one place, let’s all post one main goal for the 15-week (plus “finals” week) group.  If you have other deadlines or ongoing projects coming up (as do I), add those as well, but make clear what is the One Big Thing that you plan to accomplish in the coming weeks.

Here are the ground rules, which will be familiar to those of you who were in the Spring 2012 Writing Group (if you weren’t, you might want to have a look at some of those posts, just for fun; scroll way down to find the list of tags for my blog):

  1. Post every week, even if you haven’t achieved anything.  We’ve all had bad weeks.  Face it, forgive yourself, move on.  The group will help you deal with it.
  2. This week, please post your 15-Week Goal in your first paragraph and a specific goal for next week in a second paragraph.  If you have any other comments or questions, put them in another paragraph.
  3. Next week and in all subsequent weeks, please use the following four-paragraph format: 1. Last week’s goal. 2. What was achieved toward that goal. 3. Comments/analysis of what worked or what went wrong. 4. Goal for the next week.
  4. Feel free to comment on each other’s posts.

I will post my goals in the comments like everyone else.

Here’s the list of participants as of this afternoon:

Another Postdoc
Comrade PhysioProf
Contingent Cassandra
Dame Eleanor Hull
Dr. Virago
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
highly eccentric
Notorious Ph.D.
rented life
Trapped in Canadia
Undine (Not of General Interest)
Way To Go Homesteader
What Now?
Z (Mictlantecuhtli/Profacero)

Lately, drawing on Virginia Valian (summer writing-group participants from amstr’s Writing Account will remember this), it has been very helpful for me to remember that I have a responsibility to the work itself, the writing, reading, and research that are not only what I love but also part of what I am paid to do and, above all, what I feel called to do.  Something I love can be a responsibility and not just an indulgence that should be put aside to serve others (students, administrators, whoever).  This thought has helped me stick with the writing in this first busy, distracting week of classes when lots of other people have needs.  If it helps you, too, great.  If not, let’s figure out what your motivation will be.

Welcome, or welcome back.  I wish you happy writing and a productive, sane semester.

Getting to know you

I’m delighted to have so many people interested in the Sept-Dec 2012 writing group, even with 10 days or so to go until our first official check-in.  I know some of you from past groups, but we haven’t all been in the same groups, and there may be some new people here, so I’d like to go around the room and have you introduce yourselves.  Feel free to comment on any of the following, or add your own thoughts about yourself and your work:

Where are you in your career?  What sort of institution(s) do you work for or study at?  What’s your big-picture goal, not just for this iteration of the writing group but for 5 or 10 years out?  What challenges do you face in making time for (or expanding!) your writerly identity?  To whom or to what would you most like to apply some of Dame Eleanor’s Anti-Bugge Power-Writer Spray (

Announcing the Sept-Dec 2012 Writing Group

Updated to add: anyone who still wants to join should go directly to the Week 1 Check In and check in, following the required format.  I’ve got everyone down to Kirstin, but I’d prefer not to have to keep checking back here.

We still have a week to go over at amstr‘s, so this is advance notice: I will be hosting the next writing group iteration, the Sept-Dec 2012 Group, so-called because I don’t want to assume that all participants are from the northern hemisphere.  After all, when it’s fall (or autumn) Up Over, it’s spring Down Under.

(Have I mentioned that in my Ideal Life I fly, on the equinoxes, from north to south or vice versa, and so never have to endure winter cold or long dark nights?  Anyone posting from the Southern Hemisphere is welcome to exult over signs of spring, and I will experience great vicarious pleasure as I imagine myself in my southern hemi-home.)

Anyway, we’ll begin where amstr leaves off, and have our first check-in on Friday, 31 August.  The group will run for 15 regular weeks (a semester’s worth) plus “finals,” where we report final results; that last check-in will be Friday, 14 December (followed by a holiday party—with caipirinhas, not eggnog, if I have anything to say about it; see Ideal Life, above).

So leave a comment any time if you want to join in.  Further details will be forthcoming.

And I should warn you, I probably won’t do daily inspirational quotes this time around.  Maybe one or two a week, if we’re all lucky.