- Recent book review #1: read book carefully, made notes, spent at least 10 hours writing for 1200 words. Was it worth it? Well, I learned something. But was it worth it? Not really.
- Recent book review #2: read book all the way through three times because I kept getting pulled away by other tasks and forgetting the details; made notes; spent at least 10 hours writing the 1200 words. Was it worth it? See above.
- Work on long-promised article project: spent all of summer 2016 reading for this project and making notes for it but not writing it up. Have now spent at least 10 hours each day to get to my 750 words, in part because the ratio of looking up & reading:writing is about 3:1 or 4:1, in terms of time, because it's a little outside my usual wheelhouse. Was it worth it? I'm learning things. But was it worth it? Time will tell, but it's clear I'm spending way too much time on this. And this doesn't even count the extensive editing and cutting down and stitching together I'll have to do.
- Spending last fall sending out those articles instead of working on the above? They were a combination of old and new research that I found exciting. Worth it? Yes, indeed.
- Refusing, on three separate occasions with three different subjects, to contribute to a prestigious bibliography project. Worth it? Yes, indeed.
- Doing a tenure review, with the many hours of reading & writing the letter that that implies? Well, worth it because we all need to be good citizens. Ditto for writing letters of recommendation for jobs and grants--grants that I haven't applied for, in part, because see #3.
- Rummaging through my computer until I found a good 10 pages or so on the subject of another promised article project? Totally worth it. Gold, in fact.
- Being very choosy about the conferences I submit to, and only submitting if I actually have an ongoing project in mind? Very much worth it. I've stopped my membership in some organizations, and it feels so good not to have them nagging at you to submit proposals, not to mention that they rarely accepted them anyway. (Not MLA, although a friend of mine said once that instead of submitting a proposal to MLA she could just set fire to it, with about the same results as far as an acceptance went.)
Saturday, October 07, 2017
Writing by the numbers: was it worth it?
This is basically a reminder post, to future Undine, not to promise things as past Undine has done. It's a short record of time spent versus actual benefit, and it contains the valuable "Was it worth it?" test.