Thursday, November 01, 2012

#AcWriMo, #NaNoWriMo -- it all spells "writing"

George Williams at the Chronicle marks the start of Academic Writing Month, or AcWriMo, from the old NaNoWriMo that some of us have done in previous years. Here are the rules:

  1. Set yourself some crazy goals.
  2. Publicly declare your participation and goals.
  3. Draft a strategy.
  4. Discuss what you’re doing.
  5. Don’t slack off.
  6. Publicly declare your results.
This may help me meet the goals at Dame Eleanor's (after not checking in last week).
So here goes:

1 & 2. Crazy goals and public participation. How much writing is possible, especially if you're teaching and having to research some of the things you're writing about? NaNoWriMo's goal used to be 50,000-80,000 words for the month, which may work for fiction writers  but not for academics.

A thousand words a day would be nice, but there are some more of those 14-hour days coming up when that wouldn't be possible.

I'm going with this one: write every day.  I actually did write every day except for one day in September. If you're kind, please don't ask me about October. Crazy goal: finish this chapter by mid-month (part is already drafted) and get a good way into the next one.

3. Draft a strategy. Since October was such a morass of travel, grading, and service, here's the strategy for this month:

  • keeps me honest, which is how I was able to keep to this in September,  so that will be one strategy.  
  • Writing by hand in a book that I keep with me all the time now, as suggested by Flavia, is another. 
  • Writing first thing in the morning, before "anyone gets up" or "can hurt your feelings," as Francis Ford Coppola suggests, is another. 
  • Strict Pomodoro (for Chrome) helps, too. 
More global strategies:
  • Reverse the order of braintime so that the writing, not the classes, is getting the bulk of the time. 
  • Recognize that the temptation to gild lilies in the classroom is a sign of the brain trying to avoid writing. 
  • Especially don't waste early morning creative time with thinking about classes several days hence.
4-6. Discuss what you're doing, don't slack off, and publicly declare your results.  

Are you in?


Dame Eleanor Hull said...

October is Exploding Head Month. Let's just move on.

I should be in but I'm feeling too sick right now to do anything. Let's see if I have some get-up-and-go in me in a couple of days.

undine said...

Hope you feel better, Dame Eleanor!