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Writing group, Week Two

10 June, 2011

Hi all — welcome to week two! I’ve used executive privilege to add two new people, Cly and theswain, and added the names of a couple of people who asked to be in before the first week. However, the group is now closed till next session, unless Notorious overrules me! Last week, I asked Notorious to post this:

Lots of people started out making less progress than perhaps they had planned, for all sorts of good reasons. But we all know that those good reasons still eat into our time, and can often mean a sense of failure that affects getting the writing done. For next week, let’s not only post our goals, but also think about one or two small things that, even if life starts getting in the way, we can get done to move the project forward. It could be reviewing a couple of articles, or drafting an outline, or even just freewriting 500 words you think you’ll have to dump — but it should be something you can point to and say, “I did this thing.”

So, what are/were your small goals (or baby steps) for this last week? What did you get done? For those of you who are juggling many things, was it helpful to log even the small things?

My week was incredibly busy. I was away scoring AP exams from 8-5 every day. But I managed to write another 750 words on my paper for Berks (which I am now cutting down and practicing for tomorrow!), and did some reading and note-taking (a good article by Rachel Stone: “Bound from Either Side’: The Limits of Power in Carolingian Marriage Disputes, 840–870”) for the Leeds paper. Next week, I am planning to review the research I’ve already done on the paper and draw up plan for what I need to do and order books to be waiting for me at the BL when I get there on the 21st.

In the meantime, I have to say that I used Scrivener for my Berks paper, and LOVED it. It allows one to write in little chunks, which sometimes suits my schedule. I’m also still playing with Sente, and it’s wonderful in its way, although sadly, it has some things that zotero doesn’t, but zotero allows one to tag individual notes, which I think makes it better. Next thing this coming week is to see if I can get the standalone zotero to work on my macbook. I’m looking for something I can integrate with an iPad, and so far Sente is the only thing that does. BUT … if I could use Sente and export to zotero, I could get all the functionality I want.

(also, I will be adding links to everyone’s profile as I get the chance don’t forget you can click on people’s names in comments to link to profiles/blogs!)

  • Sapience: a first draft and a revised draft of the current dissertation chapter
  • Dame Eleanor: Revising a conference paper into an article MS
  • NWGirl: Same thing.
  • ADM: a conference paper for Leeds
  • ABDMama: Draft of an article MS
  • Dr. Koshary: Review-ready article MS
  • Sara: Revision of her research exam
  • What Now: Polished book proposal
  • Avery: Draft of an article MS
  • Jason: First draft of a dissertation chapter
  • J. Otto Pohl: Complete a draft of a two-thirds finished book MS
  • Jeff: Review-ready draft of his completed dissertation
  • Frog Princess: Same thing
  • Erika: Review-ready draft of an article MS (taken from the dissertation)
  • Godiva: First draft of a dissertation chapter
  • Kit: Same thing
  • Eileen: Same thing, too!
  • Bardiac: Review-ready article MS (revision of a draft paper)
  • Scholastic Mama: Revising a conference paper into an article MS
  • Jen: same thing
  • Tigs: Completed dissertation draft
  • Digger: drafts of two book chapters (one already underway)
  • Zcat abroad: write two articles [??] [is this from scratch, or two revisions? Seems like a lot for 12 weeks; just sayin’]
  • Caleb Woodbridge: MA thesis
  • Matilda: Draft of one paper [for a conference? or for publication?]
  • Zabeel: Draft of the first two (of four) sections of a from-scratch article.
  • Ro: first draft of an essay for an collected volume (mid-summer)
  • Firstmute: draft of the final [ed. note: YAY!!!] dissertation chapter
  • Scatterwriter: Complete expansion/revision of an article MS.
  • Susan: Revise & polish two chapters of a book MS
  • Travelia: Write two conference papers (possibly more later in the summer)
  • Ms McD: Revising a conference paper into an article MS
  • Gillian: an article that needs writing.
  • Audie: working on transitioning a dissertation chapter to an article!
  • Anastasia: a book chapter to write for an edited volume.
  • My Museology: redraft three dissertation chapters.
  • Cly: redraft three of my dissertation chapters.
  • theswain: lots of editing and rewriting of what I’ve already written. New stuff — trying to produce reviews/summaries for Year’s Work in OE Studies.
38 Comments leave one →
  1. 10 June, 2011 2:23 pm

    I had a pretty productive week. I've found I'm writing better on an every-other-day schedule (partly because my other non-writing projects seem to also go better if I have longer sustained time to work on them), so instead of putting in an hour every day, I'm putting in two every other day. Since last Friday, I've gone from about 1500 words to 9000 words (counting notes), though a great deal of that was "stolen" from the seminar paper that initiated this project 5.5 years ago. I *think* I'm on track to get the first draft done by the end of the month, maybe sooner. We'll see–I have a lot of far away events in the next few weeks, including a few weddings that I'm in and therefore are taking up a fair bit of time.

  2. 10 June, 2011 2:29 pm

    Friday is almost over here, and I'm about to knock off for the day. I have good progress to report, however. I caught up on the work that didn't quite happen last week, and I did most of the work I had planned for this week. I was helped by the winter weather – my evening meetings all finished remarkably early because no-one wanted to be outside when the temperatures went below zero. What I actually did was finish all my primary research, double check the literature on the subject (because I didn't believe in the paucity I found first check) and write most of an exceedingly rough draft.Next week I'm back to making very slow progress, however, because I have a bunch of other deadlines plus a heap of meetings. ADM – one of my deadlines is novel-related (sorting out the novel-related research that must happen when I'm overseas, adjusting my night skies to match the calendar of the tale, and fixing a gappy plotline).

  3. 10 June, 2011 4:50 pm

    I added about 4000 words to my chapter, most of it re-drafted. I then hit a wall and realized that I had completely lost the narrative thread when I copied and pasted those words in.However, this morning I am back on track, have recovered the narrative and am re-framing the introduction so that this is a story that makes sense instead of just a bunch of parts around the same topic. So, all in all, okay week.By next Friday, my goal is to have all parts of the current chapter (chapter 2) in one document and a clear plan of what needs to be done anew and what needs editing.

  4. 10 June, 2011 4:59 pm

    I did better this week than last. I got about 4,000 words written. I have been trying to write every day. But, sometimes I skip a day. The ms seems to be coming along towards completion.

  5. 10 June, 2011 5:16 pm

    My working week is still really disjointed, so I only had about a day and a half to devote to my article. I'm still in the organisational phase, but I feel like I'm making real progress. As I read and reread "things" are coming to me, so I'm jotting down lots of observations about the material and emerging themes. I've also written a few drafty paragraphs on different points as they occur to me. This all makes me feel like this article is starting to take shape, if only in my mind.

  6. 10 June, 2011 5:28 pm

    Did I get lost in the shuffle somewhere? I thought I had joined up last week, and got an acknowledgement of sorts from ADM, but I'm not on the list.HD

  7. 10 June, 2011 5:37 pm

    It's still the end of the quarter for me (I'm teaching a course at a local uni) so I won't be getting started until next week. 😦

  8. 10 June, 2011 5:47 pm

    Hello, everyone,I was reasonably satisfied with what I had done in week 1, and plunged into week 2 section. In week 2, if you are following WYJA(WJA), actual revision of your paper starts. I thought I would make a habit of 'read a lot, write a lot' this week ('read a lot, write regularly', to be precise), but it has turned out to be 'eat a lot, bite a lot' week. My lovely obstacle, that is, my two children, somehow sit up late recently. When they finally went to sleep, after jumping around, singing aloud for a while, I set my small PC on the kitchen table, with WYJA, my paper to revise and some essential materials aside. Feeling exhausted, however, I had tea and some snack idly for a while before starting…Anyway, I had managed to squeeze out my first (very) rough draft of the abstract, which is about 500 words. It is longish, needs to be distilled a lot, but helped me to feel I had done at least something. First I typed out 'the basic ingredients of an abstract' according to WYJA on pages 55 and 57. In doing so, I reorganized them slightly to fit into my field, that is medieval history. Then I typed in the relevant sentences under each headings, like filling the form. Each items are not connected well and not readable yet, but I think this help me to realise what point I need to develop further. Through doing tasks under week 2 section, I have found how much I need to work. It is overwhelming, really, though WYJA continuously says 'Do not get discouraged!'. WYJA also strongly recommends you to have a writing partner, which I have not found yet. Is there anybody who might get interested in so kindly being my e-mail based writing partner? This kindest person must struggle with my troublesome English, I am very much afraid. Or, I continue to look for someone who has at least some interest in history. I would like to introduce "How to write a lot" by Paul J. Silvia, (2007). It is not as pragmatic workbook as WYJA, but easy to read, enjoyable and encouraging small book. "The secret is the regularity, not the number of days or the number of hours", it says. I think it is so. For next week: working hard to complete week 3 tasks, i.e., revising my article around my argument. This is crucial step and it needs some more reading and researching, so it will continue well into next week and forward. I think I will be working alongside doing WYJA tasks. My motto next week is: do not get discouraged! Thank you for reading this.

  9. 10 June, 2011 6:02 pm

    I've done well at working regularly, usually in my prime hours, this week. On the paper I'm revising, I have written 1376 new words and produced an outline for one of its sections. I have also collected some articles and books that I need to refer to in the paper. Today I'm going to take notes on 2-4 more books (depending on how much each has that's relevant).I'm beginning to suspect that one of my challenges, as a writer, is scope. That is, I seem to have a great deal of trouble working out what is an intriguing but small idea, and what is the tip of a very large iceberg. In my youth I wrote a number of conference papers that didn't go anywhere because the idea was only really conference-paper-sized. Now I can see how my essay in progress would actually make someone rather a nice dissertation. It's not a book; it would be one of those dissertations that gets boiled down into one good article with lots of footnotes. But I'm trying to go straight to article.For the next two weeks, most of my research/writing energy has to go into my conference paper. So my goal is to keep plugging away in Boicean Daily Sessions on the essay, while also getting that other paper nailed down.

  10. 10 June, 2011 6:08 pm

    My goal for this week was to write 5,000 words of a zero draft (I think I may have put 3,000 when I checked in last week, but I revised that goal when I found I was able to devote more time to writing than I'd initially thought). I completed that yesterday with exactly 5,011 words. A significant chunk is quotation, but I'm counting that anyway since it'll make it into the chapter :)Finding writing time next week will be challenging, since my babysitters are both more or less unavailable. Still, with naptimes and evenings, I should be able to meet my goal of adding 5,000 more words. In small bits of time, when life gets in the way, I should be able to keep adding content via localized close readings. And I can certainly replace some of my evening movie watching with some reading.Firstmute

  11. 10 June, 2011 6:47 pm

    I didn't manage to check in last week – I was at a conference, and consequently spent the time finishing that paper instead of getting started on the dissertation chapter. But the conference gave me some thinking time which helped!This week I haven't got as much done as I would like but I have done the preliminary bits of research I wanted to do – locating the majority of my sources and making a big reading list. Normally I would just let all my ideas stew around in my head but I'm making a bit more of an effort to write these down in some form so I can come back to them later. Although they are not well-informed ideas yet, I think it will help me to look back at the big picture when I'm a bit more submerged in the specific material. I've found this really helpful so far and definitely going to try and keep it up next week while I read through some more of the primary sources.So for next week: I'll have information about one collection of sources presented in a specific way (a table with hyperlinks) and also keep freewriting ideas about individual sources.

  12. 10 June, 2011 8:39 pm

    This week I sent out some material that has been difficult for me to let go. In the grand scheme a small thing, but in terms of daily work it means I've taken care of a real obstacle, which is a true relief in terms of state of mind. Conference paper # 1 progressing slowly. I've done some disconnected research and read a few new sources. Like Dame Eleanor Hull, I also sometimes have trouble with scope. The paper has a fairly well-defined argument, but it touches on some sources that are outside my area of expertise. Next week I plan to complete a decent draft (7-8 pages) of the conference paper and draft a plan for later conversion into a book chapter. This goal will be a challenge for me (see scope problems cited above), but necessary if I plan to write conference paper #2 before my trip in July.

  13. 10 June, 2011 8:44 pm

    i know this is ADM's week, but I just read everyone's comments (so far — I'm several time zones ahead of most of you at the moment), and I have to say how impressive I'm finding people's progress. 4,000-5,000 words of a zero draft in a week? Yowza.Historydoll, I think you did get lost (somewhere between me and ADM), so just go ahead and post your update.Matilda makes a point about writing partners. I think this is a good idea, though it could take some organization. Let's at least think about it, though — ADM & I can talk it over, and see if it will work the way we have things set up.¡Adelante!

  14. 10 June, 2011 9:01 pm

    Well, I had a pretty good week. I got about half way through the first chapter, and with luck I may finish next week — though because I have a little side trip, it's a short week for me. I see where the rest of hte chapter is going, and am getting comfortable with what I'm doing. I only added a few hundred words, but it's going well. It's possible I won't fully finish the chapter while I'm away because some of hte notes I need are back at home. But the paragraph or two that will still need to be written is pretty straightforward for me. Also, in the midst of a sleepless night I figured out what I think my next book is. For various reasons, this is important to me. Yipee!And ADM, I look forward to seeing you in Hum 1.

  15. 10 June, 2011 9:18 pm

    Well done writing everyone! I am still working through primary sources this week before I can begin expanding my draft, and my summer research student has begun her project this week as well. I'm making good progress on my reading list, and I unintentionally wrote about 1000 words of new material as I discovered it in unexpected places. Next week I'm off to a fancy seminar, so I'm devoting most of my time between now and June 21st to that project.

  16. 10 June, 2011 9:48 pm

    This week I located primary sources, articles, and books to expand on my 5,500 word dissertation section. I took Notorious Ph.D.'s advice from last week and wrote as I was going through articles and primary sources. I have found that really helpful. The hardest part of the article is not to go too big. I need to keep in mind the journal where it is due and not change the argument to something they wouldn't be interested in publishing.Next week my goal is to get through the primary sources and articles and locate the government documents and books I need. I will continue to write reading summaries and "how does it all fit" ideas down in the hopes of adding those thoughts to the article eventually.Happy writing, everyone!

  17. 10 June, 2011 10:31 pm

    What a great group! Hello everyone!I'm working on my dissertation. My goal for this week was to finish the discussion on chapter 3. I was able to do that and now I am addressing my advisor's comments. My plan is to finish tonight!Still, I think I could have done a lot more this week. It seems like I spent a lot of time procrastinating. For next week my goal is to write the materials and methods and results sections for the next chapter. I have a conference to attend from Wednesday till Sunday but I think I can still come up with at least a first draft. Wish me luck!Happy writing to all!

  18. 10 June, 2011 10:36 pm

    My main goal from last week was to write everyday. I have gotten into the habit of shutting down the internet before I go to bed and leaving my article open. This has really worked well! I'm writing for an hour first thing in the morning and then heading into the library after breakfast to switch gears and work on my dissertation. I've been working in Scrivener, which I think is fantastic. It's really helping me piece together the different bits of my argument. It's really starting to shape up. I also worked on my abstract. Next week, I want to finish writing the first section of my article. I'm shooting for 10,000 or 11,000 words in total, so I'd like to get through the 3,000 words I've planned for this section. I've been averaging between 300-500 words per day, so it should be doable. Good luck everyone!

  19. 10 June, 2011 11:16 pm

    The start of the writing group was exactly the kick in the pants that I needed (a meeting with my advisor helped too). I sorted out the theoretical problem I mentioned last week, and met my goal of writing 500 words/day. I stopped fighting my schedule (which is to read during the day and write between 8pm-1am) and, like ABDMama did and Notorious suggested, took time to write about what I had worked on during the day. That's not something I did during undergraduate or even for seminar papers, but it's definitely helped me stare down the beginning of this project.While I met my writing goals for this week, it was more of free writing (although definitely related to the chapter I'm working on). My goal for the coming week is to get my primary sources for this chapter finalized and lined up, and write up the trends in my quantitative data (still with a goal of 500 words/day).

  20. 10 June, 2011 11:17 pm

    (Cheating slightly by writing on Saturday in NZ, but still making the Friday rollcall!)There was a fair bit of thinking about the Leeds paper this week, lots of re-reading of my thesis and other places where I've got notes for this. And I managed to make use of small bits of time, and get some writing done. (One of my biggest barriers to writing is thinking 'Oh, I've only got an hour – that's not long enough to do anything useful' – Slowly learning!)So, last week, I wrote about 750 words, and copied and pasted 3,000 words, which don't actually count towards the total, as they are not the right sort. But I have a print-out of the relevant chapter, have learnt how to use small bits of time, and am on a roll.Just wish I knew how to make a snappy beginning to the piece.This next week, I've got to finish the paper – not totally, but so that I can just work on it without outside sources – poking it into shape. I'm also flying half-way round the world, and hopefully getting to meet IRL someone I've met online.

  21. 10 June, 2011 11:27 pm

    I didn't make a lot of progress, except on my course planning for fall (which I had to turn in). I did print out a clean copy of the draft, and started thinking about SAA possibilities. My goal for next week: go through previous draft comments from friends, etc. Organize revision.

  22. 11 June, 2011 12:44 am

    Like Zcat, I'm also calling in from a more advanced time zone in which it is already Saturday, but it's still Friday back in the States, so I feel I'm covered. I managed to throw together all of my written materials on my new article's topic in a single document, so now I can scan the whole thing and mutter to myself, "What the hell does this crap add up to?" For reasons far too complicated and pseudonymity-destroying to detail here, I'm grappling with how broad of a focus I can/should take in this article. On a related note, I met with a colleague this week and had an interesting discussion of what each of us can do with this material. (We look at some of the same stuff through different lenses.) We were actually toying with the idea of writing an article together, but it didn't take long to conclude that we had no rationale for doing so, other than the desire for emotional support. We agreed to put that idea on the back burner for a few years.The upshot of that conversation was that I'm slowly getting a handle on which aspect of this material is really the fulcrum for my article, and which is just interesting material that, in and of itself, I just couldn't or shouldn't write about. I'm slightly anxious about the degree of rhetorical and lit-crit studies I'll have to bone up on in order to do this right, but it's increasingly evident that I need to do that if this is to be taken seriously by my colleagues.My goals are pretty low for this coming week, since I'll be packing up my stuff and moving from Research Country back to the US then. I'll be lucky if I'm not slammed with jet-lag by Friday, much less writing at all. I'll see what I can do on the plane, though, before my family picks me up at the airport and all of my professional activities come to a halt for several days.

  23. 11 June, 2011 1:15 am

    I feel like this past week has not been as productive, but I think I feel that way because I've not accomplished much the past two days. Sidelined by home improvement projects.I did write about 500 new words, re-worked the introduction (still needs work, however), and revised the abstract. And with the exception of the past two days, I have managed to work in regular daily sessions. (Thanks, Dame Eleanor for the Boice reminder.) Other than revising the introduction, I did not complete a draft of one section of the paper as I had hoped so that is next week's goal.I also managed to organize my notes and research material in preparation for a short archives trek next week.

  24. 11 June, 2011 3:06 am

    This week was productive, though my agenda took an unexpected turn. The volume project has been delayed (external reasons) and so I decided to write a detailed outline for the essay I'm contributing, but leave it on a back-burner for the moment. I'm going to return to a more fundamental project in the meantime, namely a ms. revision. The plan for next week? I'll be reading a group of newly available archival sources for the ms. As I'm moving into them now, I'm weighing different strategies regarding degrees of depth (vs speed) in reading, translation, and note-taking. I'll be taking it slow, I think, and watching what emerges.

  25. 11 June, 2011 3:08 am

    It's so motivating to read about what everyone has done!I just finished the school year yesterday, so today was my first "proper" summer day. I drew up an outline of the chapter I'm working on and went through all of my notes for this chapter, dragging text and notes around to their proper place in the outline. So the whole thing is a big mess, but I now have a place to start working each day. My outline is divided into 10 (unequal) sections, so my goal is to write up one section each day (probably every day but Sunday, when I'm booked pretty solidly). I'm a little scared at the prospect, I won't lie, but I know rationally that it's possible even if emotionally I'm not sure I can do it. I've done it before, of course — other chapters are completed! — but I get anxious before each new chapter. Ah well. I hope to report back next Friday that I've written 3,000 words, for about half of the chapter.

  26. 11 June, 2011 3:30 am

    My goal was to go through all the exercises of Week 2 in WYJA. I made it through day 2 (my excuses include a croupy 4 year old, newly single mama for the summer, and 4 days with my in-laws). I decided to give up mama guilt this summer, so I'm trying to give up writer's guilt as well. I will be plugging at Day 3 (writing an abstract) tomorrow and just keep plugging away. I'm finding the book well worth the money (saying something for me) and I'm glad to have it.My old grad school writing and Latin partner will be in town for four days this week, so I'm very hopeful of getting some writing for her to read. Exciting on so many levels!I'm also so excited and energized by this group. Yea writing groups!

  27. 11 June, 2011 3:38 am

    One of the good things about this writing group is that I have a last minute flurry of work on Friday so that I can come somewhat close to completing what I laid out last week. So I said last week that I wanted to do the bulk of the back section of a chapter I've been working on and continue to work on chunks of my diss introduction.What I've actually done: I've sketched out in the most rudimentary fashion possible the back section of the chapter and written about 2800 words of it. I didn't get to do much with the introduction, unfortunately.I've also set my "completion of the first draft" date, for two weeks from today, June 24. That's when I want to have a working draft of the introduction to the diss and a more polished version of the final chapter.For next week: I want to tackle three major sections of the introduction, and get all sections of my final chapter in order, ready for the final rewrite.That's probably a bit too optimistic, given that I'm going to have to do a sudden trip home for a minor family emergency, but time's a-ticking. I think the thing I can commit to doing on a daily basis is reading at least one article for the introduction.

  28. 11 June, 2011 4:08 am

    I wanted to get back into the habit of writing last week- which I did, and managed to revise the introduction of my article, and add about 1000 words on a major piece of evidence. In the process I discovered that I have a hard time working when it's hot and humid, so I went out and bought an ac unit.I'm also at Berks this weekend, which has put a damper on some of my writing. I'll be at another conference next weekend as well, and another in July- so it's good to get in the practice of writing even when at a conference. However, while at the Berks I discovered that Mary Beth Norton is interested in that piece of evidence I just finished writing about. Let's hope it's complimentary not destructive to my own work.My goal for next week is to revise and add to my next section of the article.

  29. 11 June, 2011 9:52 am

    Alas, I got nothing done on my writing group project this past week. I did, again, get a ton of unrelated writing and fiddly work done, but not this project.While the unrelated writing was completely necessary as I get ready to quit my job and move away to go to grad school, I have a more-than-sneaking suspicion that it's also serving as procrastination….Goal this week: same as last (get the rest of the data into, and a quick edit of, the typology/dating chapter. Will be a challenge, as I'm off the end of the week to Adjacent State for unrelated (there it is again!) research… but will endeavor to get it done This Sunday. Dammit.

  30. 11 June, 2011 5:40 pm

    Hello! So, I hadn't realised I'd been admitted to the group, hence my absence last week – sorry! My goals this week were as follows:- To review the MSS at the British Library in line with my redraft of chapter 1.- To complete redrafting chapter 1.As for progress, I'm very happy with what has been produced, but I did not finish redrafting chapter 1. Largely this has been due to my making structural changes to the chapter to help its argument, as well as standardizing formatting, and ensuring my terminology is clear and consistent. The chapter is a historical review of the production and circulation of my primary text, based on a manuscript at the BL; two others in Egyptian archives; and modern editions. Originally, it opened with a slightly anecdotal or narrative treatment of the BL manuscript, but I've divided this in two, which now follows a more general introduction, and the review of modern editions. The chapter's in a shape that I'm pleased with, and I can see its reaching completion soon, provided I continue to chip away at it. Without wishing to be unrealistic, I'd like to set a finish date for this as next Wednesday, 15 June.Well done, and good luck to everyone else and their projects

  31. 11 June, 2011 6:56 pm

    I spent a few long days this week working on my revision, and turned a new — but still incomplete — draft in to my advisor. My word count actually dropped by about 1000, which tells me that I have a tendency to be pretty redundant in the drafting stage.My goal for this week is to start that daily writing habit everyone's talking about, and to get a better handle on the organization of my draft. I have a tendency to lose sight of the big picture during revision, and I'm quite sure my argument has gotten lost in the shuffle. Also, thanks Ro & Notorious for answering my questions last week!

  32. 11 June, 2011 10:51 pm

    Late again!Had a great family vacation, and as a bonus, I finally worked out the main ideas to fill the Big Technical Hole. (Extra bonus: I think I see how to generalize the ideas for my long imagined (N+1)th chapter!) I haven't written this up yet, so that gets pushed to next week's goals—hopefully even over the rest of the weekend. If I get that rough write-up done as quickly as I hope to, then the next job is to figure out what's going wrong with the large-scale structure of my Nth chapter.Tomorrow I'm heading off to a three-week workshop, and I'm not exactly sure how that's going to affect my writing schedule. Well, I'm sure it it's in the direction of slower. But I have big plans to still put in at least an hour or two of dissertation work every day, in spite of all the fun I'll be having. If I'm absent next week, it's probably because I haven't figured out how to use the internet in Minnesota.

  33. 12 June, 2011 4:21 am

    Hi all — sorry for the late check-in, but I'm at Berks, too. But over the last week, I was working in CO till Thursday, when I flew to Berks. I finished my paper (so about 1400 words, edited down to a total of 3150 from3421. This coming week, I have lots of house-oriented stuff to do, plus all my assessment admin stuff, before I leave for the UK, so my goals are sort of small. Also, because I went to dinner with lots of medievalists this evening, and they insisted that I had no excuse for having no five solid conference papers mouldering, and nothing submitted for publication — so I promised to revise the paper by the end of my first week in England and submit it. In the meantime, I am planning on organizing some stuff for the Leeds paper, including ordering books to be waiting in the BL. Susan, I'll see you there!

  34. 12 June, 2011 6:47 pm

    Sorry to be late, and with no good excuse. I am working on developing a daily writing habit, and finding lots of help in WJA. I have managed to do ten minutes of unrelated freewriting every day (a habit I picked up from Joan Bolken's "Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day," a book I heartily recommend), and about 1,000 words of freewriting on my topic. Not as much as I had hoped, but enough for me to discover a whole new slant on the topic which makes it both more important and more broadly interesting. Goal for this week: to catch up on WJA, to freewrite on the topic every day, to reread the chapter in question, and to write at least 1,000 words of zero draft.

  35. 14 June, 2011 2:00 am

    Not in the group, but I wanted to note how inspiring all of your work and progress is! Bon courage to all!

  36. 14 June, 2011 9:23 pm

    Very late in reporting & missed last week, *but* I am not off the wagon. My week 1-4 goals have been to (1) establish a 500-word, 5-day a week writing regimen, (2) flesh out my chapter outline with greater specificity, and (3) continue reading/note-taking within one of my chapter subsections. For weeks 1 & 2, I am at 80%. Only 4 days/week of writing, but if I keep focus those 500 words come in an acceptable timeframe. The outline is shaping up, and reading continues to generate solid background and interesting sidebars that will become the real meat of the chapter's contribution to the whole diss.Week 3 goal: (1) 5 days of free(ish)-writing; (2) subdividing of outline into individual projects. Because I'm doing a little teaching at a camp this week, I'm limiting my scope to this. Next week will get complicated by multi-day travel, but my ultimate week 3-4 goal is to transfer from "Draft 0" (freewriting) to "Draft 1" (project-oriented writing).

  37. 15 June, 2011 3:38 am

    Also, here is Scatterwriter's update, which I found in my mail:This past week, I read through my article manuscript pretty thoroughly, making minor tweaks to it along the way. In the process, I started to think about a particularly problematic part of the central text that I focus on — an artist's inscription in a classical language — and suddenly had an insight about a better translation for that, which had direct bearing on my argument. The other thing I've done is to review my extensive notes on the concept that is most critical to the revision of my manuscript, and I've identified a few places in my manuscript where I can start to incorporate this concept. I am hoping to have fully written up my ideas about this concept and how it changes my argument by next Friday.This is not quite as much progress as I had hoped for by this week; I have been working for various compelling reasons on one of my fall syllabi, which at this point, at least, is practically done and therefore cannot be a procrastination tactic for me this coming week (I hope).

  38. 15 June, 2011 8:05 am

    I am still here and I am still working! Family obligations ate my internet for the past couple of days and I apologize for not checking in.First of all, thanks to Notorious PhD for the advice on choosing a direction for my dissertation – it was very helpful to write on both ideas. I ended up in text rather than theory, partly because this is where I have most to say and partly because I'm not entirely comfortable with a discipline change. Mine will still be a theory-heavy dissertation with questions directed towards the theory I'm using as well as the text.This week's goal was/is to flesh out the chapter outline, run around some more for literature and hope my non-academic job – which pays for my dissertation – won't eat up too many hours.

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