Another Damned Notorious Writing Group is Called to Order
Welcome to the committed, whether by choice or by order for the good of the order. This time, we are myriad, if not legion. But not (unless you know something I don’t know) vampires. Or Argives. Wait, that’s myrmidons, not myriad. Maybe.
As you know from the rules, because of the rather large number of participants, we are going to be a bit more stringent on being awol. So make sure you let us know if you aren’t going to be checking in. However, it’s important to remember this: OBE happens. Yes, we are all at times Overtaken By Events. That’s one of the reasons many of us are in this group: we aren’t necessarily in situations where we can ping our ideas at colleagues and get immediate feedback, and so when we are OBE, it’s so much easier to get sidetracked, or push our writing to the back burner. This is even truer for those of us who would prefer not to write, or who enjoy it less than the teaching or (although this is something I cannot fathom) the service. So yes, we are sometimes going to be OBE. Hell, at the moment I am OBE — I had something of a breakdown at the end of the summer, and have been ill since 17 August with some weird thing that neither of two doctors has been able to figure out, although at least the CT scan showed nothing scary. And I’m kind of teaching three new preps, so… events, they can easily overtake me.
But here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter. You are now committed. If shit happens, then you have two choices. You can not make any progress, and drop out of the group. Or you can write in and say you have been OBE, and then use the group as a reason to think through how you are going to deal with it. I’m voting for the latter. If you are OBE, then please just write in, and take a few minutes to think not about dropping everything (although sometimes there is simply no other option), but about how you can revise your expectations and your plan so you can move forward, even if it’s not in the way you had initially wanted. If you’re anything like me, the worst part of being OBE is the self-recrimination that comes with a perception of failure for not ticking the boxes on the to-do list. Sometimes, you just have to change the to-do list.
So on this, our first meeting, I am going to begin by revising commitment, a little. My initial goal was to finish a 4000-4500 word essay I owe for a volume. But now I also have a book to review (I expected to get my copy at Leeds, but it didn’t happen). So I’m going to try to have both done in the same time frame. The essay takes priority, though.
Your assignment for this week is to come up with a concrete goal for the first week’s plan. It can be a word count, or a task/set of tasks. But it needs to be something realistic for the time you have both this week and for your overall goal.
My concrete goals for this week, which will be busy, are to re-read both papers I’m revising and identify books for my first set of ILL requests. If I have time, I will also start reading the review book, and start breaking the two papers down into chunks on Scrivener.
Here are everyone’s session goals. Concrete goals should be posted ASAP, and will be closed Sunday evening (I’m guessing at around 5 p.m. EDT). I’m also thinking about opening a second post then, for people who just want to comment on their work, or follow up on discussions, so that all the check-ins are kept in one place, but the conversation can be kept going.
Adelaide [write a conference paper]
ABDMama [Complete an article draft]
Amcalm25 [finish an article]
Amstr [revise and resubmit an article]
Another Damned Medievalist [write/revise a close-to-final draft of an article]
Antikate [revise a conference paper into an article & submit]
Belledamesansmerci [transform a conference paper into a journal article]
Bitterandjaded [finishing a dissertation chapter]
Britomart [completing a draft of dissertation introduction]
Cly [write a book chapter]
Contingent Cassandra [complete a full draft of a journal article]
Dame Eleanor Hull [complete a chapter of the article-turned-book]
Diana [finish term paper for incomplete]
Digger [write two book chapters]
Dr. Crazy [Finish a chapter draft begun this summer]
Dr. Virago [draft a 7500-word essay for a contracted publication]
Erika [write a complete & final draft of an article already underway]
Evan [write a conference paper]
Firstmute [Revise and submit a journal article]
Forthright [write two article-length pieces]
Frogprincess [Final draft of the dissertation]
Heu Mihi [write paper for a faculty colloquium]
Highlyeccentric [Draft two thesis chapters]
Good Enough Woman [write a solid draft of a dissertation chapter]
Inafuturelife [transform seminar paper into a conference paper]
Iuolin [finish and submit an article]
Jamilajamison [finish writing the M.A. thesis]
Janice [write a first draft of a chapter]
Jennifer [finish writing a neglected article]
Kris [write up a “full” paper and cut it down to a 15-minute conference presentation]
Lucie [Complete a full draft of my PhD thesis]
Matilda [revise a paper into a journal article]
Mae [write up a project prospectus?]
Marie [finish turning paper into journal article]
Merryweather [write conference paper]
Mike [write ch. 2 of dissertation]
Monks and Bones [turn a seminar paper into an article]
Nvrwhere42 [finish a dissertation chapter]
Notorious Ph.D. [write a conference paper]
NWGirl [Revise one dissertation chapter into a book chapter]
Opsimathphd [turning a dissertation chapter into an article]
Salimata [write a conference paper]
Scatterwriter [revise three chapters of book]
Scholasticamama [Transform a conference paper into an article]
Sisyphus [polish the rough draft of my article and send it out]
Sophylou [finish revisions on an article and prepare it for submission]
Stemi [Complete and send off a review article ]
Su Real Alteza [finish textbook manuscript]
Susan [write a 7000 word commissioned essay]
Synecdoche [Finish conference paper]
Trapped in Canadia [draft two chapters of the dissertation]
Undine [Finish nearly done chapter and complete another]
Viola [writing an introduction and a chapter for thesis]
Good luck, everybody!!