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Another Damned Notorious Writing Group is Called to Order

9 September, 2011

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!!

  1. 9 September, 2011 4:15 am

    Goal for the coming week: abstract for a conference version of this chapter.

  2. sophylou permalink
    9 September, 2011 4:29 am

    Rewrite and condense introduction. If time, assess Section 2 to identify areas for condensing/rewriting.

    For contextual purposes: this is an article analyzing a four-book series, with one section per book. I am now responding to an excellent critique from a colleague, which involves writing new material, revising existing material, and condensing where possible as the article is currently 800 words over the submission limit.

  3. 9 September, 2011 4:39 am

    Dang, ADM — you are so efficient! I have a goal this week to develop a realistic plan of attack. In other words, I am going to figure out everything I have already (document transcriptions? Notes on secondary material?), develop a working bibliography, order the first of the books, and write up a (highly theoretical) outline. Oh, and find my damn abstract so I can remember what I actually proposed to speak on. 😉

  4. 9 September, 2011 4:48 am

    Goal: Read all I’ve previously written on the topic (about 100 pages) and free write 300 words on what I think I can use and possible central argument(s). I’m revisiting an unpublished project I worked on 10 years ago and hoping there is something there.

  5. 9 September, 2011 4:59 am

    For context: I’m writing two distinct articles that I would like to have submitted by the end of my sabbatical (December) but which are also quite potentially chapters in an eventual book. The articles are based on the same research project but the aspects of the data relevant to each are quite different, naturally.

    This week’s I’m setting modest goals in the hopes that I vastly exceed them: a) Finish reading Major Theoretical Work for article #2 for the first time since grad school, then write 1000 words free writing relating MTW to the article; b) Finish transcribing the most relevant data from 2011 field season.

  6. Viola permalink
    9 September, 2011 5:09 am

    Goal: 1000-1500 words on the original part of my chapter and tidy the 2,500 words I have already written on context. Go back over some sources I’ve signposted and integrate their arguments where required.

    Happy to be here! I have been trying to write every day and whilst some days have been horrendous it is definitely a good habit to get into!

  7. Marie permalink
    9 September, 2011 5:45 am

    My goals for this week are to re-read my original paper, revisit the bibliography and determine what is next. Since I already know I need a different introduction, I would also like to get that started also.

  8. 9 September, 2011 5:46 am

    Forthright said “This week’s I’m setting modest goals in the hopes that I vastly exceed them.”

    I think that’s a pretty good idea, Forthright, especially for the first week. You get an idea of what you can reasonably accomplish in a week. And better to “vastly exceed” your goals than to be too ambitious and finish the week feeling that you’ve failed. And once you build momentum, the scope of your weekly goals will undoubtedly grow.

  9. 9 September, 2011 6:52 am

    I appear to have been left off the list! Can I still post my week’s goal?

    This week, I am going to block out the full plan for the article, and create a book-list.

    (And not get too distracted by the Rugby World Cup, or the pile of essays I’ll get on Thursday).

    – zcat-abroad

  10. Trapped in Canadia permalink
    9 September, 2011 7:05 am

    I have three goals this week:
    1) finish the proposal for a first-year seminar that has been hanging over my head like a guillotine (well, if guillotines hung, that is)
    2) finish a chapter on Presbyterian abuse of Episcopalians in Scotland after the Revolution of 1688 (it’s overdue for a book and needs to be out of the way before I can move on to the other two chapters I need to finish this semester – it’s already not looking like a fun semester!)
    3) round out the outline of the first chapter I want to work on for this writing group

  11. Amstr permalink
    9 September, 2011 7:30 am

    I’m spending a few initial weeks on lit review, so my goals for this week:
    -re-read article and editorial comments
    -list topics that need more research/citations
    -make (and limit) a reading list
    -order items on reading list from ILL
    -read 2 articles, make entries on them in an annotated bib, and insert relevant stuff into draft

    I’m simultaneously working on two other projects (a revision of a diss. chapter into an accepted book article, and a full draft of diss chapter #3), so I’m counting on slow and steady progress.

  12. 9 September, 2011 8:11 am

    zcat/kiwi — that’s my fault. Sorry! I’ve got you and your article goal added to our master list. ADM, can you add zcat to this post?

  13. 9 September, 2011 9:09 am

    Am I too late to join? I managed to get a post-Leeds illness that is still continuing, three weeks later, had various crises (my book is at the printer!) and so missed the call for sign-up. I have a rather big priority that is 3 chapters of my dissertation. Bits of each of them are done, but I really need to get my act together over the next session and think strategically, because there’s just so much happening and the disseration isn’t going to go away despite all the other stuff.

  14. 9 September, 2011 9:18 am

    Aaah, I want to join as well! And it’s still Friday morning in my bit of the world.
    I have this project that has been dallying in my drawer way too long, when it should be out and about in the world. Essentially, it’s re-writing and adding to my MA thesis to get it publishable.
    So goal for this week: write the “Materials” chapter.

  15. 9 September, 2011 9:32 am

    I just found out (like Gillian) that there was a sign-up period that I completely managed to miss. Oh no! Will you still take us?

  16. Dr. Crazy permalink
    9 September, 2011 9:52 am

    Project: complete draft of chapter for book manuscript.

    Goal for the coming week: To reread what I’ve got so far (about 13 pages); to write 3 solid additional pages; to write in my writing journal (yes, I keep one of those) about where I want to go beyond those three pages, i.e., figure out next week’s concrete goal.

    (Yes, my goal is modest, but if I write just three pages a week, the chapter will be done in 12 weeks. I totally figured it out.)

  17. Evan permalink
    9 September, 2011 10:22 am

    Hi everybody, my goal for the week is to download all the PDFs of Black Dwarf that discuss ‘race’ in the 1960s and scour the MIA’s list of International Socialism issues for articles on the same. alongside this, I need to go through my thesis and find all references to anti-racism, fascism and Powellism in the 1960s. That should be doable. (as I need to finish another article this week also)

  18. Lucie permalink
    9 September, 2011 11:52 am

    My goal for this week is to expand an existing conference paper into a section for the chapter I’m working on next. This is based on one (not very long) text, so I’ll need to re-read that first. I am aiming to have a first draft of 5,000 words by next Friday. (My overall goal is a complete draft of PhD thesis, and I’m working full-time on it for the next few months.)

    I find it difficult to know what is realistic or not when I’m setting goals, so I’m looking forward to getting an insight into how the rest of the group works.

  19. 9 September, 2011 12:55 pm

    This week, my main focus is probably going to be the index for my book (sorry -publisher’s deadline). That having been said, I am going to FOCUS and actually write what I set out to. To that end, I’ve re-read what scattered noted I have on my chapter and identified a few things I have to read – three groups of primary texts (not going to bore you with details of how or why I’ve grouped them this way) and one or two obscure bits. My goal for this week is to finish with group one.

  20. Stemi permalink
    9 September, 2011 2:09 pm

    12 week goal: finish and submit review article.

    This week, procedural goals:
    Read and take notes on 6 articles (~1/day).
    500 words total in the manuscript outline doc (~300 currently there)

    This week, progress goal:
    Revise outline to make a more compelling organization, and to better reflect the findings of current experimental and theoretical studies.

  21. 9 September, 2011 2:20 pm

    I’m skipping the first week of WYJA and heading straight to week 2, which requires reading your article, making a list of revisions, writing an abstract, getting feedback and revising the abstract, and outlining a model article. I actually just outlined a model article last week so I am going to skip that as well. Blah, blah:

    My goal this week is to come up with a specific list of revisions along with strategies to complete the revisions, and then to revise the abstract based on the reviewer’s feedback.

  22. 9 September, 2011 2:34 pm

    Gill, since I know you’ve been sick, yes. And Katrin, because I can’t say yes to Antipodean and no to the other, yes. BUT THIS IS IT!!! And next time, no exceptions, people 🙂

  23. opsimathphd permalink
    9 September, 2011 3:33 pm

    With firstmute, I too am skipping the first week of WYJA, having done the reading and etc. Rather than going straight to the second week, however, I really need to establish first which journal I want this to go to, since to some degree it affects how I present the basic argument. (I’m going to lay out my dilemma at the end of this post, since I’m not sure it is legit for me to ask for detailed help on this list–if it’s not, please tell me so, and ignore the final paragraph.)

    My goals for this week:

    Reread the dissertation chapter
    Read one relevant article per day
    Examine articles in the more technical journal
    Freewrite at least 15 minutes per day
    Outline argument

    Briefly, the relevant chapter concerns a technological advance in the Middle Ages which I am arguing had a much greater effect than is generally known. Ideally, I would like to see this published in a journal focused on the Middle Ages in general, since I think it has general applicability. However, it would be my first publication, and I think my chances of getting it accepted in something like Speculum or the JMEMS are very slim. My other choice would be Technology and Culture, for which I would structure the argument somewhat differently. Comments would be most welcome.

    • 9 September, 2011 8:08 pm

      If you’re under the tenure-clock-gun, send it to the fastest reputable place you can think of. If you have time, why not try Speculum? At worst, they say no and give some revision feedback, and at best, you have a stellar publication.

      • opsimathphd permalink
        11 September, 2011 2:24 am

        Thanks for the advice. I do have the luxury of time, and I like your suggestion, so Speculum or JMEMS it is.

  24. 9 September, 2011 3:40 pm

    12 week goal – complete a chapter of my dissertation.

    This week:
    1) Gather together the notes that I have on the topic, the works for the chapter, and the secondary materials. I’ve already done a lot of reading and note taking.
    2) Outline those notes into something cohesive
    3) Write at least 1000 words on the chapter introduction.

    I’m not sure how realistic all of those goals are together and it may be too aggressive, but at this point I’ve done a lot of reading and not a lot of writing and I really need to get the ideas in my head down on paper (or electrons as the case may be.) We’ll see what happens.

    • 10 September, 2011 10:52 pm

      I just realized that my login says Bittergrrl and not bitterandjaded. I’m sure it was easy enough to figure out, but I thought I’d mention it.

      Thanks again for organizing this.

  25. 9 September, 2011 3:40 pm

    Thank you! My specific goal for this week is to pull together all the different bits I’ve done for each of the three chapters and assess how much and what kind of work needs doing on all of them. At the moment, I have several bits of files and have lost my overview, which is bad. So my other goal for this week is to get my overview back.

  26. 9 September, 2011 3:50 pm

    My project: finish article.

    Goal for this week: Read through three articles to see if and how they are relevant to my paper. These are sources suggested by a friend (and former dissertation group member) who read a draft.

    Luo Lin
    (I’m on the list as Iuolin –it looks exactly the same as luolin in this screen font)

  27. Adelaide permalink
    9 September, 2011 4:32 pm

    goal for this week – finish reading the two chapters that may have some bearing on my conference paper, and do another double check for related articles/chapters/etc.

  28. 9 September, 2011 5:23 pm

    I’m deeply mired in course preps and whatnot, so I’ll set a modest goal of putting together the start of a working bibliography.

  29. 9 September, 2011 5:40 pm

    this week i plan on continuing to reread my secondary sources and notes, and make annotations on a few new ones i’ve ordered via ILL.

  30. Matilda permalink
    9 September, 2011 6:58 pm

    I am with firstmute and opsimathphd, skipping 1st week, though I might go back when necessary, going straight to week 2, concentrating on making a revision plan of my paper.

    • Matilda permalink
      10 September, 2011 4:55 pm

      Sorry, I mean, skipping week 1 of WYJA, then going to week 2 of WYJA!

  31. 9 September, 2011 7:07 pm

    In the coming week I will write at least 500 words (crappy, messy, draft ones — it doesn’t matter as long as they are words) towards a draft of my contracted chapter/essay thingy. Normally I’d say 750 words (like Crazy, I’ve done the math and I’m aiming for 3 pages a week), but a) I wrote 250 extra this week (yay me!) and b) I already know of an impending OBE episode next Friday (one of my usual writing days), so I’m cutting myself some slack in advance.

    Speaking of OBEs, I will definitely check in next weekend, but it may be brief.

  32. nwgirl permalink
    9 September, 2011 7:33 pm

    Project goal: revise dissertation chapter into book chapter

    Goal for this week: Re-read the dissertation chapter, identify and pull out the relevant material and move that text into Scrivener. I also need to write up an outline for this chapter and figure out what I need to add. Finally, this week I’ll make a list of any missing sources.

  33. Contingent Cassandra permalink
    9 September, 2011 7:36 pm

    This week, I will carefully read the key secondary article I’ve identified (I’ve skimmed it), and re-read the primary texts, taking marginal notes in both. Since I want to get into the habit of sitting down and writing at certain times of the week (early on Tues., Thurs., and Sat. mornings), I’ll probably end these sessions with at least 1/2 hour of unstructured, very preliminary writing. In my ideal world, I’d read at other times of day, and always write in the morning, but that’s not going to happen, at least not consistently, this semester.

    Like several others, I need to identify where I’d like to place this article (I do have some ideas), but I think I need to get a better idea of the shape of what I’m doing, then investigate the possibilities. So maybe that will be part of next week’s goals. I’m not absolutely sure I’ll get through all of the primary texts (which are short, but there are a number of them), this week; I am sure I can get through the secondary article and make a start on the primaries.

  34. jliedl permalink
    9 September, 2011 8:40 pm

    Got pulled off of the one chapter so I’m writing the other for this twelve-week task. Suddenly important goals: find notes for the first chapter, outline, order three or four resources I will need in a month and make notes of the exact passages in the major source that I need to cite.

    Trying to get my head in a completely different space isn’t easy because I haven’t thought about this topic since May!

  35. Jennifer permalink
    9 September, 2011 8:55 pm

    The next few weeks are full of potential ways to be OBE, so this week is all about organization.

    My goals for this week:
    1. Read through my Scrivener file and reacquaint myself with the work I’ve done so far.
    2. Organize literature: Make a list of sources I need to look at, organize the sources piled up in my office, digitize materials I’ll need to travel with when I move.
    3. Work on article-related stuff for at least one hour each day. Bonus points for daily writing.

    I love the group name!

  36. ScholasticaMama permalink
    9 September, 2011 9:33 pm

    Goals for the week:

    * Write proposal (Anglo-Norman historians’ connection to Universities) for conference presentation at Kalamazoo – proposal will be a continuation of the project I am working on for this writing group

    * Read whole paper on Gender Binaries and Universals

    * Create 12 week outline

  37. Britomart permalink
    9 September, 2011 9:46 pm

    It’s interesting to read others’ goals to get an idea for what might be feasible in a week. My project is to write the intro to my dissertation in the next 12 weeks.

    Goals for this week:
    1. Write approximately 1250-1500 words (5-ish pages) to submit to my “in person” writing group by Wednesday. These can and will be very rough.
    2. Start making a dent in the endless pile of books to read. Try to get enough out of 4 books that I feel ready to return them to the library – 2 books relevant to the intro and 2 relevant to another chapter I’m still working on.

    Good luck everyone!

  38. amcalm25 permalink
    9 September, 2011 10:15 pm

    My 12 week goal: finish an article based on conference papers.

    My 1st week goal: gather notes, original conference papers, and the start I made on my article in the spring, reread and regroup.

    I have also picked up a copy of the recommended WYJA, yesterday. I am not usually good at using such resources, but I am committed to reading through the first few chapters tonight. At this point I’ll take just about whatever help I can get!!

    • Amstr permalink
      10 September, 2011 12:22 am

      If you get overwhelmed by WYJA, do go back to it at a slower pace. There’s a lot of (good) material in each chapter, and it can be a lot to digest at a quick pace. I’ve found it really helpful overall.

      • amcalm25 permalink
        10 September, 2011 11:55 pm

        Amstr – thanks for the encouragement. Having read through the intro and first chapter, I feel as though someone was prying into the writing corner of my brain, so I am optimistic. Although, I always have the feeling that i am wasting productive work time, when I read things like this, instead of writing! I am, however, committing to give it a try. It’s clear my previous writing plans haven’t been working!!

        And, here I am discussing writing, so yet another positive already!!

  39. Sisyphus permalink
    9 September, 2011 11:54 pm

    My project: to polish the rough draft of my article into a publication-ready copy.

    My goal by next Friday: I have decided that the middle section should actually be two middle sections, so I want to separate them out and reorganize them and make them flow. I also will fix all the bolded sentences and (awk) comments to myself in this (these) section(s).

    PS this might be the best writing group name Evar!

  40. Antikate permalink
    10 September, 2011 12:10 am

    My project: revise a conference paper into an article and submit

    This is a bit daunting, as I come from a theater program that’s more productionthan scholarship focused. But I have my trusty copy of WYJA and am ready to go!

    My goal for this week is to reread the conference paper and all of the plays that the article will discuss and make notes (heading towards an outline of the new structure for the paper, if I’m feeling ambitious).

  41. 10 September, 2011 1:26 am

    Project: draft of new dissertation chapter

    Week One:
    develop bibliography
    order sources from ILL
    finish one primary text (novel, ~70 pages to go)
    read intro, skim chapter one of book of criticism

    This might be too ambitious! We shall see . . .

  42. 10 September, 2011 2:10 am

    Project: Turn conference paper into article.

    Week One: read the only article that has been written on the topic since I gave the paper (good news, that!)

    see if said article matters beyond the lit review section

    go through paper changing the “I” conference speak for more academic journal pronoun speak, which will reacquaint me with the paper

    That’s probably all I can expect this week, but I have the next couple of steps in mind if I need them (for example, if the university closes for the week, or something)

  43. kris permalink
    10 September, 2011 2:35 am

    My project: a ‘full’ paper and the cut down 15 minute version to present at a November conference.

    My goals for this week are to:
    a) order any inter-library loans and documents needed to write the paper (I completed a rough and ready literature search on Thursday);
    b) from my available materials, write 500 words on how sociologists understand institutional ethics oversight.

  44. 10 September, 2011 5:45 am

    Goal for this coming week: minimum 1000 new words, not counting revisions or editing, on the almost complete chapter.

  45. 10 September, 2011 4:05 pm

    I love the name!

    My goals for this week:
    – Do work towards the 2 chapters 5/7 days this week.
    – Tackle the Why Wheels chapter. Stop thinking about it as Teh Evul, quit freaking out about it. Go through notes and outline basic arguments, selecting a few supporting quotes. Outline a structure for the chapter.
    – pull references for State Supported Wheels and set aside.

  46. 10 September, 2011 8:35 pm

    Hey folks? A quick request, to assist ADM and me: If your WordPress login is different from the one you originally signed up under, can you indicate it in your post? That way, we don’t risk missing your check-in because you have a different name here.


    • 12 September, 2011 4:18 am

      Oh, regarding the WordPress identity not matching the name on my comment. My username is belledamesansmerci; my name is Elizabeth MItchell.

      Sorry for the confusion!

  47. Scatterwriter permalink
    10 September, 2011 9:27 pm

    This coming week, I need to pull together a new course proposal and to do some reading related to it. So, for this, I will set the somewhat modest goal of re-reading the introduction and first chapter of the draft of my book manuscript. It’s been so long since I worked on it that I don’t quite remember everything I wrote — so this is an important first step to formulating a plan for revision.

  48. monksandbones permalink
    10 September, 2011 10:04 pm

    I need to keep my goals relatively modest this week because I’ll be travelling for about half of it. Here’s what I’m planning to accomplish:

    1) Reread my seminar paper and take notes on what I’ve already got.
    2) Create a 1-page outline of what the new version of the paper might look like.
    3) Review notes on relevant historiography and write up a 2-page historiographical overview of the topic.

  49. Merryweather permalink
    10 September, 2011 10:49 pm

    Goal this week: finish going through database of notes on primary material taken a zillion years ago for another project and extract what is useful for this paper, and figure out a short reading list of essential things to read for theoretical framework.

  50. 10 September, 2011 11:31 pm

    Goal for the week:
    Review my preliminary outline and rough in details (outline-style) for Part 1 (of 3 parts).

    (This should be pretty easy, because Part 1 is basically an explanation of what paleography is. Starting gently!)

  51. Susan permalink
    11 September, 2011 1:28 am

    OK, so I postponed checking in because I thought I was supposed to have accomplished something. And most of what I did in my writing time this week was getting rid of a short thing I have to finish by next Thursday. (It’s mostly done; I just need to fix footnotes and give it one more read.) I got slightly derailed by a minor family crisis, but I kept that under control.
    My project is a 7000 word essay, which will serve both as a retrospective of how another historian has worked with a topic, and a prospective view of the issues I’m thinking about as I finish the book that he had started. What I finished this afternoon is a framework for the article. I’ve got about 1000 words, (with huge holes that say “Discuss X here”). So I know where I’m going.
    Next week, I will get through the first part of the historiographical review, adding about another thousand words to what I have done.

    BTW, I’ll probably almost always post on Saturdays, because Friday and Saturday are my big free time for writing days, and it makes more sense to post then rather than to post on Friday and then get some big chunk of work done on Saturday!

  52. 11 September, 2011 4:07 am

    I’m aiming pretty low for the week: I will get a good solid page with a good working thesis done this week.

  53. 11 September, 2011 4:21 am

    OK, so I pretty much have a defense date, and working backwards from that to the deadline for a finished product, I’ve got just over five weeks to finish a dissertation. Which is all kinds of scary. This was the scenario I’d hoped to avoid, but given that it took almost two full months to get feedback from the advisor and I had courses to prep and various upheaval in my living situation, time got away from me.

    So my goals from now on have to be ambitious, b/c there just isn’t enough time.

    This coming week:
    1. Absolutely must devise a schedule for handling my two course preps, both of which have reading-heavy syllabi, one of which requires writing lectures (and learning the material before i parrot it back to students); getting organized for the meager job market, and finishing the damn diss.

    2. Chapter 3 still isn’t finished. But I think I should put it aside for now, except for one context thing I need to spend an afternoon thinking about.

    3. Return to the introduction; get a more clear opinion from the advisor about it; rewrite half of it?

    4. Start thinking about what I want to happen in the conclusion.

    Yeah, that’s a lot. But I only have five weeks.

    • 11 September, 2011 4:22 am

      oh, and i’m out of town until tuesday. that’s real realistic.

    • Susan permalink
      11 September, 2011 2:25 pm

      So if I red this correctly, you have one chapter to finish, as well as the intro and conclusion? With two courses? I would say it is doable, if hard. I’d the defense at your university on the final or penultimate draft? The latter makes it a bit easier! Anyway, congratulations on the defense date!

      • 11 September, 2011 3:39 pm

        All chapters have been drafted, but two of them required significant revisions. The worst one was chapter 3. I did the bulk of those revisions during the last group, but there’s still a few things to tidy up. Then I need to address the revisions for the other problematic chapter. The intro has also been written but needs revisions, and the conclusion needs to be written from scratch. At my uni, the defense is on the final version, which must be submitted six weeks before the defense date (some tweaks can happen in between but that six weeks prior version is what the readers reports are on). But yeah, you defend and then you cease to be affiliated with the uni.

        As for the courses, I should say that this is my first time teaching my own courses, and I didn’t have that much experience with teaching in grad school. So it’s not the number, really, it’s the “first time’s a struggle” situation.

        That said, it’s all just going to have to get done, and so it will.

  54. Erika permalink
    11 September, 2011 4:40 am

    My 12 week goal: complete the draft of my article

    My summer of too many abstracts has been well-rewarded with a 100% acceptance rate! Yay! This means that I’ll present a 15 minute slice of my article in March, and the beginnings of my book chapter in three weeks (!) and again in late May, and a fourth paper the first week of January.

    My goals this week: make 15 hours of progress on this conference paper, 10 on an encyclopedia entry (both due at the end of September so I can’t mess around). Spend 30 minutes a day assembling the biblio into coherent piles or notes files for my article (baby steps on the article this week).

    My other new support network: I’ve just joined a real-life writing group where we’ll review each others pieces. I’m very excited to have colleagues on my campus, but in different disciplines who can respond to my writing in progress this year.

  55. Salimata permalink
    11 September, 2011 12:53 pm

    My modest goals for the week (which I would like to exceed, but who knows) are to
    –work on the paper for 1 hr on Monday, 2 hrs on Friday, and 15 minutes all other days
    –in order to accomplish the following: read the abstract I wrote ages ago; identify the fieldnotes and recordings I want to use; put together a brief bibliography

  56. highlyeccentric permalink
    11 September, 2011 1:10 pm


    Things what I have to do next week:

    – skeleton/plan the next chapter
    – re-do some kind of overeview of the entire thesis (also, talk to supervisor about timeline; possibly have to seek extensions)
    – shake up the words I already have, the ones concerning homosexual subtext or lackthereof, into something resembling an argument (should be first 1/4 of a chapter)

  57. Nvrwhere42 permalink
    11 September, 2011 3:06 pm

    My project: finish my second dissertation chapter.

    My goals this week are:
    -re-outline the rest of the chapter from where I’m at (direction has changed slightly)
    -Write at least 2000 words this week
    -Get back into the writing groove!


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