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Another Damned Writing Group 2.9

5 November, 2011

Hi all —

had a crazy idea that two hard-boiled eggs, a spoon of peanut butter, and about ten pieces of Hallowe’en candy (all non-chocolate) might not have been the best set of meals for the day.

And now, by virtue of the wonder that is the freezer, I have eaten IKEA meatballs, noodles, mushroom gravy, and spinach. Go me!

I haven’t met my goals this week, although I did get some little bits done. If you look at my last post, you can see why. That’s one day of my week, and that’s what most days have been like this semester, especially the last three weeks. With luck, the madness that is my professional organization job will slow down soon. I’m also trying to get a grip on how to re-tool some of my classes, which are still not going as well as I’d like. Part of this is down to me — I’ll talk about that some other time, but I think I have been using the wrong approach. I need to structure the class more clearly, rather than tailoring it to the students as much as I have been doing. Part of it is simply trying to figure out how to teach people to think. That’s another post, too.

So for those of you keeping count, the only goal I’ve managed to meet so far is to survive to the next week. Shit keeps exploding. Fortunately, a colleague involved in helping handle one of the biggest explosions stepped up to help organize delegating various tasks. This was not the colleague’s job. It’s someone else’s, but that person is not to be seen. I’m very grateful for that. Collegiality is something that can keep us going. So is sleep. G’nite!

Roll call, with week 9 goals

• Adelaide [write a conference paper]: turn my rough draft paper/article into a presentation
• Amcalm25/AMChristensen [finish an article]: reassess what I have been doing and see what I really have that is usable.
• Amstr [revise and resubmit an article]: I must get the revision tasks and lit review and intro done by Friday so I have the weekend to fine tune sentences and proofread, as the article is due Tuesday.
• Another Damned Medievalist [write/revise a close-to-final draft of an article]: 30 minutes a day doing something on the paper
• Belledamesansmerci/Elizabeth [rough draft of a journal article]: rough draft of the second passage
• Bitterandjaded/Bittergrrl [finishing a dissertation chapter]: 2000 words on the chapter
• Britomart [completing a draft of dissertation introduction]: Same as before, 30 minutes of writing per day. Try to do better than last week.
• Cly(temnestra) [write a book chapter]: have a semi-polished working draft
• Contingent Cassandra [complete a full draft of a journal article – note goal may be revised soon]: write at least 500 words of Section 2
• Dame Eleanor Hull [complete a chapter of the article-turned-book]: continue to put in 30 minutes/day, add 500 words to the chapter, and take some notes on another book, one I own, this time.
• Digger [write two book chapters]: the OTHER HALF of nemesis chapter
• Dr. Crazy [Finish a chapter draft begun this summer]: I’m going to try for 4 hours again, and I want to get three more pages written
• Dr. Virago [draft a 7500-word essay for a contracted publication]: same old, same old 750 words.
• Erika [write a complete & final draft of an article already underway]:try outlining the entire argument again and see what needs writing. Write 2,000 words,
• Forthright [write two article-length pieces]: get article #1 well-structured with a good introduction and enough filler bits between already-written sections that the end will be in sight.
• Frogprincess [Final draft of the dissertation DONE!!]: try not to lose out on job chances b/c I’m too exhausted to apply for jobs
• Good Enough Woman [write the first half of a dissertation chapter]: 1) read two chapters of Descartes, 2) read 30 pages of primary text, 3) read one article, and 4) freewrite for 10 minutes per day.
• Gillian [4 chapters of dissertation]: have section ready to give to advisor, go through previous sections to get back on track
• Heu Mihi [write paper for a faculty colloquium]: 2-3 hours of work.
• Highlyeccentric/nakedphilologist [Draft one thesis chapter]: 1000-2000 words on section 3
• Janice/jliedl [write a first draft of a chapter]: 5000 words of semi-polished draft by next Friday
• Jennifer [finish writing a neglected article]: This week my goal is to get back to daily morning writing. I’m aiming for 500 words a day.
• Kris [write up a “full” paper and cut down to a 15-minute conference presenation]: work on sharpening my ideas and expression every day for at least half an hour.
• Lucie: [Complete a full draft of the PhD thesis]: 7000 words, re-read 2 primary texts, maintain internet-free morning writing
• Luolin [finish and submit an article]: read that one article and stop avoiding the outline.
• Katrin/StitchInTime [Turn MA thesis into book form]: Get the new insights written down, and finish going through literature currently stacked high here.
• Marie [finish turning paper into journal article]: cut about 500 words, always tricky.
• Matilda [first draft of a journal article]: writing 1000 or more words; reading a related and seemed-important paper recently I found
• Mike [write ch. 2 of dissertation]: turn my rough draft paper/article into a presentation
• Monks and Bones [turn a seminar paper into an article]: 1) Draft conference paper; 2) Finish conference paper.(may not check in this week)
• Notorious Ph.D. [write a conference paper]: 500 actual-draft (as opposed to Shitty First Draft) words on the paper by next weekend.
• NWGirl [Revise one dissertation chapter into a book chapter]: schedule writing time; finish reworking the outline for the book proposal; continue to work on the spreadsheet inventory.
• Opsimathphd [turning a dissertation chapter into an article]: So my goal this week is to tackle that article, get what I need from it, and then bravely write to the author and ask him about the part which interests me the most
• Scatterwriter [revise three chapters of book]: continue skimming book on to-read list
• Scholasticamama [draft of an article]: write the introduction and abstract.
• Sisyphus [polish the rough draft of my article and send it out]: revise pages 17-21, actually does not overlap with the same pages I just did
• Sophylou: [finish revisions on an article and prepare it for submission]: some brainstorming freewriting every day next week, even if it’s just a page a day
• Stemi [First (very rough) draft of review article]: 500 new words in outline/draft document
• Susan [write a 7000 word commissioned essay]: fill in some of the footnotes, and start doing the bibliography.
• Trapped in Canadia [draft two chapters of the dissertation]: I plan on writing 1,000 words and turning in four job applications
• Undine/Not of General Interest [Finish nearly done chapter and complete another]: 1500 words and let the other people’s needs wait for a while.
• Viola [writing an introduction and a chapter for thesis]: start writing proper
• Zcat abroad/Kiwimedievalist [write an article]: finish the revisions to the article which needs to be sent off soon, and complete two job applications

Week 8 Absences (some of these are planned-and-announced absences, so if your name appears here even though you announced your upcoming absence, rest assured that the only reason you will be dropped is if you miss two weeks in a row):

• Antikate [get a detailed outline and several sections for an article]:
• Salimata [write a conference paper]:

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87 Comments leave one →
  1. 5 November, 2011 3:40 am

    At least you’ve had some protein.

  2. 5 November, 2011 4:00 am

    Man, ADM, that sounds like me when studying for quals, which anded me in hospital with ulcers. Take care of yourself, okay?

  3. 5 November, 2011 4:30 am

    Last week’s goals: continue to put in 30 minutes/day, add 500 words to the chapter, and take some notes on another book, one I own, this time.

    Hm. Well, I met the 500 words requirement by Tuesday. In fact, I got up to 800-some words added. But I’ve only written on three days (did manage some tiny moving-the-project-forward step on the other two, at least), and have not touched that book. Nor will I over the weekend, considering the ridiculous lot of stuff I have to do.

    The plan for next week is to print out what I have and edit it. I need to submit to my IRL writing group soon, and I’ve lost the thread of what I’m doing. There’s a problem I’ve been writing around for at least a couple of single-spaced pages now, & though I’m sure the answer is there somewhere, I can’t get at it. I feel like the problem is these short sessions. They’re great for making progress when the overall aim is clear, but right now I need more perspective and more time. So while I’d like to keep doing something for the chapter every day next week,to stay connected with it, some days may really be baby steps, because what I most need is a good chunk of 2-3 hours where I can look at the whole thing and figure out what it still needs. That might be Wednesday & it might be Friday.

    • 5 November, 2011 5:33 am

      Like you, I find I have to have a few longer writing sessions sprinkled among the write-every-day sessions; while the latter are great for the lit reviews or checking citations, they are not so good for the meat of a problem. i try to schedule some of each kind every week.

    • 5 November, 2011 6:05 pm

      That sounds like a great plan!

  4. 5 November, 2011 5:29 am

    Well, it was a bit of a conga line this week. I did get the second passage almost done, only to find that our set of the Patrologiae is in our storage facility, and we didn’t bother to bring them back when we had to give up online access in the last round of budget cuts. Excuse me? And although it takes a mere 24 hours to get materials from the storage facility, I only found out I needed them on Thursday and the libraries were closed today. Monday, I will haul five folio volumes from the main library to my veal-fattening pen, which is luckily only two hundred yards away. Yippee.

    So making lemonade, I worked on the third passage, except for checking Migne.

    Then I was on a roll, but burning out on the Fathers, so I cleaned up a paper I gave in my infancy, and only had in typescript. The OCR scan turned it into page after page of gibberish, so I input it. It actually wasn’t that boring, because I found out that it was a damn fine paper, even if I was in my early twenties when I wrote it. I have to do a lot more lit review to update it, which is why it isn’t the project for this writing group, but a quick glance doesn’t show anyone who has approached the topic as I have.

    Goal for next week: Finish the second and third passages. Check Migne, or if the fates are smiling, a newer edition of the various Fathers.

    • 5 November, 2011 6:46 am

      Our library has that “remote storage” thing, too. Fortunately, it’s usually a two- to three-hour turnaround. But to discover this only before the weekend would indeed be a real pain.

  5. 5 November, 2011 6:52 am

    Hi, all!

    In spite of a busy week, I managed to finally get my modest goal finished. Turns out that once again, a paper was saved by me having lots of scrap words and notes and musings. So I got my 500 draft words down, and then some. Turns out that, once I started plugging things into the sub-folders in Scrivener, I’ve got plenty of words. I’m just not confident yet that they’re the right words.

    So my goal for this week is to finish off the last major section and write a draft conclusion, then edit the whole thing from SFD to presentable first draft. That will give me time to plug the holes and do one more big edit before the end of the 12 weeks.

    • 5 November, 2011 11:38 pm

      I’m hanging out for the 7th of Nov, when the next Windows Beta version is due, so I can reload Scrivener, and get the bigger articles up and running. I love how easy it is to use, and can’t wait ’til they actually get a Windows version for sale. Thank you for introducing me to it!

  6. Viola permalink
    5 November, 2011 7:19 am

    I’ve been unsuccessful this week due to outside issues but hopefully I am meeting with my supervisor this week to green-light my writing or I will just start writing instead… Same goal as last week then. I did receive feedback on my last chapter which was very positive so smiles all round.

    • Amstr permalink
      5 November, 2011 8:07 am

      Congrats on the positive feedback! I hope it fuels your writing this week.

  7. Amstr permalink
    5 November, 2011 8:06 am

    Goal for the past week: almost final draft, ready for sentence tinkering.

    I’m almost there! I’ve still got some intro and conclusion fun to finish up, and a few more books that I should glance at. I’ve done most of the citation fill-in stuff (though a couple citations have snuck away from me–I’m determined to hunt them down). I think I’m at a place where I can start some sentence revision and attempt to cut the 400+ extra words I have.

    There’s something exhilarating about being near the end of a project, or at least a deadline for one. I’m finding I don’t mind the late nights working, and I just want to fix that one last thing. There will be a time to stop, but I’m enjoying the final push.

    Goals for this week: Make my Tuesday deadline, take some respite at the end of the week, and make notes on the areas I can easily expand to turn this into a dissertation chapter (which I will need to do early next year).

    My main focus is going to shift to another article that’s due Dec. 1, but I still want to take the next few weeks to have a concrete plan for how to move ahead with this chapter.

  8. 5 November, 2011 9:28 am

    I was foolish to have a goal at all this week. One project that I am involved with was hosting a conference, which meant that nothing else got done. Instead of writing during my one day that wasn’t eaten by conferencing, catch-up teaching, or associated forms, I visited an archive, and noted two collections which are important to my book as a whole. So, while I’m excited about that, I’m embarrassed about not meeting my goal – again.

    Next week I have the same goal – draft chapter.

    • Amstr permalink
      5 November, 2011 6:00 pm

      Would it help to name the smaller goals you need to complete to get to that larger goal for the week?

      • 6 November, 2011 2:17 pm

        Not at this point – I did that at the beginning, but it now requires only two hours of writing fiddly connected bits. Unfortunately, the past two weeks have been insane (hosting a conference, proofs for two articles, translating for a colleague and MARKING). I did manage daily writing, but it all has been directed towards immediate stuff and I haven’t managed to focus. This week will be better – I hope!

        Thanks though. My goal for two weeks from now will be the editing process. I’ll definitely break it into smaller (and clearly identified sections).

  9. 5 November, 2011 11:39 am

    Where on earth did this week go? It feels as if it just started yesterday.
    Well, I still have a stack of books here, and I wasn’t really successful in writing on this project during the week. I managed to get some other stuff done, and I did some writing and editing work on another writing project, but I’m still a bit disappointed in myself for not getting on with the ADWG project.
    So for next week, I’ll try something different: work at least 15 minutes a day on the book. Let’s see if that will get me back on track…

    • Amstr permalink
      5 November, 2011 6:02 pm

      Great idea to switch things up. 15 minutes is a great starter goal.

  10. 5 November, 2011 1:36 pm

    I was about to report in that I had a very bad week in terms of meeting my goals, but I did send stuff to my supervisor. I didn’t do work past that, because it turned out that I needed his input for the next bit. I took a bit of a broad sweep and read some of the literature that I will need later on, instead. I’ll keep on doing this until I hear back from my supervisor. So I’m not meeting my goals right now and am unlikely ot this week, but I’m moving forward anyway.

    • Salimata permalink
      5 November, 2011 3:19 pm

      You know, this might be very different for you, and your advisor, but after a while I figured out that with my advisor, it really didn’t make sense to wait for input for whatever was next, because it just wasn’t forthcoming. So, I switched to just deciding how *I* wanted to go ahead, and stuck with it. Sounds you’re doing a bit of that already by moving to different readings and such, instead of only waiting. Then again, YMMV.

      • 5 November, 2011 6:11 pm

        Gillian, This makes me curious. How does this second PhD compare to the first one, in terms of having a handle on what you are doing? It’s a different field, but you’re also a seasoned professional, as are many people in the group.

  11. Salimata permalink
    5 November, 2011 3:03 pm

    I better check in quick, so I won’t be dropped, and then I’ll check in tomorrow to let you all know whether or not I actually made this week’s goal: get the paper into shape to send to the discussant on Sunday.

    Last week, I totally forgot to check in because of all things, I was out apple picking, and then cooking pans and pans of applesauce to freeze for the winter 😉

    Ok, will be back tomorrow!

  12. Stemi permalink
    5 November, 2011 3:39 pm

    Project goal: First (very rough) draft of review article
    Weekly goal: 500 new words in outline/draft document

    I had a bit of an emotional meltdown this week, and my goal is not met. I have decided that rather than work on writing today in order to meet the goal, I need a recovery week end. My hope is that will lead to a more stable and productive upcoming week.

    Goal for upcoming week: 1) 500 new words in outline/draft document. 2) read paper sent by colleague on ms topic.

    • Amstr permalink
      5 November, 2011 6:03 pm

      Respite is good, and sounds like a wise choice. I hope your weekend is restorative!

    • 5 November, 2011 6:20 pm

      I’m also in favor of taking time off to re-set. Not that I do it, but I’m in favor of it!

  13. 5 November, 2011 4:01 pm

    Goal: 2-3 hours.
    Accomplished: 1 hour.

    That was, almost literally, the most that I could do. I suppose I could’ve shaved off a little sleep and done more, but on Wednesday, when I’d had a hectic 10 hours at the office and came home to face mandatory, must-be-done-tonight grading, trying to work MORE just seemed, well, insane.

    I’m perversely glad to see that I’m not the only one who wasn’t able to do what she’d intended this week! It is November, after all.

    Goal for the week: Finish the damn thing. I think it’s do-able!

  14. undinenotofgeneralinterest permalink
    5 November, 2011 5:37 pm

    Goal: 1500 words; actual: 3449 words. My new goal is still 1500 words but to write every day.

  15. Susan permalink
    5 November, 2011 8:06 pm

    I made my modest goal. I re-read the essay, tinkered with some of the language so it’s a bit clearer in the fuzzy spots (and I know where they are, I just have ti figure out how to fix them). I worked on some footnotes. It’s off to readers.
    My goal for this week — a few more footnotes. But realistically, I have a stack of grading to do,, and meetings all day tomorrow and Monday. So I don’t think I’ll be getting much more than that done. Which is OK. I’m in a position to finish this when it’s due (the end of December).

    I’m glad you have some real food in your freezer! I know it’s bad when I have chips and salsa for dinner….

    • Sisyphus permalink
      5 November, 2011 10:52 pm

      Wait, there’s something wrong with chips and salsa for dinner? Heresy!

      • Susan permalink
        7 November, 2011 6:18 am

        Well, it’s not exactly a balanced meal…

  16. 5 November, 2011 8:52 pm

    I know this is going to seem braggy, but I wrote over 5000 words on the chapter this week – far exceeding my 2000 word goal. I could have done more, but grading and teaching got in the way.

    Goal for next week is twofold: 1) writing another 2000 words and 2) carefully editing the first 15 pages – ie putting in actual citations instead of just the word CITATION, making sure it doesn’t sound repetitive, beefing up on the sections that could be stronger.

    Holy crap….I may actually finish this chapter. 🙂

    • Amstr permalink
      5 November, 2011 10:52 pm

      What a great thing to celebrate! Congrats on the word count!

    • Sisyphus permalink
      5 November, 2011 10:52 pm

      Whoo-hoo! You go!!!!

    • Erika permalink
      5 November, 2011 11:16 pm

      Way to go beating your goal!

    • nwgirl permalink
      6 November, 2011 9:54 pm

      Brag away! You’ve earned it. This is fantastic news!!

  17. Sisyphus permalink
    5 November, 2011 10:55 pm

    Hmm, I worked on the end of my article for a couple hours this morning but I am feeling stuck … I feel like, at the end of the article you are supposed to have your big climax with fireworks and all sorts of grand confusions, and right now it’s kind of a mess that doesn’t seem to go anywhere — waving a sparkler instead of showing off some big fireworks.

    So I did laundry all day instead. I will try working on the ending more tomorrow.

    My goal is still to finish up the end of the article and make sure it is cleaned up enough to send to my friend.

    • Sisyphus permalink
      5 November, 2011 10:56 pm

      Whoops, that’s grand conclusions, not confusions —- I have plenty of *those* at the end of my draft right now!

      • 5 November, 2011 11:42 pm

        I think fireworks go well with grand confusions! It sounds like the end of an arena spectacular.

      • Salimata permalink
        6 November, 2011 11:05 pm

        I know what that’s like–just a sparkler instead of fireworks. Have you ever found that a great firework show choreography springs to mind as soon as you send the piece of to a friend? I’ve definitely have that happen . . .

  18. monksandbones permalink
    5 November, 2011 11:16 pm

    I have internet! I also finished my paper, by the skin of my teeth (we won’t speak of how little time there was between when I finished it and when I presented it). But it apparently didn’t suck!

    My goal for this week, which is going to involve a couple of major travel days as I head back to my research location, have to be pretty modest. I definitely need to talk to my advisor about the article version of my paper, and I can probably commit to squeezing in some outlining once I’ve done that.

    In convenient point form:

    1) Talk to advisor
    2) Work on outlining article version of paper

  19. Adelaide permalink
    5 November, 2011 11:20 pm

    Presentation is done, just needs polishing (which is good because it’s pretty soon) – I forget how many weeks we have left, but if we have time after it’s presented, then my goal after that will be to turn it back into a paper/article again!

  20. Erika permalink
    5 November, 2011 11:22 pm

    Okay, this week’s goal was to write an outline and see what still needs writing. I did get my three hours of work on the project in, and 800 words written (out of 2,000 goal), but they’re headed for the bin, I’m afraid.

    Next week’s goal: just keep connected to this project from Sunday – Weds by reading my draft, doing a reverse outline from the SFD, doing more concrete outlining for the last bits, and ILLing the German and Italian sources I MUST read. I can’t escape them any longer, but I also don’t read Italian, soooooo this will be a challenging couple of weeks worth of research.

    • Amstr permalink
      6 November, 2011 12:54 am

      In my experience, 800 words that go in the bin still count as progress. I often have to write the rubbish words to get to the good ones.

  21. 5 November, 2011 11:47 pm

    I think I have achieved some form of success with my article. I keep re-reading it, to see if there is any way I can make the argument more obvious (subtly). I think I should just send it off at this point.

    More job applications done. (And three days of this week involved in getting a couple of friends married off.)

    Next week’s goal is to re-engage with article 2, get a list of outside sources to read, and try to work out a plan. (And apply for more jobs.)

  22. sophylou permalink
    6 November, 2011 1:08 am

    Utter and complete fail, mired down this week in Other Stuff. My goal for this week is to try to spend some time reading– I need to read over some of my old writing and see what I can build on, and to do some general secondary reading on the broader topic I’m interested in. Secondary goal is to try to make contact with people who support my wanting to continue with this kind of scholarship, because I’m feeling kind of alone with that (a feeling exacerbated by the Other Stuff that happened this week).

    • Salimata permalink
      6 November, 2011 11:07 pm

      good luck–sounds you had a tough week, so here’s wishing you a better one next week

      • sophylou permalink
        8 November, 2011 5:53 am

        thanks! 🙂 so far so good, better balance, though the Other Stuff continues to lurk in the background. (Isn’t there always Other Stuff lurking a bit though?)

  23. J Liedl permalink
    6 November, 2011 2:20 am

    Didn’t make the semi-polished draft, dang it. I only added 400 words so I’m still 800 short of the draft. I will have to push that goal to next Friday, by which time I want the damned thing ready to go off to my co-editor.

    Life and health kicked me in the gut repeatedly this week. There’s nothing like a crippling three day migraine that makes reading impossible to serve up a heaping helping of humility. That I only missed one teaching day and one class? I count as fortunate. Of course, none of that time went to anything more worthwhile than being curled up in a ball on the couch, rocking mournfully in a fetal position. . . .

  24. Dr. Crazy permalink
    6 November, 2011 4:27 am

    My sad update is that I accomplished nothing. Damn service! Damn grading! For next week: 3 pages.

  25. Matilda permalink
    6 November, 2011 3:22 pm

    Hello, all,
    I sorry for my late check-in. This week, I have read only two articles related to my project, and written only 200 words or so. This is not enough, but somehow I have become optimistic with my project. Another task which has occupied nearly all of my work time will be finished soon (I must finish it as soon as possible, to be precise). I think I can use more time on my own project from next week, and my argument have seemed (hopefully) to shape itself, though gradually.

    Goal for next week: more than 2000 words on my project (I am ambitious this time); re-read related sources.

  26. 6 November, 2011 3:25 pm

    Hey there. I didn’t quite make my 750 word goal, but I did write each of my writing days, wrote 589 words on the announced project on Wed and Fri, and did some *other* research-related work on Monday. Given that I’m on a couple of Committees from Hell and one of my colleagues and I got into a screaming-crying argument last Friday, and Bullock and I are going mad with moving/re-modeling/house-selling plans, and I spent last weekend doped up on anti-anxiety meds, that’s not so bad an accomplishment! In fact, it’s pretty damn swell.

    For this coming week I really need to put some attention on that other project that I worked a little on last Monday, so I’m going to reduce my weekly goal on the contracted essay germane to this writing group to 500 words.

  27. 6 November, 2011 7:54 pm

    So I met my goal this week, which is good. Article #1 is now pretty well structured. The trouble is that it is loooooooong … 9000 words right now, and it probably will need another 2000 words, minimum, before it’s finished. My trouble now is that I’m conceiving of this article in two forms: first, as an article to go out to a journal (which I have already identified), and second, as a book chapter, much expanded from the original. But when I get ideas for ways to expand the chapter, I write them, so that some of the current 9000 is ultimately headed for the chapter, not the article. So ultimately, I have more writing, then more cutting to get it down to size, keeping the original in reserve for future use.

    This week, I’d like to get article #2 caught up to around the same state as article #1 is now at, which means getting the intro written and the structure more or less set. It’s been idling for a couple of weeks now and that’s fine, but I’d like to get it into a state where I feel that the last few weeks of the writing group can be spent polishing rather than new writing.

  28. Marie permalink
    6 November, 2011 8:30 pm

    Wow, this is the home stretch for me. I’ve just about finished getting the word count where it needs to be, now to print it out again and see what’s there. It always reads differently to me on paper. So that’s the goal, edit the printed copy.

  29. 6 November, 2011 9:05 pm

    from Luolin

    My goal was to read one article and stop avoiding the outline.
    Partial success: I read the article.

    My general goal for next week: work on outline.
    To be more specific:

    Commit to another time to work on this since my regular time for this project will be taken up with meetings this week.
    Then:
    1. incorporate citations from the reading 2. without obsessing too much
    and 3.revise outline 4. without obsessing too much. The “not obsessing” is in there because I won’t have time to meet the goals unless I let myself do a quick first pass at it, and I want to be thinking about both 1 and 3.

    I can’t really blame service and grading for slow progress, since I am behind on those as well.

    • Amstr permalink
      7 November, 2011 3:34 am

      It’s such good practice to let yourself to do things badly. You’ll have made some progress, and you can always fix things.

  30. nwgirl permalink
    6 November, 2011 10:00 pm

    Behind on many, many things this week — especially grading. Knocked out by yet another sinus infection.

    But I did finish revising the outline for the book proposal, and I did write everyday except for the two days I lost to a blinding sinus headache. I’m still sorting out digital images from my research trip, so my goal is to finish the spreadsheet inventory this week. And to finish the book proposal — just need to finish some minor revisions.

  31. Scatterwriter permalink
    6 November, 2011 10:29 pm

    My goal for this past week was to continue skimming a book on my to-read list, toward an overall goal of revising three chapters of my book manuscript.

    Well, I finally finished this book, I’m happy to say, and it actually does not have that great of an impact on my own research after all, but I have figured out that I can replace a few pages of my own argument with a citation to one section of this book, which will make Chapter 1 somewhat shorter. That’s good. I made another pass through Chapter 1 after I finished the book and I know what’s getting cut.

    Goal for this week: actually make the appropriate changes to my manuscript, decide which chapter I’m tackling next (do I do the next chapter in the manuscript, or do I work on a different chapter that is yielding a spring conference paper?), and start revising whichever chapter I settle on.

  32. Salimata permalink
    6 November, 2011 11:12 pm

    Well, I’m going to count my goal–get the paper ready for send-off to the discussant at 5PM today–as accomplished, because I did sent it off. It just didn’t have a conclusion–same sprinkler versus fireworks problem Sisyphus identified above. My wish (I mean, goal) for next week is that I come up with that final paragraph that brings up the paper from the level of “oh, such interesting data” to “what an interesting *idea*”

    • Salimata permalink
      6 November, 2011 11:13 pm

      So, yeah, only a 1-paragraph goal–300 words or so, but I’ll be very pleased if I make it!

  33. Trapped in Canadia permalink
    7 November, 2011 1:48 am

    I accomplished nothing. In fact, I lost words, if that’s possible – about 2,000 of them. I upgraded my OS (remembering to back up my work first) and I also reformatted my external hard drive to work with Mac’s Time Machine. Unfortunately, not all of my documents were transferred back to my laptop, so the reformatting wiped them and no one’s been able to recover them. Yet. I still have hope. It may be misguided, but it’s hope nonetheless.

    Goal for the week: recover my losses

  34. highlyeccentric permalink
    7 November, 2011 2:03 am

    Well, I knocked off a bit more than 1000 words on section three! I like section three. I shall keep on in this fashion, since it seems to be working for me. 1500 this week?

  35. Contingent Cassandra permalink
    7 November, 2011 2:28 am

    Brief version: First, I do have a revised overall goal (as of last week, but it was a bit buried and I’m glad you got something approaching a decent dinner rather than hunting for it): finish 2500-word Section 2 of article draft

    My week 9 goal was to write at least 500 words of Section 2 (preferably during 2-3 writing sessions); I actually lengthened the draft by 165 words (but there was a good deal of cutting as well as writing). So, not stellar, but not nothing either.

    Week 10 goal: lengthen Section 2 by at least 500 words.

    Longer version: this week included a bit of OBE, and a bit more OBOO (overtaken by other opportunities): I learned on Thursday of a local conference with several panels germane both to the article and the related class. So I rearranged my schedule to allow me to hear the panels, and meet the presenters. That meant losing one possible writing day (Friday), and skipping something else I’d planned to do Saturday (which was going to eat up possible writing time anyway). On the whole, I think it was worth it.

    The productive writing day was Tuesday. I got back in touch with the article, and made some progress. One problem, especially when I’ve been out of touch with my writing, is that it often takes me more than the hour or two I should really spend to get back into writing, and I’m reluctant to stop when things are feeling uncertain, chaotic, frustrating, etc. So I really spent too much time writing on Tuesday, which put me behind, which helped contribute to my being up late Wednesday night (not getting much done, however; I get to a level of tiredness where I have trouble doing anything, including putting myself to bed), which meant no writing time on Thurs. morning (but a more-thorough-than-usual perusal of the newspaper as I was trying to wake myself up, which led to the discovery of the conference). Still, what I did get done on Tuesday felt good – so much so that I was thinking by the end of the session that I might be able to exceed my revised overall goal. If nothing else, this business of trying to write during the semester is good for reminding me that I’m really not too bad at this researching/writing thing when I have/make the time (a good discovery, since, although I’ve always considered writing to be a strength, my confidence was severely shaken by the process of writing my dissertation – and wasn’t significantly restored by finally finishing the darn thing).

    I’m not sure how this week will go. A good chunk of Thursday and of Saturday evening will be spent on a train, which is usually a good work environment for me, and the time in between will be spent at a conference that is very much germane to the article (and I’ll be listening, not presenting). But I’ll also have to do some grading, and may set out pretty tired (but very much hope not to come back that way, and have spent a bit more money on a slightly nicer and more convenient hotel with that goal in mind). Overall, I’m hoping it will be a productive week, for both grading and writing (what state my apartment, and especially my refrigerator, will be in when I return is another question, but I will do laundry before I leave, and, if past experience is any guide, getting away from being surrounded by undone household chores — I live in a studio apt, so they’re never more than steps away — will be a relief).

  36. 7 November, 2011 3:14 am

    Goal: Finish Nemesis Chapter.

    Success: Nil. Excuse: Some sort of nasty allergic reaction (best guess: poison ivy?) that swelled up half my face, followed by much sleeping, steroids, and benadryl. And class stuff.

    Goal this week: finish a zero version of the damn chapter. And get a draft of a 6.5 page conference paper to my supervisor by Tues. And an outline of a larger project (describing and defining my corner of the Antrhopological Universe) for Thurs. But really? The nemesis thing.

  37. amcalm25 permalink
    7 November, 2011 3:16 am

    I’m here! Somehow the weekend just got away from me, even with the extra hour.

    So, I re-read my out-put so far, (this was last week’s goal) and I still seem to be floundering around with direction. I have some good stuff, I think, but it just doesn’t mesh well yet. I think I am suffering from the fear that if I don’t do it all, it won’t be accepted, which leads me to the agonizing over what I should be emphasizing. I also think I have been working too much on the computer and need to do some spread out the sheets of paper and mark ’em up work. I may even resort to Scrivener, but I don’t know if I want to add in figuring out that to what I need to do, as it sounds like it lets one look at lots of parts at one time.

    My goal for this upcoming week will be to stop dithering and choose an angle and just go with it. I’ll never get anything finished or accepted if I don’t do this. In aid of this I will sit down with hard copies of my output and try to link them in a coherent fashion that makes my selected focus clear.

    And can I say that this fills me with a massive feeling of anxiety!!!!

    • Amstr permalink
      7 November, 2011 3:43 am

      Is there anyone you can talk thorough your ideas with? I almost always get my aha! moments when I’m explaining to someone else just what it is I’m writing, or what it is I’m having trouble with, or what I don’t want to let go of. I think some people can do this on paper, but I’ve always had to talk it out.

      And picking an angle and committing is a great idea. Even if it shows you the real way you should approach your topic, you’ll have made progress.

      Good luck with it all!

  38. ScholasticaMama permalink
    7 November, 2011 3:41 am

    Last week’s goals: Introduction and abstract
    Completed: abstract
    Next week’s goals: Introduction and outline section on Abelard’s Logica Ingredientibus

    I didn’t meet my goals because I “lost” my writing time this week. My Wednesday time was lost to a dr’s appointment (ended up having a miscarriage which began on Wed and ended this morning – sometimes life sucks). I created a new online and correspondence course this week during my Friday time (History of European Women – yea!) and my Saturday am writing time was given over to a National Karate Tournament held in my town (lost both days, but got to see a lot of old friends and it fired me up to get off my butt and back into the dojo, I hope!). Next week should be better!

    • Matilda permalink
      7 November, 2011 4:10 am

      Oh, I am very sorry to hear about the miscarriage. I hope you’ve got well. Surely your next week is better. Take care.

    • 7 November, 2011 12:59 pm

      Holy crap. I’m really sorry. That’s one of the best reasons for not getting stuff done that I’ve heard, and by best, I mean feckin’ sucks.

    • 10 November, 2011 6:00 am

      Funny, Scholastic Mama: that was my original goal for this week, too! 😉

  39. 7 November, 2011 4:15 am

    So I basically met what minimals goals I laid out: i.e. I did some job applications. Really my goal for this past week was to pull my teaching back on track after the two weeks or so in which I was barely keeping my classes running. To some degree, I succeeded, although the exhaustion and a general lack of motivation post-diss hangover meant that I was cutting things a bit fine. The lecture course could have been a real disaster, although I managed to salvage things. (In one particularly daring maneuver that I never intend to repeat, I announced at the beginning of class that we were going to be covering 125 years about that day’s topic knowing good and well that I’d only managed to prep 116 of those years. That sounds fine, but those last 9 years are pretty important. In other words, I knew I hadn’t prepped the last section of the lecture, but pretended as though we’d run out of time in class. Whatever, it worked, but I’m now trying to get back to a higher level of prep.)

    Goals for this week: I do have to return to the dissertation. The version for the final binding has to be submitted in ten days. So what I especially need to do is revisit the introduction, which the advisor trashed–I’m somewhat exaggerating here, but I’m still pissed that the advisor decided at the last possible minute that in fact ze wasn’t happy with whole sections that were apparently fine the last time ze read them–and the conclusion which was dreadful, actually.

    In non-writing goals, I need to keep pressing on with job applications, which tend to be the first thing I drop when time pressures overwhelm, even though I am currently working nothing like a permanent job. And more broadly, I think I need to start trying to be more productive in the morning. I’m not at all a morning person, but I’m finding that getting to work in the afternoon just doesn’t give me enough hours to get things done. I know, not a new revelation, but since teaching requires being functioning in the morning, I can no longer stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning.

    • Susan permalink
      7 November, 2011 6:24 am

      Just to say that the post-partum depression thing is totally normal…

  40. 7 November, 2011 4:58 am

    Goals for last week: 1) read two chapters of Descartes, 2) read 30 pages of primary text, 3) read one article, and 4) freewrite for 10 minutes per day.

    Well, I did not read Descartes, but I have been reading the not-at-all-scholarly book “Descartes Bones,” so maybe that sort of counts. I did read 30 pages of primary text. I know that 30 pages doesn’t sound like much, but since I’m reading PDFs of early c18 publications and taking LOTS of notes as I write, it takes me a while to make much progress. But this week I *did* make progress, which is good. And, even thought I didn’t read an article, I did read part of an ILL book that is quite interesting. I didn’t free-write M-F, but I did write for about 15-20 on two different days. So, all in all, I didn’t do a lot, but I did a little, which is good.

    My mother-in-law has been here this weekend, so that cut into some work time, but we’ve had a lot of good family time together. Next week I have a *ton* of grading and I might end up having another house guest for the weekend (but I hope I don’t). I really have no idea how this next week will be, so it’s hard to set goals. But I’m realizing that there are only three weeks left before I need to have part of the chapter written, right? Three weeks? So . . .

    This week I will 1) read 30 pages of primary text, 2) read some secondary sources, and 3) type five pages of text (even if I’m just typing up my handwritten free-writes). That might be ambitious.

    • Amstr permalink
      7 November, 2011 5:26 am

      I say, aim for the five pages of text first. For me it would be the easiest to leave until last, and it would be the one that would make me feel like I was making the most progress.

      You can do it!

  41. Lucie permalink
    7 November, 2011 10:49 am

    I didn’t meet my goal of 7000 words — I wrote 6080 — and I only read a few pages of the two texts I wanted to re-read. So that will roll over to next week’s goal and I’ll make a goal of writing 5000 words as well. I also need to make a more detailed plan for finishing I think.

    Next week’s goals: 5000 words, read two texts, more detailed plan for finishing.

    Thank you to GEW for the encouraging comment last week, and good luck to all for the next week.

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