This week I’m going to revisit a topic Notorious PhD, Girl Scholar, introduced last summer (in an earlier version of this writing group). Here’s what she said then:
OBE [Overwhelmed By Events] can arise from expected causes – a conference, a vacation, a family visit. It can also be the result of unforseen events: illness (yours or a family member’s), or another project that pops up and demands your immediate attention (ADM talked last week about strategies for juggling projects). Or you could have just been hit by severe lethargy, gotten sucked in by Hulu or Netflix or an ambition to read the complete works of Dickens, and let a two-day break stretch into two weeks, and now you don’t know how to get back again. These things do happen, and while we strive to be dedicated writers who meet our goals, we are not machines.
But also: Let’s talk about how to keep a detour from becoming a permanent derailment. After all, if you get derailed, you become demoralized, which makes it even harder to get started again. It’s happened to all of us . . .
What do you to do keep OBE from completely sabotaging your writing life? How do you stay engaged with your project when everything seems to distract from it? If you do have to take a break from your project, how do you get started again quickly? What steps will you take the next time this happens to you?
Check in guidelines, as usual: 1) Goals, 2) Accomplished, 3) Analysis, 4) Goals for next week, 5) optional Next check in date, if you’ll miss a week or two or three.
Amstr [complete dissertation]: 1) reverse outline Ch.2 Article Version, 2) type in changes for Ch. 3 revision pass, 3) “draft” 20 more pages of Ch. 2, Extra Credit) do some reading for ArticleRev.
Becky [journal article]: Keep reading at least one paper a day and maybe, just maybe, try to write a little.
Contingent Cassandra [full draft of J by 7/21; progress on P project]: finish freelance piece and grading, TAKE BREAK for at least a week, maybe 10 days. Reacquaint myself with J project (probably on July 7); begin planning/replanning rest of summer (or maybe that will be the following week). (next check-in 7/6)
Daisy [finish thesis]: Go talk at next conference, and finish the paper.
DEH [finish and submit MMP and article]: keep trying to finish the draft.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell [progress on diss or article]: 5 or 6 hours (check in 6/29)
emmawriting [2 articles submitted; work on 1 of 2 articles]: On free mornings, work on EOCP or another pub for 2 hours. [done for Monday, impossible for Tuesday]
GEW [draft of new chapter; edit article]: ?
humming42 [complete book MS]: chapter sent off.
JaneB [chip away at writing backlog]: SOME activity on ANY ONE of the following: first draft of the MSc paper, do an R&R, get a first draft of the NextBigPaper out to collaborators, do a re-rewrite of the intro to ComplicatedPaper based on the comments from co-authors that have come in along with a final polish and submit, write a plan for the next chunk of fieldwork. (next check-in possibly 7/13)
jenk [submit article; materials/methods + research sections of thesis]: Flesh out some thoughts for what could go in the intro and discussion sections of the paper we’re about to write
Kirstin [rough draft of journal article]: WYJA Week 3
luolin88 [finish and submit journal article; start next article]: 1/2 hour MWTHF, working on the article.
Matilda [2 of 4: paper, 3 presentations]: finishing a draft. Do it.
NWGirl [revise 2 papers for publication]: Finish revisions, double check citations and format.
psycgirl [R&R MS; submit MS#2; outline review article]: ?
rented life [2 solid book chapters]: Write. 1 page. Read: 1 chapter. Apply to two jobs.
Ruthie [chapter; book proposal; 2 articles]: ???
Sapience [complete diss; decide scope of new idea]: look at lots of sixteenth century books and write at least one paragraph about each relevant/interesting one. Extra credit: write a blog post about the work in the archives. (next check in: 6/29)
tracynicolerose [P&P and LM papers ready for conference mid-summer; drafting TS and BE papers]: Do some reading for the P&P and the LM paper and take notes. Also finish the rough draft of the findings section on the support paper.
Trapped in Canadia [2 diss. chapters; 1 turned into edited book ch.]: Finish the annoying book review. Complete Week 1 of WYJA.