In the comments about preparing for fall, many of you wrote of setting aside time to write, and the ways that those times can get interrupted or pushed aside. Here are a few examples:
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell:
The main struggle will be to block out what time I can for writing. My administrative duties will explode in the fall. In order to combat the loss of time, I have set up meetings with myself that are inviolate. . . . The next thing I need to do is find a place to hide.
I might be able to reserve an hour mid-day on Mondays, and I might be able to reserve an hour one morning a week. But I know what will happen, those mornings will come along, and I’ll be behind with grading and prep work, and I’ll have to get that stuff done.
Dame Eleanor Hull:
I have been thinking about Z’s remarks on preserving the scholar-self, and also about Virginia Valian’s comment about it being irresponsible not to do research (that is, one is responsible to one’s work, not just to other people such as students and administrators). I think more than specific planning about time and place, I need to preserve that sense of writing/research as something that is important and cannot be pushed aside to do this or that for someone else.
So how can we preserve the importance of writing and research? How do you assign them their proper value? What does this mean for how you handle other work or life pressures?
For me, these questions boil down to identity (see Dame Eleanor’s like above). I still struggle to see myself as a writer, even though academic writing is what I’ve been doing for the better part of my adult life. My “scholar-self” often gets overthrown by my mother-self or my pleasure-reader-self or my web-surfing-self. In my case, my scholar-self is not so much attacked from outside, as it is subverted from within. How do you preserve your identity as a scholar?
Check in: This week, the usual. Next week, we’ll do a final check in complete with an assessment of your summer progress.
I expect to have more solid information on the fall group by next week. UPDATE: Dame Eleanor will be hosting a Sept-Dec 2012 group, starting Aug 31. Sign up HERE.
The penultimate goals list:
Amstr [complete dissertation draft]: Work on Ch. 1 (research, reading, writing, formatting): M 4 hours, T 6 hours, W 4 hours, Th 6 hours, F 4 hours.
Contingent Cassandra [full draft of J article by 8/24; make progress on P projects; continue freelance work]: Finish J article conclusion; finish teaching statement and other portfolio materials; finish up a few long-neglected P project to-dos; finish course materials for one course and make a good start on materials for the second. Also take a break and keep exercising. [next check-in: 8/24]
Daisy [finish thesis]: get set up and working by the Monday after next to be ready for the fall term. [next check-in: 8/24]
DEH [finish and submit MMP and article]: 2 hours of research a day, just like I want to do when classes start. Translation? MMP? Both? I want visible progress next week.
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell [book chapter proposal; writing 4 days/week]: Two hours a day polishing. I need it all in somewhat presentable shape for the meeting with the mentor.
emmawriting [ EOCP full draft sent to collaborator, MC paper results section done, MUL data collected, MC5 fully prepped]: Spend 75% of Thurs and Fri (let’s say, total of 5 hours each day) working on a grant proposal and working on MC results and MC5 preparation.
GEW [short draft of new chapter (10 pages)]: Figure out a work plan for fall and decide whether or not I’m going to make some e-mail rules for myself. Also, read one chapter and write 500 words
humming42 [complete book MS]: continue daily work on the August project and teaching prep, 30 minutes each.
JaneB [chip away at writing backlog]: tackle that R&R (I’d like to draft the new version this week) and draft a job application letter
jenk [good draft of main project; figures + results of side project]: 20 min thinking about/working on one of the papers
Kirstin [rough draft of journal article]: more progress on weeks 3 and 4, work two weekdays
luolin88 [finish and submit journal article; submit 2nd ms to new journal]: 1/2 hour TWF
Matilda [2 of 4: paper, 3 presentations]: preparation for my two presentation: short one and long one.
NWGirl [revise 2 papers for publication]: 1). finish syllabus for intro class; 2). work out revision schedule; 3). work at least one hour per day (M-F) on manuscript; 4). set up meetings with my thesis students.
rented life [2 solid book chapters]: Finish book I started, order book I’ve been meaning to order for weeks for research purposes, Write 3 times for however long feels comfortable.
Sapience [complete diss; plan for one project for fall]: ? simply surviving
tracynicolerose [draft of TS and analysis for BE]: Start incorporating my TS report notes into the draft paper; finish reading for LM paper.