The Final Check-in (Summer Writing Group, Week 15)

Thank you all for a lovely summer writing group. It was a pleasure to host, and I can say with certainty that I would not have accomplished much at all this summer without the weekly check-ins, the challenge of goal setting, and the encouragement of writing alongside other scholars/writers.

For our final check in, assess your progress this summer. Did you accomplish what you set out to? Less? More? What affected your ability to meet your goals? Have you learned things about yourself and/or your writing that you can take with you into the next season?

Format: 1) The week’s goals, 2) Accomplished, 3) Analysis, 4) Overall progress assessment.

If you haven’t yet signed up for the Sept-Dec 2012 writing group over at Dame Eleanor Hull’s, you can do so HERE, if you wish. JaneB and Trapped in Canadia will host the following group, starting in January 2013. Check over at DEH’s in December for more info, if you’re planning to skip the Sept-Dec group.

The final list:

Amstr [complete dissertation draft]: 1) finish annotations and notes on articles, 2) read some more, 3) work on Ch. 1 revision (finish?), 4) work out fall plan for tackling Ch. 2 and prepping to write Ch. 4 (which still needs a LOT of research)
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 a day; visible progress on both the MMP and on the translation work
Elizabeth Anne Mitchell
[book chapter proposal; writing 4 days/week]: ? [writing 4 days/week]
emmawriting
[EOCP full draft sent to collaborator, MC paper results section done, MUL data collected, MC5 fully prepped]: MC1 analyzed; MC4 analysis decisions finalized; MC5 decisions finalized and scales sent for translation. Also some major committee work
GEW
[short draft of new chapter (10 pages)]: Use existing notes to draft a coherent and cohesive first 5-7 pages of chapter.
humming42
[complete book MS]: finish syllabi and proposal for certificate program, have handbook read for orientation, solid first draft of August project.
JaneB
[chip away at writing backlog]: progress on the BittyPaper, and commenting on two papers where I’m a subsidiary co-author – the one the Cloud ate and a second one
jenk
[good draft of main project; figures + results of side project]: Discuss new paper outlines with advisers and collaborators. Start making/collecting figures.
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 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
Matilda
[2 of 4: paper, 3 presentations]: preparation for a longer presentation, 15-minute writing a day (my writing habit has been collasping recently)
NWGirl
[revise 2 papers for publication]: [no goal listed]
rented life
[2 solid book chapters]: Write 3 times. Finish syllabus and course schedule. Figure out a Fall schedule for myself.
Sapience
[complete diss; plan for one project for fall]: ?? simply surviving
tracynicolerose
[draft of TS and analysis for BE]: Write a process memo for the BE analysis; Review the BE packets; and finish reading for LM paper.

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38 thoughts on “The Final Check-in (Summer Writing Group, Week 15)

  1. Just a note that I’ll be leaving town on Sunday afternoon, so I may not get to comment much on post-Sunday noon comments until much later in the week. Thanks to all for participating!

  2. Hello, all

    Goals: a presentation, re-constructing writing habit

    Accomplished: the presentation is done, but I had been working only on the presentation done yesterday, so there has been no other writing this week.

    Analysis: I should have started to prepare on the presentaion much earlier. Anyway I did it and got some constructive comments, though it was not the direction I have been thinking of. I need to consider again what I am doing with the materials.

    Overall progress assessment: I did all planned presentations this summer, but I am far behind my writing plan. Also I have not done the proof reading due the end of August. So what is may assessment? Well, I have been working reasonably hard, but I should have made more detailed weekly plans. My weekly goals here were somewhat vague or ad hoc basis.

    Therefore : say, 60 persent of what I had expected. I had to consider my plan better.

    Thank you so very much for your hosting this writing group, amstr! Without this, my summer would have been much less productive. I really appreciate amstr’s great hospitality and thought provoking discussion themes, and I enjoyed reading her posts with her kids’ news! I also heartily thank to all participants for helpful comments and serious commitments, which have encouraged me greatly.

    DEH, thank you for hosting next group. I am looking forward to the everyweek cheking in at your place!

    • Congrats on flying through all those presentations. Writing is hard work, and you’ve made good progress this summer, even if it wasn’t as much as you expected. Thanks for being a part of the group! See you over at DEH’s.

  3. Last week’s goal: 2 hours a day; visible progress on both the MMP and on the translation work.

    Accomplished: I think I managed 2 hours on the MMP, twice. That includes a trip to a library to use a few non-circulating volumes on-site, which I’m happy about because once classes start it will be much harder to get there.

    Analysis: OBE, getting ready for classes to start and worrying about the Tiny Cat, who will probably not be with us for much longer.

    Overall progress: I completed and submitted the MMP’s companion-piece, and I am happy about that; I also discovered something useful about one of the MMP’s manuscripts’ provenance; and I have done a few more hours’ work on the MMP. Probably the goal of submitting two articles in a summer was over-ambitious, despite the connections between them. Or maybe I’d have done better if all the cats were healthy, or I hadn’t been teaching, or whatever. But life happens. One article out is a good thing.

    Thanks for hosting, amstr. It’s been a great help, and I’m glad to see people signing up to continue on, next week, chez moi.

    • It sounds like you’ve accomplished what you needed to, and you have clear direction for what’s next. One article out IS a good thing!

      I’m looking forward to the Sept-Dec group. Thanks again for hosting again.

    • Sounds like it was both a full and a productive summer, and you have continued momentum — all good things.

      Best wishes to the tiny cat, and to you, for her probably-last days. I was glad to read over at your place that she’s still enjoying one of the basic cat-pleasures: looking out of windows.

      And thanks for hosting; I promise to get started over at your place as soon as my classes are launched (i.e. later this week).

  4. Goal: 1) finish annotations and notes on articles, 2) read some more, 3) work on Ch. 1 revision (finish?), 4) work out fall plan for tackling Ch. 2 and prepping to write Ch. 4 (which still needs a LOT of research)

    Accomplished: 1) some, 2) yes, 3) almost done!!! (should finish this afternoon), 4) yes, including reading lists.

    Analysis: I finally got into a groove with this chapter draft. Hard deadlines really do make a difference for me. We’re leaving town this afternoon, and I’ve been pushing to get the draft done and out to my writing partner before I go. (I’m also packing for a camping trip, so that’s made it more complicated.) I can’t say that staying up until 2am to write feels great (especially the next morning), but there’s a kind of rush that I love from hard focus for an extended period of time, when I really can work until *I* choose to stop. I have a feeling I’m going to be scheduling some writing retreats this fall.

    Overall goal: [complete dissertation draft]. I’ve got three out of four chapters (plus the introduction) completed. The one I’m working on now will need polishing, and the one I spent the most time on this summer needs revamping, but the intro and third chapter are in the hands of my secondary advisor, and the end is in sight. I think I did a fair job pacing myself this summer. 15 weeks is a long stretch of intense writing work. I prefer 10 week quarters. (Teaching at a CC with 18 week semesters was torturous.)

    I think I’ve discovered a rhythm that works for me: I need to spend a week or so after a deadline immersed in research, reading as many articles I can for the next writing goal and taking a break from drafting. In retrospect, I didn’t take enough time for reading on that pesky Ch. 2, and it might have helped me to a more successful draft earlier.

    I know that I couldn’t have gotten as much done without the writing group accountability, so thanks to you all.

    • Little update: I did get the chapter draft sent off to my writing partner. The ending has much to be desired, but it feels done enough that I can let it go for vacation time.

    • Sounds like you’ve made good progress, both in producing actual text, and in figuring out what rhythms allow you to effectively produce text (which really ought to be one of the most lasting and valuable things one gets out of the diss. experience, but isn’t always).

      Thank you again for hosting; accountability does, indeed, help.

  5. This week’s goals: finish syllabi and proposal for certificate program, have handbook ready for orientation, solid first draft of August project

    Accomplished: syllabi look good and I’m excited about teaching tomorrow. Certificate program is hazy, orientation is crossed off the list and successful but small. Still working on the August project.

    Analysis: This week has been really liminal, in a weird space between Summer and Fall. It concerns me that it’s so easy to put teaching and service above research, which is what I see when I look at the week’s accomplishments. I’m grateful for that bit of evidence that tells me I still need to a better job of balancing. That’s just one of the many things I learned here about myself and my writing.

    Overall analysis: While I feel I had a productive summer, I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish the manuscript. I stopped working on it in January with the hope of devoting summer to completing it, and I don’t know why I came up so short. But I did accomplish the most important thing, which was to finish a writing sample and send it to the book series editors. I wonder how long I should wait to hear from them, but then I’m not really in a place to finish the manuscript now so I should be careful what I wish for!

    Thanks to amstr and everyone in the group for your willingness to share your ideas, circumstances, frustrations, and wisdom. I look forward to seeing you at Dame Eleanor’s.

  6. This week’s goal: Looking back at the list, I realize that I forgot to post a goal for this week. I did manage to write every day except for one.

    Analysis: Classes started last week. And with that also came lots of meetings with students, other faculty, etc. I hope I can continue to prioritize daily writing time.

    I’m worried that once the semester takes off that teaching and service will eclipse my research and writing time. I have an overload of thesis students this semester since I have returning thesis students as well as new thesis students. Last spring, when committee assignments were made, it looked as if all but one of my students would finish by early summer. That did not happen so now I have an unusually large number of thesis students.

    Overall analysis: This summer I finished one paper and submitted it to a journal. I did not finish the second paper. I hope I can finish that up this fall, but I may have to leave it for later while I work on book revisions. I think my plan to complete two articles was too ambitious even though we did not travel this summer. Home remodeling proved as disruptive as time away from home.

    Thank you amstr for hosting this summer. Thank you as well to amstr and all of the other group members for your comments and for the accountability.

    I look forward to the next group at Dame Eleanor’s. Thanks, DEH, for hosting the fall group.

  7. this week’s goals: make progress on the BittyPaper, and comment on two papers where I’m a subsidiary co-author – the one the Cloud ate and a second one

    this week’s achievements:Bitty paper now has a paperlike shape, all the data are in order, and we can proceed to serious analysis. One of the two papers is commented on and returned, and the R&R I did has come back from the subsidiary authors ready for a final polish and submission.

    next week’s goals: (before DEH’s hosting begins, but I might as well declare them to someone!) are to do the second lot of commenting and resubmit the R&R. Anything else would be a bonus.

    overall goal: chip away at writing backlog

    achieved:‘Next Big Paper’: the first two thirds of this have had all the data analysis done and a rough draft writtenBittyPaper: has gone from ‘we have some data that might work together’ via three planning documents and two meetings to ‘we’ll focus on these data and these questions for the first paper about this problem’, and all the data files are ready to get on with it…Paper with Dr Visit: I really want to get on with this but can’t quite find a way in. It’s been looked at a lot. minimal progressPaper with MSc Student: was driving me nuts, but has made progress through a series of finding problems and working backwards until it became quite clear, and it’s now half-drafted. A day or two of work and it will be ready to go to my co-author… ComplicatedPaper: has spent a lot of time going out for comments and coming back (there are 8 or 9 coauthors who all had complicated schedules) and being worked on. It needs maybe a day or two to polish and pull together the comments and to finalise the figuresR&R: this paper came back to me with referee’s comments asking for a fairly substantial revision, which is now done and checked. A few hours work and this can be resubmitted.LastBigPaper: this one came back from referees with good reports and needing only minor revisions, which were done mostly by one of the co-authors and I checked them and rewrote a couple of paragraphs; we heard last week that it is now accepted and heading for pressJointPaperFromBigProject: I’m a low-standing co-author. Detailed editing and comments on the final draft were made and returned to lead author. It will be submitted next weekfour page application: done, submitted, no newsnext two papers on software project: in data collection stage, both have made progress this summer I have also: written an interim report for my main funded project and an administrivia report, taught a field week and taken part in two field trips (three weeks and ten days) plus local field days, prepared for and for the last three weeks supervised three summer students, worked with my post-doc on a draft grant application, read and commented on chunks of thesis for a research student, refereed maybe 3 papers, assessed resits and done various things like argue with timetabling (a standard feature of summers here).

    analysis:Not as much as I hoped, or as focused as I wanted to be, but I have made some inroads on that backlog…

    • Whew! It may not be as much as you’d hoped, but wow–that’s an impressive batch of work! I’m also impressed the you can keep track of so many projects.

    • That looks like a lot to me, too, especially given the need to juggle schedules, preferences, etc., etc. with a bunch of coauthors. I think I’d fine that pretty hard, though it sounds like you’ve found ways to make it work (and I assume the professional culture of fields in which co-authorship is common includes understandings about the various ways one can make things work). It’s interesting to eavesdrop on the process, especially since I teach writing in the disciplines, and so have students who will be writing in such environments.

  8. My ultimate goal was to finish my thesis. Looking only at that goal I failed quite miserably. BUT… Overall summer was a different story. One of the things I learned from everyone in this group is that there are only rarely absolute goals and complete failures – a number of people discussed how goals can change, or how we learn things from mistakes/failures/blocks/etc…
    Looking at everything involved this summer I can definitely say that it was a success. Most importantly, I got a TT faculty job, gave several very successful conference presentations, and moved very far away. So, pretty good all round. And the thesis did make substantial progress, just not as much as planned. I think if there had not been interviewing/moving/travel etc. my goal of finishing would have been fairly realistic. But, to look on the bright side, it is much easier to get a committee assembled in the fall, so finishing in the fall means I can shoot high and invite famous/scary external members for my defense. And I get a trip back to old city at a nice time of year to go and defend.
    What else did I learn? That I am terrible at estimating how long things take (Figures, I’m looking at you…), so that is something I have to work on in the future. I have a hard time focusing on a big task if I only have a short time to do it or if I have to work in small increments and make use of those 10 minute or 20 minute spaces that otherwise get wasted on nothing. That is going to be the biggest challenge for this next term, I know my time will be incredibly fragmented, and I have to find a way to work in small batches and still produce something worthwhile.
    So, thank you to everyone for great discussions, advice, examples, and to amstr for hosting. I’ll be over at DEH’s group for the fall, this was a great experience and definitely a big help!

    • I think you’ve nailed some key issues that learning how to negotiate now will serve you well in the future, especially the time-estimation and time-fragmentation issues. I still haven’t figured out the time-fragmentation issue (though I’m getting better at one-hour writing sessions; I don’t think I’ll ever be good at 10- or 20-minute ones, but maybe that’s something to aim for), but the time-estimation one is key, if only because it prevents shame-spirals when things always seem to take longer than they “should.” People (even quite professionally advanced people) waste an awful lot of time trying make jobs shorter than they are, I think, when the energy might much better be spent understanding how long they really take, under what conditions they can be accomplished, and planning accordingly.

    • Congrats on all the good news of the summer! I’d agree that it’s been a success. I’ll be looking forward to hearing about the end of the thesis and the defense over at DEH’s.

  9. Goal for the last two weeks: 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.

    Accomplished: J article conclusion in progress but not yet done; promotion portfolio complete and handed in; long-neglected P project to-dos mostly still neglected; some course materials done and some still in progress; did take a break; did exercise a bit (but not as much as planned).

    Analysis: While I’ve lost some time to being overwhelmed not so much by events as by how many things I have to/am trying to do, I’m reasonably pleased with my progress. Dropping the J article for a while was a deliberate decision; this time last summer, I decided to push ahead on the writing and deal with some of the teaching prep on a just-in-time basis, and that led to a lot of late evenings and lost writing mornings. So I’m trying the opposite approach this time: let the writing go a bit and try to be really prepared for teaching. The spanner in the works of that plan is that I have one entirely-new class, which is partly individually-taught and partly team-taught (department members give a series of lectures), and it’s taking some time to get my brain around it. It doesn’t help that my section runs on a difficult schedule — once a week in the evening, immediately after the lectures (while the other sections — including the ones for which I have past syllabi — run twice a week, with some time for the teacher as well as the students to think about the lecture before the next class). I’d say that figuring out that class is the main source of anxiety right now, and the anxiety is, to some extent, impeding progress on other tasks on which I have a better handle. So it goes.

    Overall Analysis: I’m reasonably pleased with what I’ve accomplished writing-wise (a little less so with what I have(n’t) accomplished in terms of exercise and household/financial tasks). My original goal for the summer was, I think, realistic; adding the freelance writing kept me from accomplishing it, but had some other benefits, both immediate (money), and longer-term (getting me thinking more seriously about whether I could support myself by writing, if not during my official working years, at least during the “retirement” years during which I expect to still be working, and/or as a stopgap should my contingent job disappear at some point). That’s definitely the larger task on which I’m working at the moment — career direction. And the irony is that I may have to step back a bit from the writing during this school year to take care of some other practical/logistical/financial issues that need to be dealt with before I can really concentrate on the writing (something about which I’ll probably mull a bit more in my introduction over at Dame’s place). The good news is that I seem to be (re)gaining confidence, and a sense of myself, as a writer: I not only want to find time to write, but I’m confident that, given time, I will find a way to use it well, if not every day, then definitely over the long haul. That’s definitely progress, since the process of writing my dissertation, for whatever reason, left me very unsure of those things. One of the nice things about this group has been watching others weather the ups and downs of the diss-writing process while maintaining their perspectives, and their senses of themselves as writers, much better than I did. And I’m very glad to be getting my writing mojo back, even as I’m not entirely sure in what direction it will be taking me.

    Thank you again, amstr, for hosting; having somewhere to reflect, and see others reflect, is definitely an important part of the confidence-(re)building process. I’ll look forward to seeing many of you over at Dame’s this fall.

    • I’m glad you’re regaining confidence. Thanks for all your comments on others’ posts over the summer, and for sharing your process and your diss-writing experience. It’s been helpful for me, being in the thick of it. Looking forward to seeing you over at DEH’s!

  10. Last week’s goal: Write a process memo for the BE analysis; Review the BE packets; and finish reading for LM paper.

    Accomplished: I wrote the process memo and got halfway through the packets. I got the remaining books I need to finish the LM paper but only got through one of them (2 more to go!). In addition I revised the findings section of the TS paper and start reading for that.

    Analysis: Even though classes started this week and there was a mini-crisis with our undergraduate program, I managed to get a lot done. Teaching an online class means I have some weeks that are pretty light in terms of teaching and others that are overwhelming. I need to keep this in mind and schedule my writing tasks around it.

    Overall analysis: I think I did well this summer. I don’t have one complete finished product but I don’t think I work well that way. I got the original two presentations done and three of the four papers are somewhere in draft form. They range from a complete first draft to a complete draft of findings and sketchy methods/discussion sections. I did not expect to work on the BE analysis much this summer but have made great progress there, so I think that’s a win. The hard part will be keeping it going over the fall semester and trying to get all four papers out the door this academic year. I’m looking forward to Dame Eleanor’s group to help with that (thanks for agree to host!).

    A big thank you to you amstr for hosting this summer. It has been both a productive and fun experience and has enriched my summer.

    See you all on the other side!

  11. Goal: Work on weeks 3 and 4

    Accomplished: I haven’t done anything in two weeks

    Analysis and Overall Progress: I think I’ve hit a slump, now that the morning sickness is gone I was hoping to be re-energized but instead I think I’ve lost some of my interest and desire to be disciplined. It’s hard to be a SAHM with basically no connection to academia and still feel like you’re possibly able to contribute something. I definitely didn’t accomplish my overall goal, a draft of an article, but I did make good progress and I think I’ve gotten far enough that it would be silly to give up. This summer was a good time to start because my husband (a grad student) didn’t have classes to take and homework to do. But he’ll have homework again starting in September, which often takes away time on weekends with the family. I talked to him this morning about whether I could actually commit to another quarter of writing and writing accountability given that he’ll be busier and not as free to watch the kids. He was so supportive and said I should definitely do it and we’ll figure it out. I started crying because I think he believes in me and thinks I have more to offer than I do. So, even though I’ve been kind of petering off this summer, I think I should keep going. My (informal) goal for this week is to figure out what my schedule is for this summer. I am homeschooling my daugher for pre-kindergarten and need to be more disciplined this year in that than I was for her first year of preschool. If I can stick to a schedule better this year I should be able to carve out more time for writing during the week.

    I also want to thank amstr for hosting and for encouraging me to join in the first place. I know I’ve been relatively quiet in terms of responding to people, but it really has been helpful to read everyone’s thoughts this summer.

    • I remember waiting for a second-trimester boost that never came (I never had morning sickness, just overwhelming fatigue). The best writing I did while pregnant was when I had a conference deadline. I ended up being pregnant during my sabbatical, which was good in many ways, but did not help my research productivity.

      I hope you’ll be in the next group, and that it will help you find the structure and time to write.

    • I’m so glad you did the writing group this summer! (And I think you probably have more to contribute than you think–isolation from academia create the feeling of writing desolation.) See you over at DEH’s, thanks to your awesome husband!

  12. Goal:
    1/2 hour Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

    Accomplished:
    40 minutes on Tuesday.
    Did I really say I would write/edit on Monday? I barely managed to check in last Monday.

    Analysis:
    I think I was primarily overcome by emotions, which meant that I was more easily overcome by the various events last week that had to do with the imminent start of the semester for me and of kindergarten for my son. Public school started today. My university’s semester starts today, with my first classes tomorrow.

    Overall Progress Assessment:
    My summer goal was: [finish and submit journal article; submit 2nd ms to new journal]. I did not finish the article I was working on, though I accomplished some major revisions. I at least feel like the work I managed to put into it was worthwhile.

    It is difficult for me to juggle projects, either because I can’t focus on multiple projects or because I get caught up in the need to finish one and can’t make myself take time out for the other. This summer, I didn’t even look at the second article, even though in theory, I should not revise it, but rather just reformat it, proofread it, and send it out.

    The summer did provide me with the opportunity to practice overcoming procrastination. I had lots of emotions to deal with and learned how much it helps to think about them before I start working, since they are less of a distraction from work than all my avoidance tactics.

    I am not satisfied with what I got done this summer–I think my goal was reasonable, and I didn’t meet it–but the group helped me get back to work after I the slow weeks.

    Thank you amstr for hosting and to all the members for sharing.

    • What an emotional week! My youngest is off to kindergarten on Tues, and I have a feeling it will be more overwhelming than I like to think.

      It sounds like you’re heading into fall with more strategies to move forward with your writing projects. I’m glad the group was helpful to you.

  13. Weekly goal: Write 3 times. Finish syllabus and course schedule. Figure out a Fall schedule for myself.

    Accomplished/Analysis: Allergies took over my life. I wrote once, but didn’t finish the course work.

    Overall Analysis: I’m still figuring out this writing thing, and I think this summer was a good jumping off point in that I didn’t accomplish anything I thought I would but I learned more about myself, writing, and what I need to do/allow myself to do. OBE–between moving and illness and learning how to deal with those setbacks was also something else I needed to work on.

    I also think I need to work on scheduling and goal setting for the future–what’s realisitic, building in flexibility and structure, etc.

    amstr, thanks for hosting!! 🙂

  14. Sorry for the late check-in. My internet was spotty all weekend, and didn’t get fixed until yesterday afternoon. After a chock-full first day of classes, I was comatose last night.

    Weekly goal: Write four times a week.

    Accomplished: Meh, so-so.

    Analysis: I had personal issues crop up–a very ill brother, which led to far too much rumination of the meaning of life and whether I am doing what I want, whether I can/should/can justify doing what I want. Sometimes writing helped, other times I stared at the wall.

    Overall analysis: The book chapter didn’t pan out, but the group was helpful to keep me on track. Like Rented Life, I’m trying to piece together the writer and the day job, especially since the day job requires writing, which of necessity is done outside the 9-5 workday.

    I came to a much better balance this summer, learning times and circumstances in which I write well; just as importantly, I learned when pushing too hard is courting burn-out.

    Although it felt at times like I did nothing, or next to, I am ending this group with decent second drafts of three articles and roughly three hundred revised/expanded/new annotations on the dissertation. I finished preliminary plans for the research leave in October, and an outline for the article coming out of that.

    Thank you for hosting, Amstr. The email in my inbox often spurred me to lift out of the lethargy, if only to save face. 🙂

    • It sounds like you made much progress, even if it wasn’t the progress you expected. I’m glad you’ve been able to figure out some writing patterns over the summer that you can carry with you into the busier fall.

  15. last week’s goal: write 7 pages

    accomplished: I just wrote a few notes and did some reading.

    summer goal: 10 pages of an new chapter draft

    accomplished: about seven pages of good notes that offer direction for the argument

    It was a summer full of family and travel, and then, suddenly, it was back to the college crisis. Now that I’m back at school, I am OBR–overwhelmed by responsibilities. Or, more precisely, OBPP–Overwhelmed by Panicking People.

    But I will keep chipping away at my dissertation, and the writing group keeps me from neglecting my project all together. Thank you so much, Amstr, for being such a thoughtful and responsive group leader.

    See you at DEH’s place!

  16. So sorry to drop out at the last check-in; but Amstr, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your very helpful and reliable hosting and commenting, and to everyone else too– it’s been great to be part of this group and its interesting discussions. I’ve picked up some good tips and perspectives and even gotten more work done than I would have otherwise. Thanks again! Looking forward to the next one. 🙂

    Quick week analysis for my own good: I stalled on some of my goals, partially because of a sick RA and partially because of some mental blocks. I did make some decisions on MC4 and collected new data, which is awaiting cleaning by the RA. I stalled on analyzing MC1 because it requires learning a new statistical procedure and I’m feeling… recalcitrant. Major committee work that was overdue is done. MC5 is still not prepped, partially because of not wanting to overwhelm sick RA and partially due to avoiding making decisions.

    This week I didn’t make goals, and I felt the effects– felt at loose ends. (What I did was, if there was 15 minutes free, was work on some data-analysis or study prep for other projects. That was good, but I have some writing goals that were not attended to, and also I may have spent too much time on some things simply because I didn’t KNOW that I had ANOTHER GOAL to work on.

    This summer, the week(s? not sure) that worked best was when I had some specific, relatively-small (accomplishable) goals in different areas, and concentrated on not letting one goal overwhelm another one. This seemed to finally give me the same abilities as having a “real deadline” does– I got things done, not perfectly but more than well enough, and I really felt like I was making progress. I still struggle with being my own boss / teacher but if I can do that same thing as often as possible, it will really help.

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