November is writing month, whether its a novel, an academic book or that grant proposal you have been putting off because of mounting pressures from work, home and life in general. But, as my stack of half-completed articles now rivals my stack of completed articles, I have finally decided that ‘enough is enough’.
Originally, I had intended to use the NaNoWriMo platform to kick start my writing cycle. I was not writing a piece of fiction, but I was aiming for 50000 words, and the freebies offered to successful writers seemed rather enticing. Yet, fortuitously the academic twitter-verse informed me of the #AcWriMo hashtag and support network just in time. Unlike NaNoWriMo, which is hosted at a single donor-funded website, AcWriMo is more nebulous in nature, which suits me just fine.
As part of the AcWriMo accountability process, you are asked to
- Boldly declare you goals
- Outline a strategy for achieving them
- Keep the wider world up-to-date
- Don’t slack off
- Publicly declare your results, even if they don’t go as well as you had hoped
I began AcWriMo on schedule, with my first 1800 words dutifully completed by midnight on November 1st. Nonetheless, it is only fitting and proper that I live up to points one and two and publicly outline my aims for the month.
- Complete my two half-finished articles
- Write the first draft of my guide to using Social Network Theory in Historical Research (20000 words)
- Complete my two overdue book reviews (2000 words)
- Write up every article or book I read in a proper academic fashion (for later inclusion in my upcoming monograph / articles) (10000 words)
For a grand total of 50000 words of academic writing in a single month. Crazy, perhaps, but that’s the point isn’t it?
- Write between 2000 and 3000 words every non-teaching day (Wed-Sun)
- Vary what project I am working on (Never more than 1000 words on any one project, unless I’m in the zone)
- Keep myself honest via my AcWriMo Tracker
- Publish all my literature review-ettes (for the greater good and to ensure sufficient quality)
The Story so Far
According to the above, I should, as of this morning, be the proud owner of roughly 8000 words of academic text. Alas, this is not so. Unfortunately, owing to a combination of left over Halloween Chocolate (not enough trick-or-treaters this year) and upcoming grant deadlines (which I did not including in my 50000 words) I was not able to focus on AcWriMo writing this past Friday. Fortunately, my 2000-3000 words-a-day does allow a bit of flexibility: 4000 extra words by month’s end. So,
Will I make it to the finish line?
Will the Gazette and MacAulay ever make it to print?
Will I become hopeless entangled in a social network diagram of my own making?
Tune in next week, same Demography time, same Demography channel.