Monday, November 12, 2012

AcWriMo update #1

Today is November 12, the beginning of what I'm calling "week 2" of Academic Writing Month. Time to check in on how I've been doing.

My stated goal has been 750 words a day, 5 days a week. I've definitely failed that, but I've also kind of failed to prioritize what I'm working on.

TWE = Teaching World Englishes article
C-E = Chinese-English interface article draft
RK = Pluralizing English, lexical/grammatical variation & high-stakes academic writing article

Week 0 (Thurs/Fri)
1 - 768 (C-E)
2 - 850 (TWE)

Week 1
5 - 700 (RK) (estimated - I wasn't keeping track)
6 - 0
7 - 860 (TWE)
8 - 0
9 - 250 (TWE)

Week 2
12 - 775 (dissertation stuff) + 230 (RK)

TWE = 1960 (current article count: 5205
RK = 930 (current article count: 3398, plus about 1000 w of cut-and-pasted 'data')
C-E = 768
diss = 775

Obviously, I completely missed two days and had a day where I didn't meet a goal last week. I blame travelling, but I need a system in place to get things done even on travelling days. Waking up early (Probably 6ish at least!), while I often deem it impossible, seems like the best candidate.

In terms of progress, I'm really happy that the TWE and RK are starting to look like real articles. The lack of work on CE suggests to me that it's not as big a priority, but I think it's too far away from my everyday work (TWE is directly related to my teaching, RK to my dissertation) for me to want to work on it. And since I'm the one setting my goals, I think it's reasonable to put CE on the back burner at least for this week.

Two other papers that I had on the list of strong contenders for this month haven't been started, but I think they could be started (though not finished) at the end of the month.

The real issue so far is the lack of dissertation stuff. I've been wondering if I can include data analysis goals as well as writing goals for the diss, but I feel like actually setting word-count goals at this point makes me more anxious and worried than productive. What I need to be doing a lot the next two months is being submerged in the data: listening to it, reading it, transcribing it, writing notes about it, and coding it. This is what will become the chapters I intended to be "working on" this month. That might mean the chapters don't get done this month. If so, so be it. Anything that's working toward the goal of finishing is worthwhile.

To sum up: there are two viable papers going, but dissertation needs to take more priority.


So with that said, let's try to plan some more specific goals for this week not based on word counts.

Overall for the week:
-TWE: get it shape for writing group to read.  (do some rewriting/editing)
- RK: not a big priority, but revisit Lillis & Curry section, rewrite, and send to RK. I think giving her a chance to give some input now will help.
- Diss: interview transcriptions, memos, and coding work.


I have some ideas for breaking each day down individually but won't post it here because I'm not sure how it will shake out. More next week!

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