Joining with PhD2Published and #AcBoWriBo

by Anna Blanch on November 4, 2011

So, I’ve been doing National Blog Posting month (Nablopomo) for the last three years each November. Last year I got stuck in with my friend Katherina for a 50,000 word challenge. This year, I’m glad to say that I’ve been joining in with the #AcBoWriMo (Academic Book Writing Month) which I’ve decided is one of the ways I’m going to get my PhD draft done by Christmas as planned.

Charlotte Frost has laid out some simple rules for participating in #AcBoWriMo

1. Decide upon a target word count.

My aim is 2000 words a day, though with academic writing having a higher density in general it may be slightly less. I’m only 30,000 words short of my maximum word count for the thesis in any case, so I care much more about quality than quantity. Charlotte advises setting yourself a goal beyond what you thought possible! So here goes Charlotte!

2. Declare your participation and target word count (or productivity goal) publicly.

This blog post is exactly that!

3. Draft a strategy.

I’ll be working from the cottage on days where I don’t have teaching or a need to be in the Roundel or library. I’m stocked up on tea, groceries, and plenty of Scottish mineral water. Now is the time to “Just do it.”

I’m considering asking for some help to move a bunch of my books from my office back to the cottage so that as it gets darker and cooler I’m able to work longer hours at home.

As Charlotte advises,  Think about how you work best and adopt that approach from the start. This means everything from comfy clothes to reading and then writing, or writing as you go along – whatever works!

4. Discuss what you’re doing.

This is one time when using Twitter, Facebook, and this blog will be part and parcel of that process. There’ll be more thesis related posts than you can poke a stick at in the next couple of months, but please bear with me. As I mentioned in PhD push toward Heartbreak Hill, this is crunch time for me. Will you help me stay motivated and celebrate the little victories?

5. Don’t slack off.

This is a battle of wills. I’m going to push through the wall. I really need a break around Christmas. I want to feel like I’ve earned it.

6. Declare your final word count – and be honest!

I don’t know if I want to declare this daily on here, but I think i might do a weekly post for the rest of November checking in on this one and staying accountable to sharing how many words a week.

As Charlotte says: As a writing community, it’ll help all of us to know what’s achievable. If you don’t make your target, we’d like to suggest you make a donation to charity. We can’t of course enforce this, but at least that way you get to feel good whether you make your target or not! If you do make your word count, then academic glory is yours (as well as anything else you feel you deserve by way of a treat). Maybe we can talk about what I’ll do if i don’t make my goal and what treat I’ll grant myself if I do!

 

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