Staying accountable in my thesis writing marathon

by Anna Blanch on November 11, 2011

Okay, so Friday’s for the rest of November are for posts to check-in on where I’m at with #acbowrimo (Academic Book Writing month) or the month in which “Anna aims to give her thesis writing aims a really good shake.”

One of Charlotte Frost of PhD2Published’s rules was that I should publicly declare how much I’ve managed to get done each day and each week of the project. This is so that you can celebrate as much as motivate. Consider it stick, carrot and cupcake all in one!

I added a word counter to the sidebar – there’s also a counter for how long i have left until my desired thesis submission date in the footer at the bottom – to keep track of my progress this month.

Last weekend I asked friend some friends for help to move a selection of books and articles from my office back to the cottage-by-the-sea because I’m finding that I’m getting more writing done here rather than at the roundel. I don’t have sufficient bookshelves here but this is temporary so i’ll just have to live with it for the next couple of months. I’m glad I made this decision. I’ll still go into the office for teaching prep and other admin but i’ve decided to write and read and edit at the cottage for the next couple of months. With the days getting shorter, I find that I can work longer if I’m at home than if I try to negotiate the lack of light and the less than consistent public transport, and the bitter cold. I’m aiming to avoid bronchitis this year, too!

The hard facts for the first two weeks:

2 x 600 word blog posts for Transpositions
1 x 1500 word magazine article
1282 x thesis

Total = 4820 words

I’m not counting Goannatree posts as part of the word count.

I’ve learnt a few things this first fortnight:
* I’ve been using Scrivener this week and I’m finding it quite useful as part of this writing effort.
* I may need to set alarms to make sure I eat; (i forget to eat when I’m engrossed)
*I’ve never thought of myself as a procrastinator, but it’s suprisingly easy to get distracted by the urgent at the expense of my #acbowrimo. I’m having to be quite protective of my time.
* I do write better at the cottage-by-the-sea! I like my little set-up! You may get photos next week.
* I find space, solitude, and time are good for writing productivity, but it really helps me when I’m tired to have a study or writing partner around. One afternoon each of the last  two weeks I’ve had someone else working in the cottage and i’ve found it really helped my motivation to keep going even when i was tired and wanted to stop!
* I’ve learned that now is the time to write and not to second-guess myself too much on how good it is. I get myself tangled up in knots evaluating my own writing even though I know full well that i’m an iterative writer who needs a good 6 or 7 drafts.
*That I know that this is hard work but reading back over some of what i’ve written I’m happier than I have been with what I’ve been producing in the last few months.

check back tomorrow for a blog carnival of sorts of #acbowrimo posts!

 

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  • http://bethanyslettersfromhome.blogspot.com Bethany

    Keep it up, Anna! I'm also working to have a draft of my dissertation done by Christmas, and I wish I could be your afternoon writing partner at your cottage-by-the-sea. Take heart!

    • http://goannatree.blogspot.com Goannatree

      thankyou my dear bethany! I would love to have you here as my afternoon writing partner too! 🙂 We'll both get through it!

  • Pingback: the month is half way done, but where is the thesis? — Goannatree()

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