Week 5 Recap

Titles like that make me wistful for my undergraduate writing. (Source: http://write-strong.com)

Nothing like some sweltering heat to get the writing juices flowing? Nope, that’s just sweat. I hope everyone in the Midwest and on the Eastern Seaboard is staying cool (and that you all have power, yikes), because the weather here on the California coast is, as always, perfect. There’s an old saw about summer in San Francisco being the coldest winter you’ll ever experience, but I’m totally fine with it, having come from the blistering heatboxes of Philadelphia and Columbus. I’m sure it won’t last.

So anyway, how was your writing week? Since we’re now solidly in the month of July, this might be a good time to take stock of your summer goals and re-evaluate. Does the progress you’ve made so far set you up to accomplish all that you want to by the end of August? If not, think about how you can re-tool your daily and weekly goals starting with the coming week so that you don’t come up short at the end. Maybe that means doing just an extra 30 minutes of writing each day, holding yourself to a time goal rather than a word count (or vice versa), or getting up before everyone else in the house to have some uninterrupted writing time. If memory serves, both Clare Potter and Haruki Murakami favor the latter approach, but I couldn’t find links in support, so maybe I made that up. Who knows? But surely there are people out there who benefit from this strategy and maybe you’re one of them and just don’t know it. The point is: don’t be afraid to shake up your process a little bit and see what happens.

Enjoy the weekend, and happy writing!

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About droyles

Historian of the recent American past.
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7 Responses to Week 5 Recap

  1. Melanie says:

    I submitted my final grades this week (that tricky one letter writing assignment), wrote a bangin cover letter, and have finally started work on my prospectus again. Should have a new intro by the end of the weekend. Feels good to be forging ahead again- trying to get back into the groove of writing everyday.

    • droyles says:

      I’m doing this from my iPhone, and so far I haven’t figured out how to comment on my own posts from the iOS app, hence this shows up as a reply to Melanie. I had a pretty good week, overall. On Monday I sent my adviser a draft of my introduction, so I’ve been working on one of my early chapters, which I’ll also be presenting at a conference in New York in the fall. I didn’t get to do any transcription on Monday, but I stuck to my goals the other days. For next week, I want to keep the same daily work goals, but add a half hour working on the web part of my project. I’m also going to be better about sticking to short breaks in between my work sessions. Some of those five minute breaks were pretty long this week.

  2. Abby says:

    Spent several mornings sitting in a coffee shop not writing before finally having a morning where I sat in a coffee shop and wrote. Not much, but a solid intro to the chapter and a more developed outline for the narrative. I’d forgotten how frustrating writer’s block can be.

  3. chan says:

    This past week was spent catching up (full-speed) on all the grading that piled up while I was gone in Honduras (I am teaching an online class this summer). This weekend, I am pumping out a methods section to round out what will be the complete first draft of my entire proposal with appendices and sample surveys and all…by this time next week, it should be polished and ready for one final pass before it goes out to the committee…! During the two weeks that my committee will be reading my proposal, I will pull out a couple of other manuscripts that I have been meaning to work on and submit for publication. I have my proposal meeting on August 1, after which I am taking it easy for a couple of weeks in SAN FRANCISCO. Let’s hang out, Dan!

  4. Tim says:

    Bad week for me – it went by way too quick and I feel like I got very little done. I’m going to try and give myself a break this week while remaining productive by working on my introductory chapter, which has been under construction for ages. I chip away at it whenever I’m sick of the other chapters – hopefully after a few days of that I can return to the main chapter at hand and polish it off quickly.

    I’m definitely concerned about my summer timeline – I’m going to have to pick up the pace here to meet my goals.

  5. Aaron says:

    So I think a missed a week there; it’s all kind of a blur…
    Moving and doing house-repair stuff has been an all-consuming task lately, completely shutting out writing. Hopefully we’ll be a little more settled and functional after this week and I can resume a more balanced life. For this week my goal is just going to be “write something, sometime” so it isn’t a complete shut-out.
    I think my overall summer goals are still possible, perhaps because they were on the modest side. The weeks prior to moving were pretty productive; if I can get back into that grove again I’ll be ok.

  6. Steph Hinnershitz says:

    Hi everyone. Sorry I didn’t post earlier with my writing goals. Last week was spent organizing my notes, so not a lot of writing (but I didn’t expect that to happen), but some progress nonetheless. So far this summer, I think I’m doing okay: got rough drafts of chapters 1,2,3 out to some professors and also managed to touch up the article I wanted to fix and send that off. It was a revise and resubmit, so, fortunately, I found out a couple of days ago that it was finally accepted for publication. I started writing Chapter Four this week (well, actually started today—I’m not sure what happened yesterday, but nothing got done save a really messy outline!) and am about 5 pages in after today, so I’m trying to get a draft of this chapter done before I head off on one last research trip at the end of the month. Good luck to everyone on their goals!

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