April may be the cruelest month, but May comes in with the full vengeance of end-of-semester deadlines. However, after all of the grades are turned in, reports filed, and end-of-year events attended, summer begins. Of course, that doesn’t mean we get a break: summer is the time when many of us try to move forward on the projects we put off throughout the rest of the year. How to best make use of that time? How about a writing group? A week from today, on May 19th, we’re kicking off the third edition of Summer Writes!
Here’s how it works: we each decide what we want to accomplish during the summer, and set weekly goals to help us get there. Each week, we report our goals to the group, and a week later tell everyone how we did, along with our new goals for the new week. Along the way, we might spice things up with some Twitter workblasts or other virtual boot camp-y things, but that’s totally up to the group. And that’s it!
So if you want to join us, between now and the 19th, leave a comment on this post to introduce yourself, tell us your overall goals for the summer, and what you’re going to do during the first week. On Monday, I’ll put up a post with all of our weekly goals. As the week comes to a close, come back and let everyone know how you did, and what you want to accomplish the following week. We’ll repeat that for the following eleven weeks. The point of the group is to keep ourselves accountable to incremental tasks building to our larger goals, so it works best if we post every week.
When you’re setting your goals, be specific and realistic. Instead of saying, “I’m going to write every day,” let us know how long or how much you’re going to write, on which days. Are you going to write two hours each day? Four pages a day? Five pomodoros? Are you shooting for a #graftonline? Keeping Historiann‘s cloister-like schedule? Are you going to read some books or articles? Spend a day in archives? Look for grants and fellowships? Write a journal article in twelve weeks? Let us know! The more specific you are with your goals, the more you’re likely to get done. And instead of planning to write a trilogy of monographs in twelve weeks, set goals that are challenging but attainable. They don’t even need to be writing goals! Maybe you want to finish up all of the research for your dissertation. Maybe you want to launch a website based on your project. We are here to affirm your choices! Just make sure that your goals are realistic, or you’re likely to get disappointed and burn out.
So if you want to avoid having a major OH SH!T moment around August, come join us! We’ll help you stay on track.