All right, so if you're still with us, congratulations on reaching the halfway point! But there's a danger in halfway points, and that's that you hit a slump. You're far from the beginning when everything was anticipation and possibility, but far from the end where fear and panic will push you. Worse yet, many of the things that were working to get you going or motivated might have stopped working.
Ack! What to do? Well, to take ADM's marathon metaphor in another direction: Maybe it's time for a game of Calvinball.
For those of you remember the now-defunct but truly wonderful comic Calvin and Hobbes, Calvinball is a "sport" where you make up the rules as you go along. It's not structured, but it looks fun.
So here's something to think about if you're in a slump: change one thing this week – something that isn't working for you right now. New writing schedule? New location? Freewriting rather than outlining (or vice-versa)? Sleeping an extra hour so you can write better, even if you start later? This might just be a one-week change, but it might be a way to shake things up for you, and get you excited again.
And hey, if things are working for you, then keep things as they are – if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?
The only rule that I'm going to ask you to keep to is to report in with your progress, and set a goal for next week.
(And just a note: I'm going to be traveling a bit this weekend, so I'll be giving feedback, but probably just once a day, at the end of the day.)
Have fun this week!
- Adelaide [write a conference paper]: mostly offline, so anything is a bonus
- Amcalm25/AMChristensen [finish an article]: at least 40 minutes/5 days of writing this week
- Amstr [revise and resubmit an article]: 1) add argument-related sentences to the beginning and end of each paragraph; 2) write a lame intro that gives some space to critical context; 3) tighten up the lame intro into passable; 4) 4 articles and 2 books: read/skim, annotate, possibly incorporate
- Another Damned Medievalist [write/revise a close-to-final draft of an article]: re-look at books, compare patterns in data, look at problems and comment on how gender contributes to them, with luck, turn this into 500 words by Friday. (bonus goal)
- Belledamesansmerci/Elizabeth [transform a conference paper into a journal article]: traveling for family stuff
- Bitterandjaded/Bittergrrl [finishing a dissertation chapter]: 1) 2000 words on the work I just read. 2) Meet with my adviser to talk about the direction the chapter is going in.
- Cly(temnestra) [write a book chapter]: very rough draft of chapter, work out a plan
- Contingent Cassandra [complete a full draft of a journal article]: focus on reading
- Dame Eleanor Hull [complete a chapter of the article-turned-book]: Finish revising fellowship application and send it; if there is time, list what the chapter still needs
- Digger [write two book chapters]: Zero Draft of Why Wheels 3/7 days
- Dr. Crazy [Finish a chapter draft begun this summer]: VACATION!!
- Dr. Virago [draft a 7500-word essay for a contracted publication]: 500-600 words, but may not be able to check in
- Erika [write a complete & final draft of an article already underway]: write 30 minutes / day at minimum, and even better at 250-350 words / day.
- Evan [write a conference paper]: no precise writing goal [deadlines shifted? -- ADM]
- Forthright [write two article-length pieces]: 400-500 words a day and check in more to help out in comments [Forthright, that would be so amazingly awesome! -- ADM]
- Frogprincess [Final draft of the dissertation]: finish revisions for chapters 1 and 3.
- Good Enough Woman [write a solid draft of a dissertation chapter]: Finish the 30 primary sources pages I didn’t do this week, read two chapters of Descartes, and write the first 500 hundred words of the new chapter, just to start seeing where my mind is.
- Gillian [3 chapters of my dissertation]: Finish research on 1/2 of next chapter
- Heu Mihi [write paper for a faculty colloquium]: FINISH the Latin, look at that German book that’s in my office and determine its relevance, and begin converting part 3′s notes into paragraphs.
- Highlyeccentric/nakedphilologist [Draft two thesis chapters]:gain with the process goal, some work every day; and hopefully to add at least 1000 words to the draft (2 if lucky).
- Janice/jliedl [write a first draft of a chapter]: take notes from three more research sources.
- Jennifer [finish writing a neglected article]: My goal for this week is to write 500 new words and to read 3 new articles.
- Katrin/StitchInTime [Do we have an overall goal for you?] read through one book, return at least five
- Kris [write up a “full” paper and cut down to a 15-minute conference presenation]: taking week off
- Lucie: [Complete a full draft of the PhD thesis]: 500 words a day, starting my day with writing. Sticking with this every day and not having any day completely lost.
- Marie [finish turning paper into journal article]: clean up what’s been written.
- Matilda [revise a paper into a journal article]: again, reviewing the related literature following the week 5 section of WYJA; 500 +words of my draft.
- Merryweather [write conference paper]: another 2000 words by the end of this coming week, or ideally a total 3500
- Mike [write ch. 2 of dissertation]: Gather everything for part II and re-read take notes.
- Monks and Bones [turn a seminar paper into an article]: work on project five days; get myself to a point with my data-crunching where I’ll be ready to start doing some preliminary writing the following week
- Notorious Ph.D. [write a conference paper]: Go through law codes
- Opsimathphd [turning a dissertation chapter into an article]: work on the argumentby writing at least 500 words every day
- Scatterwriter [revise three chapters of book]: continue trying to cut down my mammoth Chapter 1, and skim a recently published source to see if any new ideas need to be incorporated into this chapter.
- Scholasticamama [Transform a conference paper into an article]: write 500 words -- in the rain, on a plane, in a box, with a fox, in a car, in a tree... the words will be so good, you see!
- Sisyphus [polish the rough draft of my article and send it out]: incorporate all the stuff from ILL
- Sophylou: [finish revisions on an article and prepare it for submission]: format according to submission guidelines
- Stemi [Complete and send off a review article ]: 1) At least 30 minutes writing or reading on project, 4 of 7 days. 2) 500 new words in outline/draft document.
- Susan [write a 7000 word commissioned essay]: Filling in gaps and beginning revisions
- Trapped in Canadia [draft two chapters of the dissertation]: finish this chapter, outline my chapter on Jacobite women, and start reviewing my research for the Jacobite women chapter [may not be able to check in]
- Undine/Not of General Interest [Finish nearly done chapter and complete another]: finish 1000-word review
- Viola [writing an introduction and a chapter for thesis]: edit per my supervisor’s advice and to continue fleshing out my overall project for a meeting
- Zcat abroad/Kiwimedievalist [write an article]: finish revising article for re-submission
Week 5 Absences:
- Antikate [revise a conference paper into an article & submit]
- Britomart [completing a draft of dissertation introduction]
- Inafuturelife [transform seminar paper into a conference paper]
- Jamilajamison [finish writing the M.A. thesis]
- Luolin [finish and submit an article]
- NWGirl [Revise one dissertation chapter into a book chapter]
- Salimata [write a conference paper]
- Synecdoche [Finish conference paper]