Starting AcWriMo

It’s great to see the register starting to be populated with your word counts and hours. Well done for simply sitting down and DOING some writing! I find it motivating to think that there are lots of busy writers out there keeping me company.

I’d love to hear how you are going with your writing. Is it easier to settle down knowing that you have a specific goal for the day? Do guilt and nagging work for you, or just help you refine your procrastination techniques? What is working well for you and what is getting in the way of your writing?

Please share your thoughts via the Comments at the bottom of the screen.

In the meantime, keep writing and adding your tally to the register  🙂

Cally

6 Comments

  1. Hi everyone,
    Yesterday I got up and wrote first thing in the morning, which worked well. Today I put it off all day and have only just done it because I don’t want to get behind. I think it works better in the morning for me as I have less time to think of excuses or get distracted. So I’m going to make it the first thing I do in the day and see how that goes. I’m definitely impressed with the amount I’m getting through and it has taken away some of that niggling guilt and doubt in the back of my head about not being up to doing a PhD.
    Good Luck everyone!
    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa – I love the idea that you can feel happy and pleased with yourself for the rest of the day!
      Finding your own best work patterns is great, and worth experimenting a little – what has worked in the past isn’t always what you need now.

  2. Hi everyone,

    I had very much the same experience as you Lisa for the first two days: early morning session = very productive on Sunday; let it go until later on Monday and almost didn’t manage my goal for the day. I also felt much better about myself when I got my writing in before getting started on other things… and as a consequence I was more productive for the rest of the day. So that will be my go-to setup from tomorrow.

    Not having a plan for *what* I will write about/on also seems to be very unhelpful in my case. In the next few days, I am going to try to either:
    (a) stop writing at a point where things are chugging along just fine (which I find very difficult, as I love being in the flow… and I’m probably scared that I won’t find the same headspace the following day), or
    (b) sit down in the evening and plan the paragraphs I want written up the next morning (my preference, but also more difficult to find the time and headspace in the evening).

    What is getting in the way of my writing?
    — Reading, always. My top procrastination technique for avoiding having to face the difficult thinking and writing step. As well as turning off the internet so that I can’t access online articles / Google search, I would have to lock up my pdf-library and all my books… Actually, what I need is to sit in a PhD exam room (for a year), haha.
    — The structure of my thesis, which is like a meta-problem hanging over me while I write. I’m writing in theory, so there’s no easy Intro-LitReview-Methods-Results-Discussion-Conclusion structure to run to. I’m constantly revising my structure and I find it quite unsettling to write pieces of an argument when the foundations are constantly moving beneath me. I suppose this is part of learning to write a “big” argument: the process is much less linear for me than it is with an essay or an article.

    I’ve started journaling the research process again. I find this helps me stay connected to what works for me and over time also highlights the areas where I probably need to ask for help. It’s also an excuse to write a bit more rather than read a bit more 😉

    Happy writing everyone!
    Katherine

    1. These are such helpful insights, Katherine – thank you for sharing your thoughts with the group!
      One way to deal with the fear that it will be hard to pick up next time is to make a note at the end of the writing session about what you’ll do next time you sit down. I do like to do the overall planning for a section/chapter at the beginning so that it’s possible to write into that plan paragraph by paragraph.
      Your concerns about structure are familiar and it’s not always possible to settle on it early in the process. However, there are often many ways that you could approach the topic and you only have to find one structure that is good enough (it’s never going to be perfect, there was always something else/different that you could have done!). So long as you are able to make the key points in your argument, the job is done. For me, letting go of any sense of perfection is key to completing any writing task. 🙂

  3. Hello all!

    I’ve quite been enjoying having a set word count goal everyday. I initially thought to aim for 500w but glad that I stuck to 300w now as it feels manageable. I hope that I’m able to finish as strong as I started! Trying not to overachieve too much when I’ve got the writing going. What I’m hoping to get after this month is a consistent habit of having a regular writing time. The daily goal helps me manage myself and give myself a pat in the back for working enough (not too much or too little).

    As Katherine mentioned I too have this nagging insecurity that I’ll run out of things to write before the end of the month … I’m trying to stop myself before getting too much ahead and try to write brief dot points instead of what I’ll be writing the next day as a rough guide. If I did run out of things to write I hoped that means I’ve actually completed my work by this month!

    Cheers,
    Audrey

    1. Hi Audrey – I agree that running out of writing means that you’ve finished. Hooray!!!
      Great that you have managed to set an achievable output. Part of the point of this is to help you feel encouraged as you see yourself making progress. And if by chance you find you end up writing more than you planned, you get a double sense of achievement (and permission to have an extra treat at the end of the day! 🙂

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