It’s day 8 of this years #acwrimo and its a Friday, so in my opinion, a good time to reflect on how I’m getting on so far. I thought I might write about my writing progress this week and what helped, and some of my main distractions and problems as well. My plan is too use this to reflect on my work methods in the coming weeks and beyond, and to hopefully improve on my current progress. And I have made progress 🙂
Progress and what has worked
If quantifying, I have added 2000 words to a journal article that I am re-writing for publication and I have written 700 words towards a research bid as well. These are just the word counts that have built up at the bottom of my Word document. I have written lots more words than this that have been lost from the existing document but that have been important in my thinking processes. I have also written lots of Tweets and Emails so I am going to count them as words too!
The things that have helped me most?
- Changing workspace. I found being at home very difficult last week. I work from home a lot and having just returned from maternity leave, being here without the baby was very strange. It has taken a bit of time to get back into the headspace that home is also a workplace (forgive all the space/place talk – I’m a geographer by training!!). To counter this I sought out new places to write including the local library, which I loved and found very productive. I also found that going into my work office for the day helped to focus me and get me into a more motivated writing mood,
- Reading again – Its been a while since I have immersed myself in the academic literature so re-reading old material and new material relevant to my work has helped me to get back into the swing of writing. It has re-jigged my memory of content and good writing styles as well,
- I am also pretty motivated by the fact that I have to find a new job in 11 months time. That may seem like ages but the more I get done now, the better. This puts a lot of pressure on but I work quite well this way and find writing towards goals a useful solution to any worries or fears that start to surface,
- Looking at all of the inspiring Tweets, blogs and Facebook comments about #acwrimo!
Distractions and what I have not done so well?
- I hate to say it but I haven’t been very good with the #acwrimo accountability spread sheet that I am signed up to. I’m not very good at recording my achievements, (or lack of), and this year has been no exception. I am now trying to remedy this with this blog post to an extent.
- Email! I must work out a way of looking at Emails only at certain times of the day, and not as a way of procrastinating from writing, which I have a tendency to do! I did try pomodoro’s earlier in the week and I found that the 25 minutes focused writing and then 5 minute break was a good structure. I only looked at Emails in the 5 minute break and made sure I was writing for the full 25 minutes in between (sorry – more of a success than a distraction!),
- Weekends – The baby! I have tried to get some #acwrimo done at the weekends and in the evenings as well as during work hours but I have found the baby quite a distraction (a lovely one at that of course!). Family distractions have been discussed on Twitter already this week and there are some interesting reflections on writing while parenting here.
So, all you #acwrimo-ers out there! How has your first week gone? What has worked for you? What hasn’t? Any advice on how I might squeeze in some writing time this weekend?