I recently discovered Laura Pasquini’s blog when I was directed to her post regarding Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). I particularly liked her selected graphic on the creative process which should in no way be construed as a confession regarding my own creative process (but I do think you should check it out and bookmark it — I have). The timing could not have been more “near-perfect” since I am now embarking on my masters thesis for graduate school. Of course, perfect timing would have been today, which is when I intend to actually begin my participation in #AcWriMo starting with this post.
Apparently, I should have known about AcWriMo, since @soul4real and @alicedaer (a.k.a. my professor) have already been tweeting about it since day one. Alice’s tweet made me aware of Laura’s blog in the first place and also the official AcWriMo Twibbon. The educational return on my investment is already apparent as I’ve learned to create my first-ever Twitter widget for WordPress as a way of demonstrating my commitment to #AcWriMo through November. It should motivate and inspire “visitors” to my blog; i.e., me.
So, I’ve got flair, I’ve got reminders, and I’ve got focus…so then what are my goods? For my sake, I’m going to keep this simple and follow the prompts from the official AcWriMo 2013 announcement:
- Decide on my goal: For the remainder of the month, my goal is to complete my course project for English 654: Digital Literacies and Social Media. This work will form the basis of my thesis so getting the project drafted by the end of the month is a goal and also a first major step.
- Declare it: Consider it declared, here and now.
- Draft a strategy: Here’s where it gets a little too simple. Let’s just say I’ll be writing in the evenings (after work, after putting my kids to bed) but I’ll jot down notes and prompts throughout the day to make my writing time focused. Strategy will just have to be a work in progress for now.
- Discuss your progress: I’ll keep myself accountable by commenting on my progress through blog posts.
- Don’t slack off: Uhmm…
- Declare your results: Successes and unintended slacking will be blogified.
Strategy revisited: A couple of points do come to mind. The first is that by just setting the intention to write, and doing it in such a public way, is motivational for me. Another strategy is to get inspired. I came across this great post on writers’ routines on Brain Pickings and that got me a little jazzed and focused. And then I remembered something a buddy told me about Jerry Seinfeld’s strategy to simply establish a habit, make it visible on a wall calendar and keep the pressure on to sustain a chain of successive “good” days. Check out this related post on Lifehacker.com.
I’ve got my Twibbon, my #AcwriMo widget is up and running with a recent tweet from Laura. Game on.