On twitter, the #acwri (aka academic writing) hashtag has been around for a while to try and galvanise people into actually doing more writing (unsurprisingly). So I have set myself a mini-challenge, starting yesterday – I intend to write at least 100 words per day of academic-related writing. Which sounds miniscule and silly, but it is so easy to get distracted that I often end up with a blank sheet of paper and an entire article to write after a week of doing other things, whereas this way I could write a paragraph, or a paper outline, and by the time I come to a serious writing day I’m not starting entirely from scratch. Obviously if I can write more than 100 words then that is a bonus, but 100 a day is surely manageable even with loads of distractions.
I am newly in post in the new job (I started yesterday) so am currently doing quite a lot of reading rather than writing, and preparation for fieldwork. So I have decided that, at least initially, the types of things I will count for my challenge will include:
* reflective/research diary entries
* blog entries
* notes on articles/books I’m reading
* plans/outlines of papers
as well as actual articles. I also have a fair bit of essay marking coming up in the next couple of weeks, and have decided that I will count essay feedback, but only if I also do another 100 words of another type of academic writing as well (ie my essay comments will add to the total from another activity, rather than being the only academic writing that day, which means that even when I am marking I can’t use that as an excuse to not think and write about my research).
I will record my totals here around weekly, for accountability purposes (to my vast audience :D). My reflective diary is hand-written and so I haven’t counted the words, but yesterday I wrote just over 2 sides of A5 so would estimate around 300 words. Today’s writing will be the diary as well. At the weekend, as well as my marking I have to finish my conference paper; I wonder how I will count negative word counts as I have at least 1000 words to cut out (whilst still wanting to say more).