Summer Writing Challenge: Week 1

Baja California, Mexico
The first week of my summer writing challenge has flown by. One thing I learned this week was how easily the summer months could slip away! I honestly didn't get very much writing done this week but that was partially because I was away for a short break to celebrate the end of the semester and take care of some family needs. Partially because of this, I hadn't scheduled too many writing tasks to begin with and instead planned for a more research/thinking intensive week.

I was happy to start the week with an email about revisions for my contribution to an edited volume I had submitted back in January. The timing of this email could not have been better. I now know a few more details for how the book will be arranged and the editors' hopes for this project. But the requests and suggestions also mean that I now need to rework my schedule to allow time to add a few more details to the chapter.

While I could have worked on this chapter, I decided to devote my free time to get a kick start on my larger summer research project already planned for my first week. Because this is an ongoing project, I wanted to open my folders I have already been working on to see where I had left this project. It just so happened that my colleague had been working on similar manuscripts and interesting connectionfound for me that I need to investigate further. Pursuing this connection helped me to open up my mind towards what I can do with the material I already had and allowed me to add a few substantial notes to my folder. I also re-read a few seminal articles on the projects' topic.

As always, there were a few small administrative duties left over from teaching this past semester that needed to be attended to and took some of my time which I had not anticipated. But, I have learned that there are always small tasks that creep up and figure these into the overall equation of my writing projects.

I find that traveling helps me to refocus my energies onto the longer tasks of research and writing. So in the first week of the summer,  I decided to take a long weekend away. Although I am still sleepy from my travels today, I do generally feel refreshed and ready to shift my energies away from the semester and forwards into the summer. More importantly, the trip has given me a chance to truly break away from everything I left at home, including a few days without an obligation to respond to emails or update my facebook.

Tasks I hope to tackle in Week 2:

  • Re-read my original chapter contribution for edited volume to find out what needs to take place with the new requests.
  • Research and add final ideas to the article that is almost ready to finalize. 
I have a book waiting for me at the library that I will pick up on the way home from work today. I hope that it will be useful to what I need!