Writing Challenge:Summer 2017

Week no. 1

Although the weather outside today certainly does not make me feel like saying this, summer is officially here -- at least where my focused writing/reading/researching is concerned. I am pretty excited to be able to report that on my first day of the project I have been able to devote a good 2-3 hours of my time towards my summer goals. It is a good start.

Last summer I worked out how I can get through a 15-16 week summer in the most productive way to make sure that I would not waste very precious time. I set out to put together a large database which I have consulted several times over the year. I also put together two pieces of writing last summer, one journal article which has just been published (yay!) and another book chapter which is currently being edited. 

As I did in 2016, I plan to keep a weekly diary here to keep track of my work habits. It was a great way for me to find out how I can organize my days and work towards long-term goals that sometimes can feel unambiguous at the beginning.

This summer, my focus will be on three conference presentations scheduled to be delivered between now and the end of summer. Most of the research for these papers has been completed, leaving my main task to writing it up in presentation form. Two of the presentations will be reworked into publication as the first chapter of my monograph and hopefully into an article that can be submitted for publication by the end of the summer. 

I will also be able to spend some time in British archives this summer to gather more information necessary for my larger research project. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to dig through resources in person. Between these tasks I have set up for myself, I see how quickly my summer will fly by! But if I time my work well, all of this should be achievable for me in 15 weeks.

In many ways this summer is much easier to prepare for because of the effort and work that I put into organizing my schedule last year. I learned that if I set myself small and manageable weekly goals, they can be accomplished relatively well. It is also easier working with a to-do list (I use Things which is on my Mac and my iPhone) based on the working method Getting Things Done. It has proven to be especially useful for me as I juggle several different kinds of work during my work week. In addition to my to-do list, I have a writing diary and a 5 year plan which help me to keep on task as well as project goals for myself.  

It is exciting to be at the beginning of a concentrated time of work and I hope will be as fruitful/productive as my summer of 2016.