Summer Writing: Week 3 Getting Down to Business
I have just had another great week of work. This week, I needed to prepare for a weekend of work with a colleague who is presenting some research together with me in July. We have been working on this project together since the late autumn so I had a pile of different bits and bobs of research sitting in my folders. What I needed to do was to gather all of the information into one large document to figure out what still needed to get done. Fortunately, I ended up with a 30+ page document of information. Unfortunately, I knew that I needed to focus my ideas. So, I decided to put together short summary of my work. I began with the story that I have been formulating in my mind for several weeks now, shaping it through previous scholarship and concerns that originally led me into this research. What I have come to find helpful in organizing my conference presentations is pin pointing each idea through bullet points and finding ways to make sure that a simple statement can be made for each statement. This streamlines my argument, and prevents me from running off on a tangent of information which may be interesting, but has little to do with the main argument. I find this sometimes difficult and have realized that it is a discipline that requires practice and patience.
This is the first collaborative project that I have done and I am loving it. I find excitement in knowing that I have another mind to bounce off ideas. I also like that there is a little bit of pressure that makes the research actually happen. The fact that different angles are brought up even before sharing with a larger community has helped me focus on what needs to be done in the meantime. Although we have not finished everything, I am excited to find other opportunities to collaborate because two minds must surely be better than one.
I am actually writing two conference papers at the moment on two entirely different subjects. I actually find having two contrasting subjects helpful to work with, mainly because I can channel my different interests and energy differently. When I am stuck on a problem with one, I can leave it, still be productive in my other subject, and return, happy to find that time and distance has helped me figure out that the problem was not as complicated as I originally had though.
This week, by getting down to business and simply delving into my work, I was able to accomplish quite a lot. My sense of accomplishment has, yet again, come down to the fact that I have a grand master plan with smaller, achievable goals which are set up in advance before the week even begins.