Shut Up and Start Writing Week 6: The Home Stretch

We have hit the home stretch. Much like a runner in the Olympics, it is time to hit our “kick” and sprint to the finish. This is the last week of our summer writing group so let’s get as much as we can out of it.

As far as last week, I did not get the 3000 words that I wanted but I did write everyday. I’ll take that. I’m trying to balance the “the best dissertation is a done dissertation” with my own desire that it be a really really high quality piece of work. Perhaps the perfect is the enemy of the good, but I’m worried I’ll end up with the mediocre instead.

For this final week I want to keep the daily pomodoro of writing going and I still want to shoot for 3000 words. I had hoped to finish this chapter by now or at least be close but that’s not going to happen. I want it done but not rushed, so I’m shooting for an August 31st completion and hoping I end up done early so I can pat myself on the back.

How was everyone’s week? I’ll post one final post next weekend so we can reflect on the whole writing group and what we got done. Also, be thinking if you want to no continue this into the fall in some form or another.

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4 thoughts on “Shut Up and Start Writing Week 6: The Home Stretch

  1. This was my week to write, so I busted some serious words. 10,513 words since Monday, and I still need about 2000 more to finish the chapter. I have that planned for tonight (with a possible break to watch the Mars landing). I have also made a note to myself, reminding me that just because I *can* write a chapter in a week does not mean that I *should*. I feel kinda gross.

    I have two mini projects (and a giant pile of laundry) to catch up on this week. I’d really like to have the full draft of my dissertation done by 1 September, but it’s looking like I might need a few extra weeks. So I’ve pushed my self-deadline to 15 September, which should be doable.

    I’ll be writing all of August and much of September, and I’ll have editing after that. So I’m happy to continue into the fall, if folks are game.

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  2. Oh my, Megan!!!!! Good work on producing the words! I did the same thing over spring break my last year at UNC. I hope to never do such a thing again.

    Mike, you will end up with a dissertation, which is, by definition, an ugly baby. It’s not mediocre–it just needs some time to grow up. Dissertations are an indication of your ability to do independent scholarly work and the first draft of a book. As long as you have something to work with at the end of the process, you have succeeded.

    As for me, I’m wondering where the last two weeks went. It turns out that I cannot move and work at the same time. But, my efforts the last two weeks were turned towards unpacking boxes and setting up my office. And preparing for the welcoming the biggest life change I’ve yet to experience (T-minus 4-5 weeks!!!!!). I suppose these activities are worthy ones, and necessary to have in place in order to create a working environment. But, now that the boxes are mostly unpacked, it is time for me to get down to business. This week, I’m starting with a modest goal of working for 30 minutes a day, which a reach goal of working for a full hour every day. I would like to have a draft of a book proposal done before Baby Kerschner arrives.

    I would like to continue the writing group into the fall, however, I will be taking 6 weeks off once the baby comes. After that, though, I think this group would really help me to not feel as isolated while I’m on leave!

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    1. Did I say 2000? I meant 3000. But the important thing is that that ugly baby is DOWN for the count.

      Eek! So excited toward about big-big change. I hope your baby’s not as ugly as mine is.

      Wishing you both productive weeks. Go, writing group, go!

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  3. Brandi thanks so much for that encouragement. It’s exactly what I needed to hear. Realistic expectations have never been my strength. While I haven’t had as tough a set of household/family stuff to get done as you, I’ve also felt like other “life” things have sucked up energy and time the last few week. I think the modest goal is the way to go. That way if you happen to find a little extra time here or there you feel super good about yourself.

    I’ve also thought more and more about thinking of time as the unit for measuring my work instead of words. There is certainly a time for measuring in words, as in Megan’s writing week, but I think as long as I’m *really* spending time in solid work on the project than I’m doing something. Eventually all that note taking/reading time will spill over into serious weeks of lots of words.

    Megan, I am very jealous of you. Great job this week!!

    Brandi, good luck with the week and with the preparations!

    Rock on!

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