It seems aprospos to commence DigiWriMo and AcWriMo by defining my goals and strategy/strategies that will help me succeed. However, given that I am a constructivist learner, things could shift and morph along the way. Diving in head first without at least looking at the lay of the land doesn’t seem smart either, so here we go!
- This is the year I test the waters, so my primary goal is simply to establish a writing rhythm. Since I am task/project-oriented, events like these provide the necessary motivation and momentum to get things going.
- Another goal is to establish consistent reading/writing habits. The rigours of being a full-time doctoral student, and my responsibilities as research assistant and vice-president of the Doctoral Student Association can and do take priority more often than not. So, the challenge and opportunity for me is to both find time to pursue my own research agenda in a manner that leverages what I learn in and from these contexts, and capture my epiphanies, reflections, ideas, et al in writing! I am always writing blog posts in my head when walking the dog, cooking, cleaning, showering, etc, but they never make it to print. I need to find a way to do that.
- Write something everyday to begin with, without worrying about time count or word count. Watch for the patterns, and push myself a little further when the comfort zone sets in.
- Really leverage Scrivener and get familiar with Markdown. I am a huge fan of Scrivener though I don’t use it as much as I should. I have also been wanting to learn Markdown. This is the perfect opportunity to do both. In fact, I am currently using Scrivener in composition mode with MultiMarkDown to write this post thanks to Thanh Pham.
- Take time to enjoy this process. It’s easy to get lost in the reading, reflecting on the readings, the writing, the keeping up with the community and other activities that (will) serve this agenda.
- Don’t go crazy with the goals. These are good enough this time round ;).
- Although #AcWriMo and #DigiWriMo are my personal goals, I will count any writing I do in my role as research assistant—an annotated bibliography for instance—as well as conference proposals I might submit with colleagues, and other collaborative papers toward my writing goals for this exercise.
- Share my successes and failures regularly with #DigiWriMo, #AcWriMo, and other communities. Making myself accountable to someone should keep me going when I flounder ;).
- Reward myself when I have completed a writing goal.
- Get plenty of sleep. I just don’t see the point of working away, bleary-eyed, on coffee, tea, and/or Red Bull into the wee hours of the morning to succeed. It’s not going to make me any more productive, probably the opposite.
- That about sums it up. This is real. Now to get it done :).