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One of the themes of my book (you know, the book I keep talking about but keep failing to snatch from the outer atmosphere of my imagination, where it seems to reside) is that by measuring, you can create change in yourself and in others. Given that, and the immense non-being of the book, its chapters, or the words that make it up, engaging in #AcWriMo seems painfully obvious. This is a take-off on the wildly successful National Novel Writing Month, and an effort to produce a lot of drafty text, not worrying so much about editing, making sense, or the like. You know: blogging.

Noodle knows I’ve got a ton of writing that needs to be done, like yesterday. Just so I can keep it straight in my head:

* The #g20 paper. This was an awesome paper that was nearly done two years ago. The data is dated, which is going to make publishing harder, but the ideas and analysis are still really interesting and good, I think. I just need to finish off a small bit of analysis (oh no! that has little to do with writing!) and write the sucker up.

* The aforementioned book. Or at least a couple of the chapters for it, which are now about five years overdue.

* A short piece on Enders Game.

* Updating some research (eek, more non-writing) and writing it up (phew).

* A dozen other little projects.

I also, however, have a bunch of other pressing things: planning for two new courses, maybe coding up a new version of my badge system (although, unless somehow funded, that needs to be a weekend project), and of course the ever-present AoIR duties.

Oh, did I say weekends. Yes, the first caveat to my pledge: I’m trying not to work weekends. My family is my first priority, and while that is easy to say, it’s harder to do. So I will endeavor not to do any work on the weekends. I’ve been trying to do that so far, and it’s not really possible, but it’s a good reach goal. Oh, and I’m taking a chunk of Thanksgiving week off, since my Mom and all her kids and grandkids (including the ones in Barcelona) are coming together at our house for the first time in probably more than two decades. But I’ll do a make-up in December.

Second caveat: I’m counting posting to the blog (since this is where I used to do a lot of my pre-writing). I’d like to count email too, since I did a solid 6 hours of catching up on email today, but I think that’s a no-go.

Really what we are talking about then is four consecutive weeks of completing 6,000 words each week. That may not sound very ambitious, but given how hard it was to push out the last 5,000 words (it took way more than a week–sorry editors!), I think that 1,200 words a day is plenty ambitious. Oh, and by doing it as Monday-Friday weeks, I get to start next Monday. Procrastination FTW.

Now that I’ve managed to negotiate myself down, it doesn’t seem like much of a challenge, but there it is. I will report on my goals here on a weekly basis. I may try to add some other metrics (time on task, people mad at me, etc.) as we go forward. But for now: words, words, words. (Though only 573 of them for this post.)

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One Comment

  1. Angela E.
    Posted 11/2/2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Very motivating post Alex :) I pledge to finish writing my dissertation proposal instead of job applications — in “cart before the horse” or “pressure yourself into not procrastinating any longer” style….

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