Doing a 15 minute #AcWri challenge

I’m reading Dr. Katie Linder’s blog archive. One of her earliest posts is titled 51 Tips to Help Academic Writers Be More Productive. It’s a very different sort of set of tips than the kind I was complaining about yesterday. The latter is all about telling you what kind of work you ought to be doing. Not, here are actual tools to help you get the work done, but just… remember all this work you could be doing. Don’t forget how you could use this time wisely.

(Phrases I hate: “use your time wisely” and “live up to your potential.” Blargh. If I want to fritter my life away reading fantasy novels and only be an A- student, that’s my business, middle school teachers. Oops, sorry, went to a dark and distant place there.)

Dr. Linder’s post, on the other hand, doesn’t remind you that there’s work you could be doing. Instead, it gives you tips for how to tackle the work you’ve decided to do.

Her first tip is to start a daily writing practice. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time, and struggle to build up consistency. So I went beyond Dr. Linder’s help, and went to another favorite scholar of mine, Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega. He offers four strategies, both for creating a good container in your schedule for writing, and for deciding what to write when you’re making it a point to write daily so you don’t just stare at a blank screen for 15 minutes a day.

The first of his tips involves working to deadline like Wendy Belcher suggests in her book, Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks. So I “got out” my ebook copy of that book and looking through the table of contents, discovered that she has a whole chapter dedicated to responding to journal feedback.

Well, I’ve been sitting on an accepted with revisions article for well over a year, and it’s pretty embarrassing. The other day I sat down to make the revisions and got overwhelmed quickly. I ordered a print of both the article and the reviewer comments from Staples, so that should be here soon. And now I have this schedule from Belcher’s book that’s got me ready to actually get down to it.

So here I am, essentially going to do Dr. Jo Van Every’s 15 minute #acwri challenge, using this revision to launch my daily writing practice. Guess what Internet? You’re my writing buddy and you’re going to keep me accountable.

Here’s the schedule:

4/15 - 4/19, Read through p. 298 in the book and follow the instructions for reading the editor’s letter and reviewers’ reports.
4/20 - 4/26, Identify which journal decision was made and decide how I will respond.
4/27 - 5/2, Prepare a list of recommended changes and how I plan to respond to them.
5/3 - 5/9, Revise the article.
5/10 - 5/16, Draft my revision cover letter and send the article back out.

Basically, a month to turn this thing around. And I’m going to try to have my (sadly at different times of day, thanks coronavirus) work schedule be:

First 15 minutes: Settle in, review to-do list. Second 15 minutes: Write. Remaining time: Work on data collection and other tasks.

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