Sound Writing Practices }{ AcWriMo 2013 }{ Week 1

This is my log for #AcWriMo 2013.  You can read my guiding philosophy for the exercise here, and my lofty goals here.  Now let’s get on with my accountability.

Daily Log: Week 1

I started AcWriMo in unorthodox fashion by taking the first few days of November off.  I had a dozen job applications due leading up to Nov. 1st, a terribly soul-sucking undertaking, and I wanted a break.  Halloween is my family’s high holiday, so we always make a good couple of days out of it.  And then my mom appeared at our door unnanounced on the evening of the 31st and stayed through the weekend.  So, I didn’t break out the tomato until Monday Nov. 4th.  And since then it has taken time to get back into the discipline.  But I’m getting there.

Nov. 4th

All day at the computer, but only 2 Pomodoro units.  I got other work done outside of these blocks, but these two with the ticker were enough to remind me how effective it is to have that sound driving my work and constantly reminding me not to check Facebook or email until the bell rings.  And as always, I’m amazed at how much one can get done in 25 minutes.

Nov. 5th

Another day at the computer, this time with 3 Pomodoros.  Movin’ on up!  I’d like to have done more, but there are baby breaks, household chores etc. continually standing in the way.  Oh, and my bi-weekly two-hour Skype session with my supervisor and his working group – always really helpful and encouraging, and very much in line with the spirit of AcWriMo.

Nov. 6th

7 Pomodoros today!  6 on my chapter revisions, and 1writing this blog post.  Tomorrow I’ll get it up to 8.

Nov. 7th

* 1 Pomodoro in the morning between dropping the kids off at daycare and meeting a friend for lunch downtown.  Here I worked on smoothing out the second section of my second sample chapter for the book proposal.  Dragging some text around to rearrange the flow, wrote a couple of sentences to smooth out the transitions.

* 30 minutes free writing on this blog after lunch.

* 2 more Pomodoros, separated by an unacceptably long foray into social media – but hey, it’s not everyday that Rob Ford happens.  Oh wait, for the past week it has been!

Nov. 8th

My 4 year-old woke up sick this morning and I saw my plans to get up to 8 Pomodoros today falling dead to the ground like so many lilting leaves of autumn.  But I found her asleep after returning from dropping off her 2 year-old sister at daycare in time for my wife to head to a meeting.  So…

* I managed to get 2 Pomodoros in before she woke up – enough for one complete job application!  This is one area I’d really like to move more quickly as I find the whole process particularly demoralizing and energy sapping.  I spent well over 50% of my work hours during last year’s AcWriMo doing tasks relating to job applications, including major revamping of my teaching and research statements along with compiling a proper teaching dossier and other relevant materials.  But now that this is done, my aim is to spend no more than two hours on any single application – enough time to look up the hiring department, see who is there and what they teach, and tailor my letter accordingly.  Today I got lucky as this job description was almost identical to the last one I sent out, and so my letter needed minimal adjustment and took less than an hour from opening the document to sealing the envelope.

* Then did some free writing on this blog interspersed with business emailing and social media browsing.

* When my partner returned I was able to hole up in the office for another 30 minutes of blog writing followed by 2 Pomodoro units in which I got quite a lot of good smoothing done on the third section of my second sample chapter.  During a “break” I revisited the film I’m writing about and discovered some amazing things I had somehow missed these last six years of writing and presenting about it…

Nov. 9th

No work on Saturdays if I can help it.  None today.

Nov. 10th

*3 Pomodoros to write up and submit another job application.

*An hour or so free-writing on this post.  Still not done!

Week 1 Summary

Okay, so this week really wasn’t as productive as it should have been, largely because I have been out of the Pomodoro practice since June.  It’s an amazing technique, but it takes me a while to get ramped up.  Plus we have a newborn in the house and I’m supposed to be on paternal leave…  So this week has been helpful in getting me to think about how best to adapt my AcWriMo practice for my current situation, and I’m hoping to make better use of my existing work time for week 2.  Still, I got some good work done on my chapter and fired off the necessary job applications.  Plus I spent a lot of time thinking about writing and how I want it to fit into my life, ideas that have informed this post which took far longer to write than I originally anticipated.  Another lesson learned.  Overall I remain hopeful that I can meet all my goals by the end of the month.


Posted on November 13, 2013 at 9:52 am by rjordan · Permalink
In: #AcWriMo, Academia, Writing about Sound

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