#AcWriMo Weeks 2 & 3: Moving the Goalposts

#AcWriMo week one went off nice and steady. Some days were good, and 500 words flowed onto the page. You know when you’re so into something and the creativity oozes out? Couple of days like that. Other days, creativity decided that I needed a challenge. Then it was hard to see how I would ever get to 200 words, never mind 500. More about week 1 (including word counts) here.

Onwards and upwards

Time flies when you’re having fun. This probably explains why it’s only now that I’m reflecting on weeks 2 & 3. Here are the stats for week 2:

Monday: 517 words
Tuesday: 633 words
Wednesday: 507 words
Thurs, Fri, Sat: 0 – worked on structure

A busy week academically so it was tough to fit in writing. I’m nearly at the end of the piece I worked on for the first two weeks. It’s currently at 3800 words. I actually think its time to leave it alone and come back to it later on, with a fresh perspective.


In week 3, everything flew out of the window. But in a good way. On Monday my pitch to The Conversation was accepted.  I suggested an article about clinical legal education and the legal aid cuts. For those of you who haven’t heard of The Conversation,  it’s an online independent source of news and views written by academics. The tagline is “academic rigour, journalistic flair”.

A number of my colleagues have had articles published on The Conversation. You can read them here:

Abilash Nair, When a drawing or cartoon image can land you in jail

William Walton, Trump’s lust for golf majors lands Turnberry – but there could be rough ahead

Ashley Savage, Patriot games: the odds are stacked against whistleblower Snowden and 35 years for Manning, and time for better whistleblowing laws

Mark James, IOC rules at Sochi go too far with ban on black armbands and IOC failing on human rights as democracies drop Olympic bids

Once my pitch was accepted I had 48 hours to write my 700 word piece. I spent 5.5 hours writing it, sourcing the materials and editing it. You can read the finished article here.

So I moved the goalposts. It was no longer about 500 words a day or competing 2 journal articles in 4 weeks. It was about getting a piece finished and published.

The concept of moving the goalposts is often viewed negatively. Arbitrary changes. Trying to get round something. For me, the change from ‘write 500 words a day’ to ‘write as if your life depended it, you’ve got 48 hours!’ was fantastic. I suspect that my original objective of completing two journal articles in 4 weeks is not going to be realised. But this #AcWriMo I can say that I’m well on my way to finishing an article (that references Batman, very proud of that). And I wrote an article that was published and has had over 900 views. To use another sports metaphor, we’re now in the home strait. Let’s see what the final week of #AcWriMo brings!

Have your AcWriMo goals changed? How have you found weeks 2 and 3?

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