I feel that it’s really important to be positive about the writing process. When I’m speaking to colleagues and tweeting about academic writing, I encourage, celebrate and rejoice. I worry that continually viewing a writing project as an insurmountable mountain will make it exactly that.
However, there are times when things don’t quite go to plan. And it’s important to share those moments. So this post is going to describe week 3 of #AcWriMo, which was not a success for me writing-wise.
This week I lost my routine. I had a number of teaching and administrative deadlines. And there were other unexpected issues, which inevitably crop up in higher education. All of these issues/tasks had to be dealt with and they took over the majority of my working day. I found it harder and harder to motivate myself to start writing. Then I felt guilty and ended up writing on an evening.
This extract from my AcWriMo progress update neatly sums up how I felt one night last week…
“Hour and a half of revisions that kept stopping and starting. Have no idea how many words, but it’s not much. Sat in a grump at 8.46pm staring at said revisions, listening to Travis and eating too much dark chocolate. Bring back morning AcWriMo.”
You know it’s bad when you’re singing along to Why Does It Always Rain On Me? and have eaten an entire bar of Lindt without noticing…
I missed the sense of control that a set routine had provided. Did I write each day last week? Well, yes. But it was chaotic. I felt restless, and on edge. Ironically, I spent more time writing last week than week 1 and I didn’t achieve half as much. If there’s anything that AcWriMo 2o15 has taught me, it’s that I like a routine. I work fewer hours, and I’m more productive. It’s win-win.
Next week, I’m going back to my routine. It’s been fantastic to be part of such a vibrant, funny & supportive community during this year’s AcWriMo. I’ll be sad when it comes to an end, but I hope that the lessons we’ve learned and the connections we’ve made continue far beyond this four week period. Final push – good luck everyone!