Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Check in before the big writing month of InaDWriMo

I almost feel irritated that I've been writing so much this week--since none of it will count toward my writing goal in InaDWriMo. Ok, so I'm kidding about that, but I'm pretty well chained to my computer and writing. And the amaing thing is that I'm actually liking what I've produced. I have revised, revised, revised. Whew! I really don't think I've spent so much time on a single document before.

I'm happy to report that my writing sample is completed (both in full and short form), and I'm ready to submit an article for review! Woo-hoo! Now, everyone keep your fingers crossed that other people like it as much as I do (except of course, Billie, Abby, and Suzanne--you need to keep your hands free for writing!)

Now, I've gotta get myself ready to write a bunch of job letters in the morning, and then turn to the next chapter.

Hope the rest of you are getting some good work done. Have a great week.

Monday, October 29, 2007

InaDWriMo (anyone else in?)

Remember that November is International Dissertation Writing Month. Mary Beth, Abby, and me have all committed to producing text next month. Anyone want to join in? Mary Beth and I have committed to 20,000 words each for the month of November (that 2.5 pages a day, baby!). It'll be tough, but that's the goal we have chosen. What about you? You set your own limit . . . keep track of it on your blog, and at the end . . . we'll celebrate. Or something.

If you need a jump start, InaDWriMo could do the thing. Once again, here are the details:

November is the (un)official International Dissertation Writing Month (InaDWriMo) which was fashioned last year after NaNoWriMo. We'll write November 1st through November 30th. You set your own goals. Keep a word meter or a word count on your blog to track your progress. (Here are a couple of word meters.)

Come on and join the fun. You can sign up here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

InaDWriMo (Int'l Dissertation Writing Month)

November is the (un)official International Dissertation Writing Month (InaDWriMo) which was fashioned last year after NaNoWriMo. Dr. Brazen Hussy is hosting this year. It's a plan to write everyday for a month. It's accountability. It's companionship. It's effective.

Here's what DBH says:

Here's the deal: It starts November 1 and ends November 30. You set your own goal (totally up to you), and keep a word meter or word count on your blog to track your progress. (here are a couple of word meters.) You can only count the words written in November. You can get as competitive and trash-talking as you like (*cough* see Weezy for an example). At the end, the winner... well, the winner gets the pride of a job well done. Or maybe I can send a postcard.

Since I'm striving to finish this dissertation by mid-spring, I'm going to pledge 20,000 words (or about 80 pages). This would take the form of my literature review and my third case study (of three). Now, I'm not saying this work will be pretty, but it will be a solid draft.

Come on and join the fun. You can sign up here.

Cross-posted at Parts-n-Pieces.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm baaaack

I haven't posted in a long while, but I've been lurking. And keeping busy-- some diss work, some teaching, helping out with the UNH conference. It's been a good busy, but not a focused one.

Today, I started moving back into a focused busy-ness. I spent about 2 hours transcribing the focus group video. I'm planning on some Gee-style discourse analysis, so I need a solid-- if not linguistically annotated-- transcript.

Good gravy is transcribing hard. I couldn't type as quickly as the speakers talked, so this motion was common: press play, start typing and listening and remembering ahead as much as possible, press pause, keep typing until caught up. Rinse. Repeat.

It was more sustained typing than I've done in a long time, so my wrists and fingers were clumsy by the end. I had a bit of a headache from looking back and forth from the video (on my laptop) to the word processing screen on the lab computer.

I managed to finish a complete rough transcription. Next: print out the transcript (with triple spacing) and watch the video again, pen in hand, to fill in missing words and make corrections.

While the task was less than fun, I'm enjoying getting back into my data-- it's been a while since I've been in it, and this is the closest I've gotten to the language the participants are using. Some interesting stuff.


Hello to DBC land. I just thought I'd let y'all know that I'm home from the hospital and, while very sore, doing okay. I appreciate all the kind words and thoughts.

Things I've learned today: sitting is important. I'm not allowed to sit for a week. You heard me. I can sit to go to the bathroom, very briefly to eat, and that's about it. If it's not one of those two things I should be standing, walking, or lying down. I can't begin to tell you how much this sucks. It's surprising, the desire to sit.

But I'm on the road to recovery (is there a town called "recovery"? Because there really should be) and will post more about jobs/diss work when I'm back to jobs/diss work.

Good luck out there. Enjoy the sitting for me.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Accountability, Ashmountability

Hello Campers,

I'm not sure if I'm needing better time management, more time, or maybe a kick in the pants, but I'm having an awful time getting much of anything done. I get things started, and move everything around, but then I realize I have 5 other things to think about or do. So, perhaps my problem is focus. Luckily, there are lots of job application deadlines coming up, so I think I should be getting in gear soon (she says hopefully). There are a few things that I really need to work on:

  • Writing sample/mss/chapter for dissertation--Gee, I do have an Anne Lamont first draft ("shitty"), but it needs major revision, and I feel a little suspicious I should revisit my coding scheme, too.

  • Complete more job applications. I can't believe how many jobs have complex online submission systems that ask for details of all jobs--and there are lots of jobs in my past. That sucks a ton of time up, I'm finding.

  • Writing Samples for my Learning Community. I'm part of a group re-visioning junior-level comp classes, and I'm completing the assignments (they all involve technology, and I seem to be the only wired person in the group).

  • Dissertation abstract and teaching philosophy. Again, I do have drafts, but I'm not thrilled yet.

Now, thanks to Abby and Billie, I feel like I can feel productive, too, or at least feel shame. I will complete the writing sample by Monday, Oct. 15, and Activity 1 for my LC by tomorrow, the 12th, and Activity 2 by the 16th. And I'll finally put those abstracts and stuff away soon!

As a head check, could those of you going on the job market this year give me an idea of how many jobs you plan to apply for? I'm the only person at this stage at my institution, and my program's pretty new, so I'm not sure what a reasonable range is. But please, please, don't say 100+. :-)

Have a great weekend, and week. I'll keep you all updated on the progress.

Monday, October 8, 2007


Oh, right, accountability? Good call Billie. As for me, it's the same old goal I've had for the last two weeks (months?). By October 15th I need a solid draft of my article/writing sample. Right now I have 7.5-8 pages. I'm pretty swamped this week, which is not good timing. I'm observing all of my mentees' classes this week and meeting with all of them about it. My university is putting on a conference this Friday and Saturday and I have two doctor's appointments on Friday. Yikes. So I need to use my time better than I did today. Had a good friend in a funk today, so I spent about two hours with him. I'm not willing to sacrifice those sorts of things, and don't need to, IF I can get my butt in gear when I actually have the time to work.

So, goals:
1. Better time management this week (and trying not to laugh about that goal)
2. Finish a draft of my article/writing sample by October 15th
3. Send draft to trusted readers on the 15th.
4. Send out job applications that are all ready to go and sitting in sealed envelopes on my desk.

That oughta do it.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Goals for the Week Ahead (10/8 through 10/12)

Ok, I've not been the most accountable on this blog-- which was, I will remind myself-- the entire purpose of the thing. . . . so today I will post my dissertation writing goals for the week.

  • I will have a very rough draft of the 2nd case study done on Wednesday (typed version, as it's mostly handwritten right now).

  • Then by Friday, I will have made some additional sentence-level editing and revising changes, and I'll have a brand new copy for the weekend.

Now that sounds like a lot of work, but maybe it's not so much. My first case study is almost complete, and I need to fashion the subsequent studies after the first one . . . . so I am-- in a way-- filling in a template of sorts (kind of). Part of the problem I am having with this case study is that the subject of the study is so radically different from the subject of the first study-- and this is a good thing, but it's a difficult thing to separate myself (as a researcher) from that first study and move on. So my third goal:

  • Separate myself from that first case study subject and latch on to the subject of study #2.

How about you all? What are you goals for the next week?

Friday, October 5, 2007


I constantly reorganize my office. I have a full file of school file supplies.
I've got a good system of to do lists, staplers, memo boards and shelving.
I usually remember where things are now.

A decade has past since I worked as a secretary, I now have the skills to scare away the secretary I was. I can handle books and paper.

So, all the writing starts, and stops, and start overs...
I'm already feeling like a children's book about a windy day at the post office.
I like to do a fair amount of writing long hand.
I like to free write off of something already started.
I like to be/have to be mobile with my work.

I have too many notebooks and my laptop recently crashed.

One good thing that has been happening is that between now and June I've committed to three different conferences with three different papers about three different section of my dissertation. I now have a wonderful mini schedule for my writing progress, and I have an orange folder with 8 sections for these three conferences, my proposal, my writing starts.
Choosing orange shows good insight into how to keep my attention on my project.

I need hindsight on the habits I can develop for handling all the bits of paper and writing. Laptop habits? Desktop filing and saving habits? How can I keep it simple before I start collaging important sentences and sections to the wall beside me?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Checking In (finally)

Hello, everyone. I'm such a bad, bad blogger and bootcamper. [hangs head in shame] I haven't posted anything in quite a while, but I have been reading posts, and I've been peeking in on your blogs. You all rock so hard!

Over the past few months, I've just focused as much as I could on the dissertation and really, very little else. Over the span of three months, I worked on the thing EVERY DAY. In some ways, that's a good thing, but in others . . . well, not so much. It exhausted me. And I'm not sure I got as far as I thought I did originally. I drafted a lot of material, but not a lot of it made sense, and it needs a lot of work to get into a quality that's acceptable. But I guess that's just my process.

Now that school's back in session, I'm coming up to a more manageable schedule . . . not marathon writing sessions, but sessions that are shorter and clearly more productive, an hour here, a half hour there . . . that sort of thing.

I read the post about job search costs and just about fell over. Crap. I really thought that I might do a limited search this year (full blown next year), but I'm really not sure I could afford to do it twice. Egads. Thanks for posting that, Meagan.

How are you all doing? Where are you in "the process"?

Monday, October 1, 2007


Wow, Meagan, that's a sobering article. I knew I shouldn't look, but I had to.

The job market has hijacked my dissertation (as I think I've mentioned) and my writing sample still needs quite a bit of work. I've been a little side tracked by some non-academic stuff: primarily a ruptured disc in my lower back. I found out last week that I'm going to need back surgery -- I'm mildly freaked about the surgery itself, but also freaked about the recovery time: 4-6 weeks. As ALL of you know, I can't take 4-6 weeks off. Can you imagine? I mean, if I could take a 6 week vacation where the world basically stopped so that deadlines weren't creeping up, I'd be all for it. If I ever find a way to make that happen, y'all will be the first to know. Until then, I'm hoping that after a week recovery time I'll be able to get back to work, but I need to get that writing sample done before the surgery.

Granted, I've been saying that for a few weeks now. Gotta get my butt in gear here people. Butt in gear.