Sunday, 8 November 2015

Farewell to the things I never wrote - ambition is good, but realistic goals are better (some thoughts for #acwrimo)

It's already been a week since I realised that November is #AcWriMo (academic writing month) and read some excellent pieces of reflection, advice and encouragement such as the writing is never done – a post for #acwrimo from Pat Thomson and Why I changed my mind about #acwrimo from Inger Mewburn, and lots of other great stuff on Twitter via the hashtag

And so, I thought (as I often do), I should write something about this. And then I didn't, because to be honest, I was writing too many other things. In fact what I have been discovering lately is that having finished one quite major writing (and editing) project (an independently published, open access book I've edited with Javiera Atenas), I now want to encourage people to discover and read it, and that means writing more about it. And that made me reflect on another idea for a piece of reflective writing I never wrote, which was about how I have really, really intended to get a lot better about posting on this blog more frequently (are you noticing a theme developing here?).

The problem is not a lack of things to write about. I have ideas, sometimes even paragraphs. But that's where I get stuck; when I have got somewhere that is already too long for a tweet, but not long enough to be an adequate blog post, or so I feel anyway. Maybe I should be more relaxed about these short posts and think of them as more akin to a workshop, rather than a lecture, where the purpose is to generate or engage in conversation, rather than deliver an argument. And I should also give myself permission to say farewell to the things I never wrote, and enjoy completing things a bit more. 

What I really want to do though, and this #acwrimo phenomenon has definitely made me think about this, is set realistic, achievable goals, rather than just have an ever increasing list of stuff I need to get done 'now'. Yes I realise I was supposed to start the month by doing that. But it's harder than it sounds. I am going to get on to that straight away. Well, after the next thing I need to get written and sent off urgently.