I'm participating in AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month - you can read more about it here) as I feel the need to set myself some more challenging goals and also be a bit more accountable. Without the structure of a PhD or external funding for a project or a proper ongoing academic position of any kind it can be hard to motivate myself to do more than keep submitting postdoc applications and then letting all the little bits of casual and volunteer work I do take over the rest of my time. However, as I keep writing my CV for jobs I am conscious that I haven't had a publication since mid last year and I haven't even submitted any for publication, nor have I been particularly rigorous about putting in abstracts for conferences that might result in a publication.
November is going to be a slightly mad month as I am in Sydney for a conference next weekend, the journal I am an editor for is due to launch in mid-November, and I have another postdoc due at the end of the month. But there are plenty of days in November to fit writing in, and part of the point of AcWriMo is to just get the damn writing done and stop coming up with excuses.
My main goal is not to write a set amount of words (but I might keep a tally as I like tallies) but to write every single day for at least 2 hours, or four pomodori (25 minute bouts w. 5 minute breaks). I want to establish a routine of using at least 2 hours a day for work that is just mine.
The projects I will work on and plan to make decent progress on or finish are
1. Paper for Sydney (app. 1000 words)
2. Abstract for AAH conference (250 words - but I will need to map out the idea in more detail to wrie a good abstract)
3. Postdoc due at the end of the month (1000 words)
4. Review of the NGV Apocalypse show for the Melbourne Art Network (1000 words)
5. Short article about the Edward Haytley paintings in the NGV - this is something I have started and done all the research for but which has stalled (1000 words)
6. Write article about Versailles based on my thesis chapter (app. 6000 words)
7. Write article about William Kent based on unused research from PhD (4000 words)
8. Try and write in this blog more - it's not exactly academic but I like the idea of getting back into the habit of writing short pieces on what I am researching, reading or looking at (though putting up blog posts does tend to be an exercise in waiting for photos to upload rather than writing...).
That only adds up to around 14000 words (I know some people are planning on 50 000!) but some of it is not just simple writing but will require a bit of reading, note taking and library visiting and I guess if I surpass my expectations I can add more goals!