I have been meaning to start blogging about my PhD. I have read and read so many other PhD blogs and concluded that everything has been blogged about and quite excellently I may add. So I thought, will I have anything to add to the sea of information already out there? I didn’t really decide to blog or not to blog, I just left the matter hanging. So what has made me finally take the plunge? Well I signed up for AcWriMo 2012. I set modest goals for myself but not long after the start of November I have failed to meet my targeted goal of spending two hours writing each day for six days of the week. This was really disappointing firstly because I set modest goals which all things being equal should be easy to achieve. Secondly I added my name and goals to the accountability spreadsheet, this means the whole world is watching to see if I am able to reach my goal.
The first day of November I got off to a good start and managed to put in ninety minutes, thirty minutes shy of my goal, not bad at all. I felt really excited completing the accountability spreadsheet. I had achieved my goals and completed the first day of AcWriMo in good spirits. The following day was not so good and I barely managed to do any writing at all. The reason why I was not able to finish my tasks was completely out of my control. Yet the thought of not being able to complete the accountability spreadsheet made me feel like I had failed. I imagined all the people who are part of AcWriMo, completing the spreadsheet and my cel left blank. The failure to meet my goal threw me off and I lost my writing mojo.
So this brings me to what has made me finally decide to write this blog. . I needed to reflect on my AcWriMo and the frustrations I am having. To start off, it important to separate the process from the goal or output. Signing up for the AcwriMo and especially the public accountability spreadsheet is a means to a goal and not the goal. So I thought a blog to reflect on my writing would work better for me. I process my thoughts better as I write and writing for an audience forces me to distill my thoughts even further and get to the point. So the decision I had left hanging has been made for me during AcWriMo. A blog will serve me better than the accountability spreadsheet. This is what works for me at this point, I will complete the spreadsheet but my main accountability tool will be this blog. When I began writing this post I was trying to get some writing, any writing out of me. This got me back into the writing mojo and not only that but it also contributes to my AcWriMo goals.
So a short summary of why I signed up for AcWriMo?
I plan to begin writing my thesis towards the end of 2013 and AcWriMo 2013 would be a good time to push myself to complete the first draft of my thesis. I figured getting onto AcWriMo this year will be a good test to figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Is it a good idea at all to set out a month to writing. My goal for the AcWriMo 2012 is to complete revisions to a book chapter and a journal article. So watch this space here we go.