AcWriMo 2017

Wooden desk with a blank sheet of white paper and a laptop. Behind the paper is a pencil holder with pens and writing tools.

AcWriMo, the academic take on #NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), has been around for a number of years . I’ve even participated a couple of times in the past and if you’re curious about what I’ve done in previous years see my #AcWriMo reflections from 2012 and 2015.

One of the things I love about #AcWriMo is that it encourages participants to pick their own writing goals.  It could be to finish a paper, write X number of words a day, work on a book project, or any thing else associated with academic writing.

The #AcWriMo initiative was originally started in 2011 by Charlotte Frost as a month dedicated to hitting those lofting academic writing goals, encouraging academics to talk about their writing in public,  and to build a virtual academic writing community.  This year Charlotte has stepped back from formal #AcWriMo organizing but many academics are still engaging with the hashtag and goals of the challenge. Additionally a lot of resources that were created for #AcWriMo are still available for download and use for those who are just getting started.

My 2017 #AcWriMo goals include:

  • Writing something every day.  It doesn’t have to be long but it does have to be related to my academic work and tweets don’t count.  I’m setting myself this goal as part of my ongoing efforts to build better writing habits.
  • Get back on track with regular scheduling blog posts.
  • Revamp my ongoing writing topics list to weed out ideas that no longer interest me.
  • Continue to plug away at an ongoing article draft.  My goal for this task is to have a draft ready for more detailed editing by the end of December.

My goals this year aren’t about quantity. They are about fostering good writing habits, prioritizing my work, and hopefully getting a few smaller things off my plate.  I would love to know who else is participating this year and what everyone’s goals are.

Photo credit: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

Academic Writing Practice

As November and the possibility of participating in #AcWriMo approaches I’ve been reflecting on my writing practice.  A couple of years ago I participated in NaNoWriMo and was diligent about writing every day.  I didn’t meet the 50,000 word count but I came pretty close. The year prior to that I participated in #AcWriMo and blogged at minimum three times a week.  Last year I took a break and wrote sporadically without any concrete goals.

Since September I’ve been making a commitment to myself to spend at minimum two hours a week on academic writing. Some weeks I write more than that and some weeks I struggle to find the time to string together a few sentences.  I have managed to get a start a paper I’ve been neglecting and wrap up a few other small writing projects.

I still find that early morning is the best time for me to write.  I am more focused, motivated, and enthusiastic about writing in the morning.  However I am finding it increasingly difficult to squeeze that writing time in first thing.  Scheduling it into my calendar like a meeting does help.  As does having finite projects and smaller writing goals.

What does your writing practice look like?  How do you make sure you have time to write?