Okay, so it's coming down to it. Starting this Thursday, I'm embarking on the Last Month of the Semester. That means I'll be writing roughly 60-80 pages of academic papers (not including a wealth of preparatory notes for said final papers) in the month starting on Thursday and stretching until May 9, when I'll (hopefully) finish off my semester by very quickly grading the exams I'm giving that day.
For the record, that's about 20,000 new words plus notes, revisions, etc. Not to mention the stacks of grading to go with it.
The thing is, I know I can do this--the count on my sidebar from NaWriMo last November and December tells me I've lived through something such as this (29,000 new words in just over a month and a half) just a few months ago. The thing is, though, I wasn't entirely happy with the quality of all of those final papers, so I'd like to do a bit better this time.
Completing these papers in a quality fashion will take focus, dedication, and likely quite a bit of household-work avoidance.
To that end, I'm catching up my life errands (paying bills, etc.) as much as I can today so that once I plunge in, I have to deal with that as little as possible.
Go team make-it-through-the-semester. Hm, maybe I should make this into a NaWriMo 2 in order to push myself through. Keep track of word count again and so on. If I'm going to go for it, I've got to think through the rules, though. I like counting for revisions, but I'm wondering whether analysis pages/notes written to prepare for the papers ought not to count too. Since there are bound to be a lot of these this semester, and the more there are, the better the paper will be, I need some way to include those in the count.
Perhaps, like revisions, they can be given a lower word count--perhaps 25-50 words added to the word count per page of notes? Last time it was 100 words per page of revisions... Any thoughts here?
Monday, April 6, 2009
On the Brink of the Plunge...
I'm a writer, an incurable reader, a narrative theorist, a media researcher, a scholar/author/writer/consultant, a PK, and the Queen of Soup Making. I write a lot, and I've taught a wide range of topics in universities. Along my journey I've picked up a PhD in Communication from Purdue and 2 degrees in English. I've been turning my ideas about communication as author-audience relationships into a communication paradigm that can be applied to a wide range of situations. I'm also writing a historical mystery series. I'm a member of Sisters in Crime, and the co-chair of the Mystery and Detective Fiction Caucus of the Popular Culture Association. My MA thesis focused on connections between T. S. Eliot and Thoreau, who each wondered about how to remain still and still moving. Before I went to grad school, I spent 7 years working for a division of HarperCollins Publishers.