Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Speaking of Olympic Feats (2): NaWriMo 2 Word Count Update

ANNOUNCER (FROM OLYMPIC SPEED-WRITING CONTEST): And now for an interview with our sponsor, PhD student Deborah Leiter, who is caught in an end-of-semester graduate student speed-writing event that's sure to prepare her for the types of Olympic contests you see on our coverage here at Scribe Stadium. How's your contest--er, semester--going, Deborah?

DEBORAH: Yes. Mostly well, thank you. At least I turned in the first of three final semester papers just a few minutes ago. As it turns out, today in about 6 hours I not only revised 22 pages, which as you'll remember in the NaWriMo 2 scoring system counts for the equivalent of 2200 new words, but in the editing process the paper swelled to 29 pages for a total of 8816 new words, which is an addition of another 2000 or so entirely new words to the paper that will be exactly calculated at a later date.

ANNOUNCER: Wow, that's quite the new word count for a relatively short revise-and-polish period. So does this excess of new words bring you any closer to your word count total?

DEBORAH: Sadly, since it was all used up in one paper, the excess gets me no closer to my academic goals of finishing the semester. However, I am quite excited that I've gotten to the point in my academic career where I'm no longer grasping for words to say--seems I've got plenty of them to pour out. Now I'm just hoping I can only keep this up for 1 conference paper, 2 more course papers, and--these two are new tasks added just in the last couple of days--the revision of one book chapter by May 15 and the writing and revision of another one by May 20.

ANNOUNCER: Were there any deleterious effects from the quick outpour of words you've seen lately?

DEBORAH: Not, so far, from today's outpour. After Saturday's contest in which I poured out 20 new pages, though, my back was a mess of knots--and I was exhausted--from Sunday morning straight up until last night. Other speedwriting academic athletes, take heed when attempting such huge feats at home. I'll say one thing, though--all of this is certainly preparing me for the large amounts of quickly-written texts I'll have to pour out during my Big Nasty Tests in late August/early September. If all goes well there, maybe I'll actually be trained up enough to take on the NaNoWriMo challenge for real this coming November. We'll see how it goes.

ANNOUNCER: That's wonderful. And now, back to the Olympic event we've been covering...

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