Tag Archives: writing

November 10, 2010, 4:53 pm

Holy crap, I think it's working

I have been making excellent progress on this paper I’m writing. Yesterday I decided I was done with the shitty first draft, and today I have moved on to writing the second draft. I am already up to 40% of my goal word count for the month. I’m actually very excited about this, and I am finding working on this paper and seeing the word count increase very addictive. My plan now is to have a complete draft ready for my co-authors by the end of the month.

The annoying thing is, I already know that it works when I make myself spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day on a project. I know this. I know it, and I forget it ALL THE TIME. I quit doing it for whatever reason, and then it is months and months before I make myself start trying the 30-minutes-a-day thing. I don’t know why I can’t ever remember how well it works. Sometimes it’s incredibly frustrating to be this dumb!

November 4, 2010, 11:07 am

On writing and timing

I am pleased to report that the writing has been going pretty well. I am up to 3738 “shitty first draft” words, 14% of my goal for the month. I have also been successfully implementing the “Pomodoro” method of getting work done.  It’s ridiculously simple, and I’ve used it many times before, and it works really well – and yet somehow I always fall off the wagon at some point. Anyway, the way it works is this: You set a timer for 25 minutes. During that 25 minutes, you work on one task. At the end of the 25 minutes, you get a 5 minute break. Repeat. [You can get a really cute - and free! - Pomodoro timer for your Mac here.]

Ridiculous. And effective.

I have made huge progress on 4 different projects this week, all things I had been avoiding, simply by assigning myself the task of spending at least 25 minutes on each task each day. Sometimes I get motivated to do more than 25 minutes,…

Read More

November 1, 2010, 11:38 am

Advanced Procrastination

It is absolutely amazing how much work I can get myself to do, just to avoid doing any writing. I just made a whole mess of phone calls that I had been avoiding – I truly hate talking on the phone, especially if any sort of customer service menu options are involved. But I have spent the last hour on the phone, as well as doing other things I’ve been putting off for a long time, like making travel plans for something I am doing in January. I wonder how much more I can get done today just by avoiding my writing task…

November 1, 2010, 8:15 am

There's something about November…

… that really makes me want to put a writing meter in my sidebar and set unattainable goals for myself. I can’t imagine why.

October 7, 2010, 10:03 am

Hooray, it's off my desk again!

Submitted. Whew.

September 30, 2010, 5:18 pm

Aaargh, it's back on my desk!

When I was a postdoc, I did a big project that was not a very good idea. I spent years on it. I wrote a manuscript which was harshly rejected and required many more months of lab work to revise. I submitted the new manuscript to a different journal a few months ago, and for awhile was in that blissful state of “in review,” where you don’t have to think about a paper and it’s on your CV and all is well with the world.

It got rejected, which is not too surprising. And now I am going to try to turn it around with minimal revisions and send it to a lower-ranking journal in about a week.

But it is SO disheartening to have to think about this paper again. Especially since more people have published stuff while this manuscript was being reviewed, stuff that I need to read and cite before resubmitting.

It makes me cranky. I want to spend my precious research time on things I like, not this…

Read More