I hope that your second day of the writing challenge has been going well. This morning, I ran into a series of roadblocks. I didn’t get up early to write as I had planned. Then my partner’s work schedule changed and suddenly I found myself with no one to watch my toddler while I was working. A whole day of playing with Mama was thrilling to him, but he also decided it meant a nap was optional. So, after an hour battle to get him to sleep, I was finally able to find time to write for 25 minutes. Honestly, by that point, with the house in shambles and me worn out from keeping a one year old alive (he seems to be able to find the most dangerous thing in a room with laser precision), the last thing I wanted to do was change gears and work on my chapter.
Then I thought about this blog post I had promised to write and my commitment to the writing challenge. I figured I had better sit down and make a start. I worked on rewriting the orienting part of my introduction, as a way of setting out a work schedule for the rest of the revisions. In an ideal world, I like to try and break down big writing tasks, like the rewrite of this chapter, into small tasks that I think will take about 25 minutes each. For example, my task for tomorrow is to add some additional evidence to support a point I’m making in one section of the chapter. With a small task I can actually accomplish, it’s harder to convince myself that I just don’t have time on any given day. Like many of us, I always seem to leave writing off for last because it is often my hardest task, what with the level of concentration and complex thinking required to communicate our research findings. But with these short observable steps, I’ve been able to plough through and stay on task better.
On a day like today, without the writing challenge, I would have skipped writing drawn away by all the urgent tasks in front of me. Thanks for joining me in this challenge and keeping me on track towards establishing a daily writing habit. In the comments, let us know how things are going for you. What roadblocks come up in your writing practice? What strategies do you use to fit writing into you busy academic schedule? What cartoon animal/puppet best represents your state of mind? 🙂 Share your tips and happy writing today!