Not writing a midterm exam, but writing in the midst of a term. I have a new and urgent project to complete this week so it’s nose to the grindstone and all that. Three observations as an academic author:
- Though shalt not fiddle: to make this miracle occur I went to minimal mode with regards to my teaching. I have great preps from the last time I taught the Ancient Near East survey so I’m not revising any of the preps for next week’s classes. I’m also not going to get their quizzes back for Thursday, even though my TA’s helped with marking everything but the essay part. My seniors need their paper proposals back on Friday but other than that, marking waits for the end of the weekend.
- Though shalt not be distracted: During Thursday’s office hours, my door will be closed and a sign will invite visitors to please knock. Otherwise, I know I’ll be distracted by the noisy passage of hundreds up and down the busy hallway. I’m also not paying any attention to extraneous emails. If you’re not mission-critical, you’re waiting until Monday!
- Though shalt not blog (much!): Of course, the final, rueful truth: blogging will continue to languish. Hope you don’t hold it against me. I will return.
7 responses to “Writing Midterm”
Happy writing :)
Thanks! I’m well over two thousand words now but panicking a bit as all the deferred work of the week’s term work can no longer be ignored. I have to take a marking break before I can move onto the next section of the chapter. Thank goodness it’s only supposed to be around 5,000 words!
Such times are definitely a mix of progress and panic, aren’t they? I think there’s no way to walk away from the semester’s tasks, even just for a few moments, and not worry about what is being ignored and how more of it may even be racking up in the queue. That said, 2K+ words is great!
These are VERY good ideas. Though sometimes hard to stick to, yes?
I found myself forgetting on Thursday afternoon to close the door after students dropped in to see me during office hours. Yes, it’s not easy to stick to such resolutions but I have almost 4300 words in the draft now, so that’s egging me on.
Good luck with the work! I think that added to your second commandment (at least for me) should be something to reflect the distraction of cute animals! (PS glad to see that you are back to blogging!)
Thanks! I would love to blog more but I’m so close to finishing a draft of this chapter that I’m working to stay focused. Let’s see how close I can come to “done” before dinner time, eh?