11.12.2008

Secrets to my InaDWriMo success

ScienceGirl wanted me to post about how I am getting so much writing done for InaDWrMo.
I've already fulfilled more than my 8000 words and it is only the 12th! 
Here are the keys to my success...
1) My committee wanted my dissertation last week. Literally, I had a guy say, 'Well if I could have it right now, that would be cutting it close." and that was last Thursday. 
2) I had a meeting to turn it in today!  
3) I don't have anything else to do. I'm not teaching, no lab work, only 3 hours of seminars/meeting a week. 
4) The Grackle brings me food, coffee and beer so that the only reason I move from my writing chair from 10 am till midnight is to use the bathroom. This is on weekends only. On weekdays, I have to get my own lunch (which I usually skip) and coffee.
5) I didn't go outside during daylight from Thursday till Monday. 

Ok, while all of those things are true, they aren't really helpful for anyone else trying to write. Here are just a few things that have been really helpful:
1) I have most of my reprints on pdf. Jumping from paper to paper to check details at the click of a button without having to rummage in the cabinet or my backpack has allowed me to move quickly through heavily referenced sections of writing.
2) Write a lot and then revise later. In fact, on Sunday night, I had sat in my chair working for 14 hours and had only increased my word count by 156.
3)  Remember that writing has to be simple. Topic sentences for each paragraph, very simple sentence structures, re-stating complex ideas in clearer terms or examples are all things I try to remember.
4) Classical music seems to help. I have been listening to Vince Guaralidi's "A Charlie Brown Christmas" all week!
5) If someone (my advisor) is confused by what I write, I try to talk to him about it. If I can explain it in a conversation, I start over by using those exact words in the paper.

I am pretty close to being done with it! I turned in the whole thing to my advisor today and am waiting for comments. It will go to the committee tomorrow or Friday. My defense is official with a room and a flyer and everything. 
Printing it out today was pretty cool. Seeing it in print was rather overwhelming....at least until I got butter from my bagel all over the title page...now on to the presentation!

5 comments:

ScienceGirl said...

Thanks for sharing! Your advice (the applicable to all portion) is very good, and I am very impressed that you are able to focus on writing for 14 hours a day. I think I need to clear my schedule for a few days and try to do the same (says a person who is about to go to a 10-day conference...)

You rock - and good luck with the slides!

Belle said...

Congratulations and good luck on everything. Your schedule sounds heavenly; I envy you your time, commitment and production.

Amanda said...

Congratulations and good luck! I'm rather impressed by your ability to stay in one spot for 14 or so hours!

EcoGeoFemme said...

Good for you! And thanks for sharing your strategies.

I can't wait till I'm writing similar "the dissertation is almost done" posts. :)

Albatross said...

Sciencegirl- I never thought I would work this way. My advisor instilled in me the idea that you only need as much time as you can get- 5 minutes here or there. But in the end, I just had to get it done and there was no other way.

belle- I certainly lucked out with this fellowship I have. No way I could've done it without it!

amanda- Thanks! Although I failed to mention anther key to staying put for so long each day- I've been really sick for the past week. Even going up 1 flight of stairs has me winded and in a coughing fit.

EGF- I can't wait for your posts as well! I think it is fascinating that everyone works differently and I love hearing about the different strategies.