February is challenge month: I gotta get some @$!& written

February is the shortest month, which makes it the best month for one-month challenges!

(Note that we’re still doing activism regularly, but that’s not a one month and done thing.  That’s a we can’t become a fascist state thing and it’s going to last potentially for years.)

Last year I was most worried about my sedentary life style. (Apparently that was also the focus in the previous year.)  This year I decided not to make a challenge out of that, but I’ve moved my “trying to take a walk” thing to lunchtime instead of after work, and that’s been working out a lot better for me, especially since I no longer want to surf the internet on my lunch break like I once did.  Plus I’m back to 6 hours of teaching each week which is surprisingly good exercise when you use the board a lot and get really excited about math…

Prior to that we did a number of frugality challenges, but while DH is still employed we need the time more than we need the money, so they’re kind of exercises in pointlessness.

What is really a problem with my life right now is that I have NOTHING UNDER REVIEW.  My last under-review paper is forthcoming.  That’s it.  Nothing is under review.  Nothing.  Some of that is that I spent way too much time writing a couple of book chapters.  Some of it is my work being accepted fairly quickly.  But a lot of that is that the election and activism and getting back into teaching etc. have kind of pushed me off my regular work rhythms and I haven’t been doing the writing/data munging/reading/email/classprep daily routine that usually works best for me.  This month is going to change that.  I am going to have a conference-ready draft of one paper by all of the upcoming March deadlines and I’m going to have something under review before my annual report is due.

How am I going to do that?  The old-fashioned way.  I need to start my mornings with an hour of writing.  If I can commit to that, the rest falls into place because I need to have something to write about.  I also can’t putter around during the quiet 8am hour on days I have a 9:30am class and I certainly can’t spend the morning on the internet before putting my clothing on and getting to work.  The five day a week habit will hopefully get back into place for March itself, but the challenge will also include weekends.  The one day a week I will take off from early morning writing is the day of my 8am office hours, for which I will do the writing later in the day (I have late office hours another day).

I may not have a new draft done by the end of February, but I will be a lot closer to meeting those March deadlines than I am now.

So that’s my February challenge:  28 days of writing an hour each morning.  Starting today.

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10 Responses to “February is challenge month: I gotta get some @$!& written”

  1. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    It must be nice to have only 6 classroom hours a week. I have 16 classroom hours this quarter (72 students in one class+lab, 13 in the other class) with no TA, so I spend almost all the rest of my time grading (except for time on Academic Senate committee meetings, undergrad curriculum committee meetings, faculty meetings, student advising, and office hours).

  2. Ana Says:

    I’m in the same boat. I need to do this challenge too. Not sure I can do every weekend, though, we are traveling some. At LEAST every week day I should be able to manage it.

  3. jane Says:

    Thank you for setting the example of being grounded in the mundane and normal. Please share how it goes because that too is a reminder of the mundane and normal that we all need to attend to and practice.
    PS: Thank you also for the regularity of your posts. You are much appreciated.

  4. Dame Eleanor Hull Says:

    I’m in, but I only managed a half hour today. I don’t know how the whole afternoon got away from me. There should have been ample time but every little thing seemed to take 5x as long as it should have.

  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I can’t do a morning hour every day but I can go for a 20-30 minute writing session 5 days a week (any five, counting weekends). That’s a reasonable commitment.

    Not academic writing though, probably just blogging :)


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