My Lessons Learned from #AcWriSummer 2016

Earlier this summer, I proposed to form a “writing posse” that would encourage support and accountability…and keep my own writing progress in check. Little did I know how important this would be! I am SO very grateful for my scholarly peers who accepted this team challenge, lCatherineCaroline & Patrice. These colleagues were also invested in working on a specific writing project, and they were all willing to join me on this 8-week experiment we’ve called #AcWriSummer 2016.

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We started using chapters of the book, Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks, to guide our writing process; however, we ended up branching out to figure out what we could accomplish or support over the summer.  I sincerely thank these ladies for their willingness to contribute in our online weekly meetings, tweets for motivation/support, and general advice for editing of manuscripts and resources to develop our academic writing practice.

Here’s what I have learned from #AcWriSummer 2016:

  • Accountability for academic writing is good thing – regular, structured check-ins or checkpoints for the writing process as you draft a manuscript
  • Apparently, holidays take away from my writing habit (I stopped tracking my writing time/progress after Canada Day)
  • Creating a habit of writing is key – always schedule writing chunks early & often on your calendar (block out time)!
  • Laying the foundation of a manuscript helps your writing — outline your paper structure 
  • Focusing and targeting your manuscript for the publication outlet you want is critical! Wr
  • Drafting a solid abstract that will get read and cited — keep in mind this might be all other scholars read and use, so be explicit about your study & findings here
  • Research the empirical literature WELL!  (see resources below or read my #AcWriSummer Week 3 post)
  • What I write is not always what others read — be clear in your arguments and findings
  • Attack & conquer editing with peers to tighten drafts – Google docs are great for a 1st review of a draft
  • Consider what your writing process is and if it needs to be changed (or is it working)
  • Ask a colleague/peer for help if and when you get stuck on something in your writing
  • Solicit for ideas for elements of how to improve and enhance your manuscript from an outside perspective
  • Helpful reads and tips for writing
  • Collaborative team attacks for editing sections of a manuscript
  • Reminders incremental academic writing is still progress
  • Social experience with both peer learning and care – academic writing does not have to be a solo endeavor
  • Sharing of resources, reads, and tips to support writing (see below); however, you really need to figure out what will work best for YOU in your academic writing practice.

Interested in supporting your own #acwri practice? Here are a few great resources our #AcWriSummer group curated during the last couple of months:

Now that our “formal” #AcWriSummer 2016 curriculum is over, it is time to get these drafts finished.  I will need some #ShutUpAndWrite time before I can properly enjoy any holiday time that remains in August. At least I have my motivation for getting my #acrwisummer projects done. Happy writing, y’all!

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Image c/o PhD Comics

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