I’m making a commitment for November to write 30 minutes a day, every day (that’s 7 days a week). Right now my plan is to do this writing first thing — even before I check my email — though not before I make coffee. We’ll see how that goes. I’m talking about it in public because I want to accountability, plus I want to explore though weekly blogging about the practice of writing every day. Because my blogging also doesn’t get the time and attention it deserves.
This goes against the way I’ve generally written. I’ve always been something of a binge writer, writing in intense bursts when either inspiration struck or deadlines loomed. Yet I know that’s not the most productive or healthy way to write. One of my Twitter compadres, Raul Pacheco-Vega writes every morning for 2 hours. His daily discipline inspires me.
My other thought is that by writing first thing in the morning, I’m paying myself first. That is, I’m putting my research and writing ahead of everything else, from grading to job search work. This relates to some of the advice Wendy Belcher gives in Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks — that the grading will get done, but for many of us our writing gets a lower priority and ultimately never gets our time.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but the plan crystalized as I read Ryan Cordell’s “Writing 20 Minutes Every. Single. Day.” and the more recent “Scholarly Writing Hacks: 5 Lessons I Learned Writing Every Day in June” by Jennifer Ahern-Dodson. The fact is, there’s too much going on right now to have the luxury of writing binges. Even if I had the time to write like that, I wouldn’t have the time to recover.
I was incredibly pleased to mention my plan on Twitter and get responses from a variety of scholars who want to make the writing daily in November commitment too. I’m asking permission this afternoon to put their names (or whatever names they want to use) and links to their blogs (if they have them) here so we will have made a public commitment.
What I’ve been working on this week is getting my writing spaces organized so once this starts I can just sit down to write without having to first clear my desk.
If you want to join, leave a message in the comments, tweet me @anneperez or get in touch somehow. I’d love to see what we can do in November.
Nikolai Garcia: @hellokommie