AcWrit – Every Day in November Plans

clockI’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.

Who’s committed?

@santaperversa: Finding Self, Finding Love & It’s Always Summer in LA

Nikolai Garcia: @hellokommie

Annemarie Perez: @anneperez & Cited at the Crossroads

Liana M. Silvia Ford: @lianamsilviaford & Words Are My Game

The #aztlanreads Hashtag Is Everything

[Note, this blog title was shamelessly stolen from a tweet by @laura_luna who has her own blog, creativexicana. I only steal from the best.]

Over on Twitter Chicano MA student @xicano007, who has a library anyone would envy, started posting images of his Chicana/o books along with titles and authors. Ever the busybody I suggested he start a hashtag so we could search them more easily and maybe join in. The result was #aztlanreads and it’s glorious with an explosion of tweets of Chicana/o and Latina/o books (poetry, novels, academic writing and histories). If you read Twitter, participate. If you don’t, follow the link and look anyway. Seriously, I promise it will make your day.

There have been so many books I remembered and even more that I hadn’t heard about. I seriously have to find a job so I can afford the book habit this hashtag is creating. I hope it lasts forever. It’s the best use of Twitter I’ve ever seen.

There’s more about #aztlanreads’ wonderfulness over on the excellent blog Lotería Chicana. She points out the power that the shear volume and quality of the Chicana/o texts listed have in combating the notion that there’s a shortage of books and materials out there.

Rumor has it that there’ll be hashtags for #aztlansongs and #aztlanfilm next. I can’t wait.

UPDATE: Aztlán Reads is now a blog!

Demon in the Mirror – Twitter Reading Group

Since the MALCS Summer institute I’ve been more active in the Chicana/o community on Twitter. Today I found out about my first Twitter book group. Using the hashtag #DITM we’re going to be talking about poet S. Joaquin Rivera’s book Demon in the Mirror, a collection of edgy, dark poetry. The author is going to be leading the discussion. What a thrill. I just ordered my copy from Amazon and can’t wait. I’ll put a review up here.

Want to join in? Talk to me on Twitter @anneperez and use the hashtag. Even if you’re not on Twitter, read the collection and talk about it here.