I undertook to write three encyclopedia articles. The first was very straightforward, the second a little less so, and the third is not beyond me but will require some thought. It also has to be as long as the other two put together. I have until mid-December.
Somewhat to my surprise, I have finished the second one this afternoon – on target. There was a point earlier in November where I sincerely wondered whether I knew enough, or had enough to say, or could put what I did know together coherently enough, so I am slightly stunned to find myself looking at an article just three words over the target word-count. (And that’s including my name.) As a reward, I’m taking my son to the cinema, and then I’ll upload the article later tonight. What a huge sense of relief!
And the moral of the tale? Well, my general philosophy is quite simple. Never turn down an opportunity, and never say you can’t do something. Missed opportunities lead to regret; saying something is beyond you is self-limiting; and if you turn a chance down, you may not be asked again.
The down-side is having spent a considerable amount of time recently feeling as though I was drowning in commitments. However, as you see – I can actually swim. And tomorrow I start gathering materials for the third encyclopedia article!
As I’ve already mentioned, this is Academic Writing Month. People have been adding their word-counts to a wiki, and tweeting using the #AcWriMo hashtag. I fully intended to do the same, but I haven’t been very good at keeping up!
Whenever I look, it’s mostly women tweeting. Why? Is it that men don’t suffer as much writing angst? Or is it that we women STILL, in the 21st century, feel we have to prioritise the mundane tasks that make domestic life more comfortable? I nag my lot of males (assorted ages) to bring laundry downstairs, iron it, take clean laundry upstairs … put things away. I nag until I sound a proper little shrew, but do they care? No, they don’t – but I do. Does anyone else notice that towels are damp, bathmats are squelchy, loo-mats are … (too much information). That mud has been trodden in the hall carpet, or piles of stuff have been dumped (name your space) and left there for days on end?
So I end up doing more than my fair share, despite my profound sense that it’s deeply unfair. I’m the breadwinner. Someone once said, what every working woman needs is a wife. I don’t really want a wife, but I know what they meant! And that, my friends, is why I haven’t been good at keeping upwith #AcWriMo. Today I fully intended to get on with my encyclopedia articles, but laundry had to be done, windows cleaned, soup made, a main meal cooked … a couple of minor sewing repairs done …
Ask me again later. A couple of hours later. And I’ll do my level best to have read a bit of the vital text that I bought at Waterstones the other day!
I’ve signed up to Academic Writing Month. I’ve probably seriously overestimated what I can get done, but I might as well try because, like it or not, I have committed to those three encyclopedia articles by the end of November, if nothing else! (Maybe I should also commit publicly to some sewing time as my reward every time I manage the AcWriMo target, too?!)
Further to my blogpost the other day, though, I can at least report that the first book review has been filed, and the newsletter article submitted. So in that respect, I’ve cleared the decks for the bigger, more serious pieces of writing. I might do a bit of spade-work tomorrow, to start myself off – and that means doing a spreadsheet of what preparation needs to be done for each assignment.