A Writing Goal, or Goals, for November

DidYouKnowOk, I always have more I want to write about than I have time in which to do it, but now that #DigiWriMo has officially started, insofar as there is anything official with this online writing / sharing / professional development / community-building / creativity-inducing / entertainment / (and dare I say) self-promotion fest, it only makes sense to start at the beginning.

What do I want to do this for? What are my Digital Writing Month Goals? Hmm, thinking of Kirkpatrick’s evaluation work (something integral to one of the courses I am teaching right now at UMass Boston), it is useful to think about the end at the beginning. So, what do I want my December 1 to look like? What (writing) do I want to accomplish by the end of this month?

Ahh, that one at is easy.

  1. I want to finish writing an article I have been working on (intermittently) for the past year. More specifically, I do not want to get into too much detail about this as I do not want to jinx my efforts (again) in a single-author work, but sufficient it to say this article is not writing itself.
  2. I want to finish submissions on 3 conference Calls for Papers.
  3. I want to finish up an article I am working now that is coming out of the #dLRN15 Digital Learning Conference.
  4. I finally want to begin journaling for a distance course I recently started, one that I do not want to go into much detail about at this time, though I am mentioning it here as a placeholder so I can start to track it.

Doable to be sure, but it was also just as possible a month ago at the beginning of October, and here I am a month older and with a month’s more experience, without the writing I hoped to do.

Next step is to find a way to begin tracking these things, though without spending time on determining its process in a way that distracts from the writing at hand . . .

Perhaps there are many reasons to engage in this month of active chats and sharing–these sorts of online collaborations may also extend to shared personal tasks when we work on them in tandem. So what if my goals are different than anybody else who engages in this event? I do not have a goal of fun (writing has never been fun for me), or networking or collaborating (I have never been intentional about this, as that feels too self-serving; these things somehow seem to happen by being present and having something useful to explore). While I like these two, they are not high on my list for how I want to use this experience. Realistically, how can anybody ever have the exact same goals, given different experiences and interests for the future? Why not use this as an opportunity to process and work on what I want, all while sharing it and my progress? While I believe we all write for readers, I am often my only reader, though engaging in this while I know others are working through their own challenges, somehow makes it easier. Something like misery loves company . . .

Focus, Jeffrey . . . FOCUS!

My writing goals are not miserable tasks I have to do . . . they are challenges I want to accomplish. I choose to accomplish. Working on these in tandem with others who are also struggling through their own writing bugbears sounds like a workable, and even potentially inspiring, opportunity. With this, I have 4 things I want to work on. Anything else that comes from it will be gravy.

4 thoughts on “A Writing Goal, or Goals, for November

  1. I wonder what works best for you Jeffrey, to work on one goal at a time or to keep switching between them so that you are working on them all? Which one do you prefer most? Which one do you know will take the least effort and time to complete?

    I know what you mean about the support. I remember as a teenager it used to feel much better sitting and studying after agreeing the time of studying with my best friend, so that we would be both studying at the same time. As for writing bugbears, lol those are always around me, but I have a couple of tricks this time to prevent them from spoiling my fun 🙂 .

    Wish you all the best 🙂

    1. Maha, this is such a wonderful question; I think I need to work on one and then transition to the other, insofar as I do not miss any more due dates!

      BTW, what tricks do you have up your sleeve this time?

      1. The tricks are things that I’ve been picking up from different sources.
        1- One of the things that I picked up is the Pomodoro technique. It’s not magic and require practice but it is a start that is also based on neuroscince. I picked it up from the Coursera course Learning How to Learn. The technique is about focusing completely for 25 minutes then take a 5 minutes break before going back for another 25 minutes of focusing on the task/learning at hand.
        2- From the same course: Focus on the Process not the Product. So instead of focusing on the result that I want to have, like completing a post, I focus on the process of writing for 25 minutes at a time. It also helps to celebrate and reward my successes.
        3- From this DigiWriMo guest post http://www.digitalwritingmonth.com/2015/11/02/author-audience-and-parts-of-speech/ : I enjoy being the audience and I like to be supportive when I am one. Cherri’s post reminded me of doing that and she put it so nicely that I remember the words every time I am responding to anyone (Being the Audience I want to Have). I think being an active audience can help build the habit of putting thoughts into written words, in smaller chunks and in a more relaxed manner.

        So 🙂 how about doing a couple of Pomodoros today and seeing how it goes?

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