Academic Writing Month, Day 15

I’m at the halfway point. I’ve made a lot of progress, and I’m proud of it.

12,939 words total, since November 1. Only one day where I didn’t meet my goal, but on that day I managed to tap out 205 words. That’s 15 days of producing new writing each and every day.

This is a new way to write for me.

Although I suppose it really isn’t. When I was a child and a teenager, I used to write pages and pages, in pencil, filling up notebook after notebook, and then reams and reams of lined paper that would then go into binders.

But those were stories.

For my academic writing, I typically spend the bulk of my time reading and researching, and write the actual paper in just a couple of days. Binge writing, we call it. May all-time record is writing two twenty-page papers in a seventy-two hour period. All the research and ground work was done, but the actual writing had not. I always emerged from these writing sessions exhausted and exhilarated, almost hungover from the experience.

That method of writing hasn’t worked for me for a while, though. I still need the time to research and process, but the writing doesn’t flow as quickly as it once did.

Writing small chunks each day is not my habit. In some ways, it’s more exhausting than the days-long binge writing sessions. Making myself just produce text every single day sometimes feels impossible.

I’ve also enjoyed this writing every day, because it’s easier to feel the project unfolding when I have time to feel my way instead of rushing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m rushed because I have less time than is ideal to finish this dissertation. Yet, writing everyday, while it comes with some of the same exhaustion that resulted from my mad-dash writing marathons, also means that I have some of that writing exhilaration every day, and that writer’s high, with me all the time, instead of overloading and then draining away, is a feeling I could get used to.

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