What I like about #AcWriMo
Charlotte Frost @ PhD2Published has declared November as Academic Writing Month, or #AcWriMo (on Twitter) for short. If you haven’t heard of it, it is a social-media-based initiative where you “write like crazy” in November to achieve your writing goals.
Which reminds me of the few blogathons that I had done in the past. A blogathon is an event where bloggers publish a new post every 30 minutes, to raise funds for a charity of their choice. I participated in my first blogathon with Yvonne Foong and a few others in 2005. In 2007, I did my first solo blogathon and raised USD 800 for Eden Handicap Service Centre in Penang, Malaysia and in 2009, me and two others did a turtle blogathon to raise funds for turtle conservation (we raised RM 4,500!).
I think the tricks to participating in #AcWriMo are in (1) determining how much you can write/produce in a month, and (2) working towards that goal without being distracted by 1,001 other seemingly “more important” things, like buying new stationery.
What I like about #AcWriMo is that there isn’t a fixed goal for all of us. Unlike the National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) initiative that has a shared 50,000-word goal, #AcWriMo is open to anybody who wishes to achieve their own writing goals in a month. This goal could be to write a dissertation chapter, or to polish a particular paper for submission, or to write 2,000 words or 2 hours a day throughout the month.
And, the second best thing is, if you encountered setbacks/distractions, turn to Twitter as the #AcWriMo community would be there to share your “ups and downs.”
Also, you can (and should) publicly declare your writing goals. This Academic Writing Accountability spreadsheet created by Jenn @mystudiouslife provides a platform for you to keep yourself accountable and to keep track of your own progress. Thank you Jenn!
Will I be joining #AcWriMo?
Since I will be away for 15 days in the month, my #AcWriMo goal is to draft 2 papers in about 2 weeks. While this isn’t too crazy a goal — compared to other grad students who have pledged to write 2,500 words per day — this is definitely a challenge to me, considering my lack of (scientific) writing skills!
To all others who will be participating in #AcWriMo, good luck, and most importantly, have fun!