A while ago Finn Arne Jørgensen (@finnarne) came up with the idea to launch an online writing group, called Green Tomato, dedicated to scholars in the environmental humanities, inspired by the Pomodoro technique and existing Twitter based projects, such as #AcWriMo. The idea was to keep up momentum in our writing and help us to make writing (again) a daily habit. Unfortunately, and in part ironically, the project itself, which was supposed to have its own dedicated blog and formal tracking system, never reached the needed momentum.
I was reminded of all this yesterday, after more than a year, reading Jennifer Ahern-Dodson (@jaherndodson) excellent Prof.Hacker guest post on what she learnt from spending June writing every single day. Since, with the beginning of the semester, my writing rhythm had slowed down to the point that it has become ridiculous to even talk about a rhythm, I decided that a writing group is just what I needed to, at least attempt to, meet all the writing deadlines that lie ahead of me. Yes, the company of other people battling against looming word counts would help me … this time.
It is not the first time I try; I gave a shot at #AcWriMo in 2013, failing miserably. The worst thing is that I do not even know why; things just seemed to slip away. The only answer I could muster was that the reference group was too big to allow me to really feel involved. Furthermore, Pomodoro just doesn’t seem to tick with me: the 25-minutes slots are just to short for me to write anything in any way significant. I simply spend too much time doing additional research and fact-checking while writing to make it worthwhile. My work methods might not be the best, but I do not think that to revolutionize them totally a couple of months before major deadlines would be the best approach. Reform is my motto!
So, this time I'll keep things small and simple (additional features may come infuture, if it works and once I've updated this blog). The attempt will work as follows:
- I’ll try to write something every working day (and some weekends)
- I’ll post on Twitter how many words I’ve been able to write
- (I may or may not also track the time I spent at it)
- I’ll also specify whether I’ve worked on my main project (a book manuscript), one of many major side projects, or a blog post
- I’ll not count anything written to prepare for teaching
If anyone else wants to join in and share with me his work progresses, they may join me under the hashtag #lazytomato. See you on Twitter!