Sunday, November 03, 2013

Finding voice as a writer

I would never have completed the second journal article in two months had i not finished the month with a writing retreat.
What changed?

Talking with Anne.
I was able to clarify what i hated in the article I was writing.
Hearing myself saying it, I could now follow cj's advice: write an article i would want to read.
The world does not need more dull articles.
Snapped the shackles locking me down.
I dont have to pretend to be a dissociated writer. If painting i would be telling myself dont have to stay inside the lines.
Im still finding my way on this, but there's a bit of a transformation happening.

The other significant change was an absence of internet. I'm really glad for my endnote library in that i have articles there, and reasonable notes about them, taht makes retrieval efficient.
I know also had i had internet available, id waste time searching for who else said something rather than trusting my own thinking things through.
The tiny bits that needed follow up could be asterixed and returned to when i had internet. (These areas i fixed inside of 1 hr)

A further contributing factor was an extremely dodgy generator at the bach we were at. Day 1 was good, but days 2 and 3 and 4 would give short bursts of generator; at most 30 mins at a time...then id write frantically till i ran out of juice...then forced thinking and planning or resting time. Couldnt have planned this. But it felt very pomodoro like.

And the company and the setting were great. There were hills that could be climbed. no. sea to swim in. no. beach walks yes. cafes no shops no.

The article is now finished.

I had thought (since i had not taken it with me, and because i abandoned the plan after the first draft of a "tiny text" that Thomson & Kamler's (2013) book on writing for peer review had not worked for me this time (similarities to a previous article kept blocking me)
I think i had missapplied Thomson and Kamler's work trying to turn it into a paint by numbers style ... (my error, not theirs i hasten to add).
However, what i found on reflection was:
I did attend to voice (the first half of their book
I revisited the overall balance of the article, adjusting the front load so there was room for my argument
And I attended to 'the take home message'.
Hadnt realized at the time how much of their advice I had absorbed.

In the last month Ive had an article sent for a conference, and an article written. Ive read some books on getting ideas known. And Im now going to go back to these, they have a style i find inspiring.
so Im 8.5 weeks into the 3 month writing scholarship, Ive produced 2 articles and a conference paper.
Ive read one book about how to write academic articles for peer review and two popular writing books that present ideas.

My next goal, to move the writing into the future, as Im feeling a bit locked into the past.
I've #acwrimo dedicated for this.

Thomson, P., & Kamler, B. (2013). Writing for peer reviewed journals: Strategies for getting published. London: Routledge.

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