5 Tips for Taking On #AcWriMo

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And since you should be writing anyway . . . here are a few ways to approach a BIG writing push during the month of November.

  1. You can make your daily goal about time spent writing, number of words, number of items dealt with (annotations, notes, etc.). Whatever makes sense for your biggest priority project at its current stage is a great goal for #AcWriMo.
  2. Daily is HARD but it isn’t impossible. As we all know, even fifteen minutes per day will slowly but surely amass enough words to move a project from where it is now to where it needs to be next. Commit to at least one writing session per day during the month and stick to it. You and your physical or virtual writing group can keep each other accountable to the daily goal.
  3. And about that writing group. . . Although not essential, having a physical or virtual group that you write WITH during #AcWriMo can break up the monotony of daily sessions and give you a place to crow about your progress or commiserate about how you’re stuck.
  4. Keep track for yourself and for your group. Google Sheets, anyone? Log in your daily word or time or item count and cheer each other on!
  5. Mindset hacks. In my experience, it is the rare academic who unreservedly LOVES writing. Even if you feel like your current project is a chore, remember that you have agency here and can choose the perspective you adopt when you approach your writing. I suggest picking a confident, fluent, knowledgeable persona (your prize-winning alter ego, if you will) and embody THAT stance as you sit down to write.

Remind yourself and your writing group that each of you is more than capable of “winning” #AcWriMo. You get to define winning at the outset of the month (50k words? an hour a day? a chapter done? an article draft finished?), and you get to pick your motivation. Assembling a group and treating the month as a collaborative project can give your project the boost it needs.

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