Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Getting a boost at boot camp

I was in a meeting all morning so I had no idea that the weather had turned from wretched to wonderful. I stepped out of the library expecting dark clouds and oppressive heat and humidity, but I found instead blue sky and a dry breeze. This is the nicest weather we've seen for weeks. It ought to be illegal to sit inside on a day like today.

However, I'm delighted that I had the chance to attend my meeting today, along with similar meetings tomorrow and Thursday. Today I led the inaugural session of our faculty writing boot camp, beginning with goal-setting and writing sprints, then an hour and a half of intensive writing time, then feedback from colleagues, then lunch. We had a small group (seven including me), but I'm pleased that anyone signed up at all considering that we are two weeks into summer break and there are no stipends or other rewards for participation.

Well, there are intangible rewards: distraction-free writing time, feedback from fellow scholars, encouraging discussions during breaks--and let's not forget the free lunch. Most of the participants are untenured and eager to boost their scholarly productivity, and this three-day workshop is designed to get the momentum going so they can ride it all summer long.

I'll be riding that wave too. I managed to write 1000 words on a conference paper draft this morning, and then I got some good advice about how to shift around two paragraphs to clarify the argument. I've hit a bit of a snag at the start of the next section, but I'm not worried. I'm counting on tomorrow's writing boot camp to hoist me over the obstacle and propel me down the course.

Our boot camp slogan? "Drop and give me 50! (Words)." So far, it's working.   

No comments: