I’m big on planning. I make weekly and daily to-do lists. I have a five-year plan. So, when the first chapter was titled “Designing Your Plan for Writing,” I knew that not only could I get on board, but I would also enjoy it, probably.

Week 1: Designing Your Plan for Writing. Writing in academia is one of those things that its practitioners love to hate (or hate to love?). It’s so nice to get your thoughts and ideas into words, to write a close analysis of a source, to take all that time you’ve spent and material you’ve collected researching into some coherent thing. But, writing is hard. So, this chapter really asks you to engage with the process of writing – starting with how you feel about it, thinking about what you want to write or revise, engaging with the place you write, and making, sticking to, and reflecting on a writing schedule.

The goal I set for last week was to approach a potential writing partner. I did, and I’m happy to say that he accepted. The introduction includes an agreement you can sign with your writing partner to hold yourselves and each other accountable. Belcher encourages you to print out and keep the signed agreement by your writing space. We’ve done an electronic version as I’m in Beirut and he’s in London and I’ll put it on my desktop since my writing space moves (even though one of the Week 1 tasks is to “choose and improve your writing space.” I’ll let you know how that goes next week) (1).

So, I’ve got my writing partner and agreement in hand. To the task list. The book is designed so you spend 5 hours/week, or 1 hour/day working on your article.

  • Day 1 (Monday). Read through page 10 of chapter one and fill in the boxes provided on those pages to get you to think about how you feel about writing.
  • Day 2 (Tuesday). Read pages 110-18 and select a text to develop for publication.
  • Day 3 (Wednesday). Read pages 18-19 and choose and improve the place that I write.
  • Day 4 (Thursday). Read pages 19-39 and create a daily and weekly writing schedule for the next 12 weeks, including the possibility for obstacles and interruptions.
  • Day 5 (Friday). Read pages 39-40 and start documenting how you spend your time.

*  *  *

When you begin a new writing project, do you create a plan? If so, what does it look like? If not, what does the start of a new project look like for you?

For all posts related to this project: Week 0 (Introduction), Week 2 (Getting started), Week 3 (Arguments), Week 4 (Choosing a journal), Week 5 (Literature review), Week 6 (Article structure), Week 7 (Evidence), Week 8 (Strengthening the intro and conclusion), Week 9 (Giving and receiving feedback), Week 10 (Editing), Week 11 (Finalizing the article), Week 12 (Send!)