Today on my daily troll of the interwebs, I chanced upon a great idea on Profhacker, which is the Chronicle of Higher Ed’s blog. For those unfamiliar with the site, I suggest adding it along with Gradhacker to your daily spread. Apparently, November is not only the month of mustaches but it is also the month of academic writing, that is AcWriMo.
The concept originated last year with AcBoWriMo (Academic Book Writing More). Charlotte Frost, the originator, writes that she “invited people to join me in wearing comfy clothes, drinking a lot of coffee, napping at strange times and seeing how close we could each get to writing 50 thousand words.” (Charlotte Frost's blog link below)
Frost admits that 50 thousand words seem extreme, if not borderline crazy. Nonetheless, both Frost and Profhacker argue that the challenge is worthwhile. In the Profhacker post about AcWriMo, George Williams outlines the following rules:
1. Set yourself some crazy goals.
2. Publicly declare your participation and goals.
3. Draft a strategy.
4. Discuss what you’re doing.
5. Don’t slack off.
6. Publicly declare your results. (George William's Profhacker post link below)
While I was initially skeptical about the possibility of even coming close to 50 thousand words in one month, the fact that it includes all forms of writing (that is emails, facebook updates, tweets, etc…) seems to make it more viable. As an academic, this challenge would certainly help me get over my occasional writer’s block. I also wonder if this type of challenge would be a good exercise for students, albeit it at a lower word count.
How about it HASTAC-ers? Anyone interested in making November the month where we write until we can write no more? Should HASTAC declare November AcWriMo?
If you want more information please check out Charlotte Frost’s blog post http://www.phd2published.com/2012/10/15/announcing-acwrimo/ and George William’s Profhacker post http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/november-is-academic-writing-month/43608