In my real life I am a biologist.* Which means that I have to communicate my findings to the larger biology world. It’s my least favorite part of the being a biologist. I don’t so much hate writing as I hate the reviews I get on my articles. But I’ve got to write this paper on my postdoctoral research. It’s got to be done by the end of December, including edits from my co-author, revisions by me, by the co-author, etc. etc. So, time is of the essence. Does this mean that I am busy, beavering away, the words flowing from my brain, through my fingers, and onto the virtual page of my laptop. No. It means I spend time re-analyzing that one thing I just don’t get, making new graphs, oh wait, maybe I should do this ONE other graph, working on other papers, blogging, browsing the internet for tankless water heaters for a house I don’t live in yet, sneezing into three million tissues, taking the dogs outside to pee, cooking lentil soup, finding out who Steve Goodman is (was, as it turns out), refreshing Bloglines, deleting spam from the practically non-filtered webmail my university uses, cleaning my keyboard**…. In fact, doing anything but writing.
So, I needed a kick in my ass. Fortunately StyleyGeek was there to provide said kick, with her idea to have an International acaDemic Writing Month (InaDWriMo). The month is supposed to be November. But I need to start NOW, so I am going to cheat a bit and have it start now, today, October 26. Close enuff, I say.
Hence the nifty little progress meter on the sidebar, it tracks how many words I write! Cool, huh? I have no real idea how many words this manuscript needs to be, but 7000 is roughly what another manuscript I wrote was so I somewhat arbitrarily chose that as the target number of words I need to write (the default is 50,000 word! Who are these people writing 50,000 words!! eek-o-rama says the scientist in me. Although, as you can tell from this post? Brevity is not one of my virtues. Stop snickering those of you thinking, just what ARE your virtues, turtlebella?!). Note that I have written 15 words as of right now (including the word ‘Introduction,’ which shouldn’t count. But it’s a word. And it’s on the page. So there) and the progress-o-meter registers this as 0%. 0%! Fifteen words out of 7000 is not 0%!!! Okay, so it’s 0.21% which is a pretty small number. But it’s not 0%. Just wanted to say.***
*Not for long, suckers! But gotta do this to leave with a clear conscience.
**My dissertation would have been done about 2 months earlier if I hadn’t insisted on cleaning all keyboards in the lab and my keyboard at home. With a paperclip. HIGHLY recommended as a time-waster.
***To steal one of my favorite Phantom Scribbler phrase.