U.S. Intellectual History Blog

Writing…And Other New Year’s Resolutions

This new year is going to be exciting and hopefully busy for me.  This spring I have a research-intensive semester (i.e. no teaching); next fall, I have a sabbatical.*

And for me this means a year of writing. I have a book ms due at the end of the year.

I’m going to use this blog to help keep me on track.  Starting next week, I’ll be posting in my weekly blog entry the number of words I’ve written in the previous week.** 

Consider this an open thread to discuss both writing strategies and things you hope to accomplish in 2012.

Happy New Year, y’all!


* These are actually meaningfully different arrangements, at least at my institution. I have my full service load this spring. I’m not even allowed to serve on university, college, and departmental committees next fall. This spring, I am also expected to be present on campus as I would be in any normal semester.

** I’m only going to count words that are part of the book, of course. No credit for blogging, commenting, and Facebooking!

7 Thoughts on this Post

  1. As Ben and I have discussed previously, we have remarkably similar schedules this year. I, too, have a fall sabbatical, and a book ms due at the end of the year, with the same press. So my blogging will be culture wars heavy (heavier than usual, if that’s possible). I promise to blog about new topics after this year!

  2. At some point won’t you want to blog about something different just to get away from the book? If you’re spending the whole year just on the book, I figure there’ll be a couple of moments when you won’t want to think about it at all.

  3. Ben: So you will be fulfilling all your job duties except for teaching? I’m not sure what “full service load” means, so I’d appreciate further clarification.

  4. Ben: When you post your word counts, will that be inclusive of notes, discursive and otherwise?

    My posts for the next three months (sans yesterdays) will also contain some relation to finishing up my MSS. …Perhaps I too will institute a word count update, for the sake of collective accountability. – TL

  5. Varad: Oh, I’ll blog about plenty other than the culture wars book. I’ll certainly want to. I’m already daydreaming about all the reading I’ll do when this book is complete.

  6. Ben, this sounds like a great way to stay productive. Hopefully we can all hold each other accountable and use peer pressure to get our best work done in 2012. I am try to complete two MS this year but I am teaching a Jan Term course for the next three weeks, then teaching 3 undergrad and 1 grad class this semester – so no word counts for me until the summer.

    Good luck and Happy New Year to the whole of S-USIH.

  7. @ Varad: Here at OU, most faculty, at least in the humanities and social sciences, are expected to devote roughly 40% of our time to teaching, 40% to research / creative activities, and 20% to professional service. What counts as service varies from department to department, but it usually includes, e.g., serving on departmental, college, and university committees, work done for state, national, and international professional organizations, conference organizing, book / ms reviewing, and certain kinds of community service.

    This semester, I’m expected to do a normal batch of such stuff; next semester I’m not (and I’m actually prohibited from serving on any departmental, collegiate, or university committees).

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