Monday, October 22, 2007

Application Update and your InaDWriMo questions answered

Presents update: Please send me your snail mail addresses, oh future-present-getters, to academic.cog at so I can send you things! Or, more accurately, forget to send things while I run crazily about under deadlines.

Job Applications update: (Oooh, it looks so official with the bold header!) I sent out five more apps (plus the ones that went out Sat and Sun), which is good, but I was supposed to send
out seven today to make up for the slowness of yesterday. But I think this was the big squeeze day and the rest of the days will move faster.

Today was "write all the letters to places too good to have you" day. You know, those Fancypants McPantserson Universities, where you are encouraged to direct your application to the major inventor of a theory or the most eminent and famous critic of a big author. The ones where you look on their website and remember all the times you applied there to grad school and didn't get in. Where, when you mention a job ad to people in the department, you find that everyone, even all the junior faculty, are applying to it. Where you look to see what "holes" need to be filled by this job and you can't find any. Where you try to see how you could fit into the department and you find a collection of yourself; there's enough people who do your thing and have your exact interests to fill a dissertation committee. And you would love to re-do your dissertation under that committee. Truly, this is a humbling experience.

But you don't want to not apply --- what if a miracle might happen? You don't want to waste your shot. So you click here and click there, trying to divine who might be leaving and need to be replaced, and you attempt to spin yourself this way and that to present the parts of your research and your interests that are not already covered in the department, but in a way that still sounds sexy and interesting and still vaguely like you. I tell ya, this is a hard and tiring trick. I hope I'm almost done with the crazy elite job apps. I still have a lot left, but I'm cranking away at them.

And why?

Pre-InaDWriMo Update!: Because I'm going to be writing up the wazoo next month, and I don't want to be wazoo-ing and sending out job apps, so I need to get those out of the way. You all had a bunch of questions, so I'll answer them here.

Neophyte says: But I wonder, with sue who, whether I should be cheering from the sidelines or running after you with a whip?

--- Hmm. No, I think I can do my own drill sergeant impression. Think more like the crowd cheering on exhausted marathoners. You can hand me cups of water and shout "Go Cog!"

Voncookie says: Consider the challenge accepted! (But can we have a day off for Thanksgiving?)

--- Short answer: No. Longer answer: It's your challenge; do what you like. If you don't make your words one day, I suggest, you have to write more the next day. Words should actually have something to do with your project and mean something when strung together. (Unless your diss is on flarf poetry, I guess.)

Sue Who says: So are we blog commenters supposed to be kindly and supportive, or ferocious and drill-sergeanty?

--- Can you be snarky and supportive at the same time? I quite like that.

Fretful Porpentine says: You know, I always thought there should be a month like that when I was writing the diss. (But wouldn't, say, January be better than November, when all the end-of-semester and job-market madness is in full swing?)

--- Ah, but, you see, you are gainfully employed, while I need to pump something out before my U will allow me to be exploited as adjunct labor any further. (Thanks, guys!) So, I have nothing else to do in November besides, uh, force myself to write a chapter. And I think it will need brute force. Thus, if I get all my apps out really early, there's actually a lull period in the job market process. Or, if we base this on my experience last year, there will be a couple requests for more materials and then a deafening silence. So I've gotta distract myself from the waiting somehow anyway.

Belle says: My last three chapters took all of two weeks to churn out, as I was really into it and enjoying what I was doing. My readers all said they could tell I was having fun with those. But the rest? Lordy, it was like shitting boulders.

Be nice to yourself. How about 10,000?

--- Lovely image there. Well, I have three chapters completely written and done and accepted by my committee. I have two to go. I've been pulling material and working up an outline of some sorts back in summer, so it's not quite as dire as may seem. And while I agreed to 15,000 words, my advisor has certain rules and one of them is that a chapter must be 50 pages. No more, no less. So actually that's 12,500 and I have an outline and some preliminary crap written --- but the 15,000 works out to the nice round rate of two pages a day. I may keep that as my rate and then not work every single day of the month --- as I've already agreed to visit people the 1st through the 4th and then at T-giving.

Adjunct Whore says: i wrote in chunks of 5 week deadlines. i put it on my kitchen calendar and i met every fucking one as a result.

you can do this, pressure is good. only remember that if you don't meet your precise goal (15k words) that you can meet it maybe december 15th, which still kicks ass.

--- Yeah, my plan exactly. If I make this commitment and only get a really shitty draft out in a month, or only half the chapter out, that would still be fucking awesome. The thing with InaDWriMo is that I can be a quite competitive person, and if I harness that to push me into a good momentum, the actual word count hardly matters.

You know, as soon as I took on this challenge (and started playing "Rocky" and the Monday Night Football theme songs in my head) I immediately got back to work on my applications, despite having been tired out and quitting work early before. I have high hopes that this challenge will be just the thing to pump me up when I don't feel any point in working. How can I say that now?? It's InaDWriMo!

(I think part of the enjoyment is the way I've decided to pronounce that acronym.)


D said...

I quit writing my National Novel Writing Month novel because I couldn't write my National Novel Writing Month novel and apply to grad school at the same time. I mean, I could have, but I'm just a lazy person. So it's good to see somebody play Rocky to my shitty boxer nobody's heard of because he's terrible at boxing. Good luck!

medieval woman said...

Go Cog!

Here's some water and a banana...