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April 1, 2009

So, another long drought with no writing. Typical. Part of the problem here is reluctance to commit words to paper that I’m not really enthused by and engaged with, which is not a recipe for developing a regular writing habit or developing skills in writing. Sitting on something and mulling it over and mentally buffing it works out fine for the few bits of gaming literature I’ve written, but I never minded having an output of one pretty good scenario every few years there. If I’m going to become an academic archaeologist, I need to start churning things out so that I’m comfortable enough writing that I don’t have to bang my head against my desk for three days before I actually start writing. I’ve managed to do fairly well so far with the projects I’ve worked on, but they’ve all involved me trying to start the writing process a little more than a week before they were due with false starts until just before the deadline. Thus, I’ve turned in first drafts every damned time. My marks reflect this, as I could have fixed many of the problems I got marked down on if I’d had some time to reflect and rewrite and reorganize. So, time to make a commitment to writing more regularly.

Another part of the problem is that I’ve always been reticent to share ideas and plans with folks unless I’ve gotten things rolling, or to be more accurate, already finished. Since I would be better motivated if I had other people’s expectations to worry about meeting, this habit tends to slow me down a lot. So, currently I’m toying with the idea of publicising this blog so as to at least create the illusion in my mind that I’ve got more to write for here than just my need to develop the habit.

So, to lay things out explicitly, I intend to write at least 500 words a day here and I mean to force myself to do that before I allow myself to do anything else in the morning besides feeding the cats. No tea. No email. No breakfast. That’ll learn me, assuming that I remember to do this.

As a general archaeological update, the term is over now and I’m left with 3 more projects to complete. I have 30 days to complete a heritage management plan, which I’m doing for the Mendips Area of Natural Beauty, which encompasses an area of Roman and Victorian lead mining. I’m also working on a desk based assessment for an area north of Worcester for the city council there and the Worcestershire county council. The scope and scale of this isn’t that much different from the DBA I did for my MALA project, although there’s much more of interest there and I’m a lot more concerned about getting it right. And finally, there’s still the matter of my dissertation, for which I still lack a topic, although I have had some ideas which I have been and will continue to be pursuing over the coming weeks. Gotta have that sorted by the end of the month too.

OK, that wasn’t so bad. Now I just need to do it again tomorrow.

Oh! And I also need to revise my SMR enhancement project so that I can submit it to the country archaeology service and to the landowner. That keeps falling off my radar. Will be busy with a guest this weekend, but may I can get started on this on the train to Worcester tomorrow or on Friday. I should, at the very least, dig out my marked copy and start to rearrange the outline.

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