1. Decide upon a target word count. Try and make this something that would really push you beyond anything you ever thought possible. Admittedly, 50,000 words is a bit of a nutty goal for academic writing in one month. It works out at something like 2,500 words a day. But hey, as a project, AcBoWriMo is still very much in the trial stages and we can at least try right? As many of you have said, think of how great you’ll feel if you even come close to your crazy goal! It’s okay if numbers aren’t your thing. Just set a productivity goal of another kind.
2. Declare your participation and target word count (or productivity goal) publicly. You can do this by adding to the comments of the AcBoWriMo blog posts on here, on Twitter using the #AcBoWriMo hashtag, or on the PhD2Published Facebook page. If you want to be really private about it, maybe just tell a friend who will hold you to it (although we’d rather you shared your commitment and progress with us, we want to do this together).
3. Draft a strategy. There will be lots of posts throughout November helping you work out the best way to approach this, but try to have your own plan from the beginning. Work out how much you’ll need to write a day, and on which days you can definitely do this. Offload as much other work as you can, and get in some supplies (we recommend stocking up on decent coffee of course). Think about how you work best and adopt that approach from the start. This means everything from comfy clothes to reading and then writing, or writing as you go along – whatever works!
4. Discuss what you’re doing. OK so being on Twitter and Facebook with us all day isn’t acceptable, but checking-in in times of need absolutely is! Tell us how you are getting on. Tell us if you need help or share what’s working. We’ll all be doing it together so let’s keep each other motivated and use this month as a quick way to generate lots of ideas about how to be productive.
5. Don’t slack off. As participant Bettina says, AcBoWriMo means that we all ‘write like there’s no December!’ But guess what? If you work super hard now, there’s going to be more December to go round. Remember how December usually creeps up on you and suddenly its Christmas Eve and you’ve failed to buy gifts or take time out for yourself. Well, if you put the work in now, there’ll be so much December you won’t know what to do with it!
6. Declare your final word count – and be honest! As a writing community, it’ll help all of us to know what’s achievable. If you don’t make your target, we’d like to suggest you make a donation to charity. We can’t of course enforce this, but at least that way you get to feel good whether you make your target or not! If you do make your word count, then academic glory is yours (as well as anything else you feel you deserve by way of a treat)