Writing Accountability

November was a very productive month as I move closer to completing my masters of education thesis. On Twitter I discovered a group of academic writers using the hashtag #AcwriMo (short for academic writing month). As I began following the hashtag I read posts about people’s writing accomplishments, which started to influence how many words I was writing. Could I keep up with everyone? Was sharing accomplishments really that helpful?

On November 6 I discovered that not only did people tweet their writing accomplishments, but there was also a Google Doc where the writers state their monthly writing goals and the log how many words they have written each day.

By the end of November approximately 370 participants from around the world were logging their writing accomplishments. Like the others, I also logged my accomplishments and also found out something important about academic writing: It is not an isolate endeavour. Sharing my goals and daily tally were important to me because it gave me a sense of belonging and, on days where I didn’t feel like writing, it spurred me on because I didn’t want to be left behind.

All of us write differently, at a different pace, for different academic purposes, and measure our progress differently. I found that keeping up with others isn’t important. It’s my progress forward that counts. I am accountable to me, but tracking my progress, and perhaps making it public, helped me move forward.

A few of us have continued on with #AcWri into December, and yes, I will continue tracking my progress into 2013 as well.  While I don’t tweet my accomplishments, I do enjoy posting my progress in the Google Doc and counting up the hours of writing and ticking off my monthly accomplishments.

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