It’s been three weeks since I issued the initial challenge to join me in a month-ish of intense writing activity. Last week I needed to redefine what I meant by making satisfactory progress, and several of you shared your own stories or definitions of progress in comments or tweets.
This week I did not encounter any unexpected barriers to progress, but I was forced to remind myself of the children’s story about a sprinter and a plodder. I never had a breakthrough moment of rapidly advancement this week, but manuscript-related word documents, PDFs, excel files, and figures filled up my task bar almost all week.
According to my rather optimistic timeline, I should have everything but the conclusions written by tonight. I don’t. Last Sunday, in a bout of free-writing I got a great introduction drafted, but going through it, double checking things, and adding appropriate references has taken substantial time this week. This time last week, I had about 600 words and no references in the introduction. Now I have ~550 words that are complete with citations and another ~500 to go. I’ve continued to tinker with methods and results, and I’ve delegated some tasks to my co-author. I don’t have a discussion written yet, but it is gestating.
The other place where some progress was made this week was in the figures. There will be four, but several will have multiple parts. They are slowly being drafted in ArcGIS, R, and a combination of JMP/Inkscape. I always make sure that my figures are publishable quality and file formats before the initial submission, just in case I don’t have to revisit them later in the review process. But this means monkeying around with seemingly small details now, and learning some more R tricks along the way. Again, I’m not where I wanted to be with figures, but I’m on my way.
This week is a short work-week, but my goal is to get an almost complete draft to my co-author mid-week. I then need to turn my attention to the increasingly scary, looming presence of my two talks for AGU. I’m hoping that I can get at least one whipped into shape late in the week, so that I can head into a very busy week-before-AGU still able to keep working on this paper. December 3rd is not getting any farther away!