Week 1 Designing your plan for writing

(first published May 2015 by Rae Song on Lost in the Maze of Languages)

Okay. As I mentioned in the previous post, I’m doing a project with my writing partner to work on our draft for a journal article using the Wendy Laura Belcher‘s book Writing your journal article in 12 weeks.

I’m planning on keeping a log here, ideally a daily log, but really I’m just going to try to do as much as I can without feeling guilty even if I can’t write every day.

The week 1 of the book is about choosing the draft that I want to work on and design a writing plan for the next 12 weeks. Since both my friend, Keira and I already have a specific piece that we want to work on, we’re going over this chapter over the weekend before our official week starts next Monday from Ch. 2.

But I still want to go through the activities in the week 1. So here they are.

Day 1.

First activity, “What feelings come up when you think about writing? (Belcher, 2009, p. 2)”

I have answered this question quite a few times before in the courses that I have taken. I think overall, I see myself as a writer. I like writing and I think that’s why I do blogging in the first place. In general, I like expressing myself, so I like talking and writing. However, that does not mean that ALL kinds of writing come naturally to me. As I wrote in the last post, What it means to write in two different languages to me, I am very comfortable writing daily stuff in Korean but I can’t really do academic writing in Korean since I’ve done all academic writing in English for almost 10 years now. However, it doesn’t mean that I can do academic writing without a problem in English. In fact, I always thought my weakness was in writing in terms of four different skills–reading, listening, writing, and speaking– of my English as a second language development. Therefore, creating an academic voice in both languages of Korean and English is a challenging task. But, I also have to say that whenever I finished writing a paper or a blog entry, it feels really great to see final products on paper or on screen.

Second activity, “Common Elements in My Negative Feelings about Writing (Belcher, 2009, p. 3)”

I think my biggest fears in academic writing is to be wrong. Firstly, since English is my second language, I might make minor grammar mistakes or I might use unnatural expressions. But there is more than the language problem. I find literature review very very hard. It’s just a lot of work to read all the studies out there, and having to synthesize (not just summarize) them are just a daunting task. Also, I might be wrong in understanding certain works too and it’s scary to think that my misunderstanding/mistakes come under the scrutiny of other scholars. Sometimes, I imagine readers, who are most likely more seasoned researchers, would read my literature review and think “she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

Third activity: “Lessons to Be Learned from My Positive Experience of Writing (Belcher, 2009, p. 4)”

I love looking at final products of my writing, be it a paper or a simple blog post; it is probably one of the most wonderful feelings. And of course, I feel better about myself if I write regularly without procrastination than when I do binge writing to meet deadlines. Also, I, of course, love the feelings when I get positive feedback about my writing.

Day 2. My chosen title

My master thesis, “They are judging my English” written in 2011. I presented this paper in IAWE in 2013 as well as in the course that I took in the Spring 2014.

Day 3. My writing site

Regular site: My home office (Tue, Thu, Fri)/ Cafe L, a block away from my place (Mon, Wed)

Backup site: Cafe C, in the neighboring town, when I feel I need a change of scenery.

Improvements needed for my regular sites: I need some special techniques to get myself into a writing mode since my primary writing site is home.

Preparatory writing activity: Maybe I can use a pomodoro timer.

Day 4. My writing schedule

My writing schedule will be 1-3pm on Mon, Wed, & Fri and 2-4pm on Tue, & Thu.

I will keep track of how long I actually work each week.

It has been really exciting to plan this project with Keira. I’ve been meaning to publish my MA thesis quite a long time now, but it was almost impossible to work on something else other than catching up with courses during the semesters and I was busy with wedding preparation the past summer. Now I’m finally going to really work on it with a partner. Working with a partner changes everything. I think it holds myself accountable for the plans and goals. Plus, Keira and I have very similar working styles too. So, in addition to the article that we’re individually working on, we’re thinking about making our experience of using Belcher’s book into another publishable article. So it is actually killing two birds (possibly more!) with one stone

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