Some thoughts on AcWriMO

I like the idea of AcWriMo and I suspect that it works for many of the same reasons that accurately tracking caloric intake aids dieting–goals, accountability, and a reasonable terminus. At the start of November I was already trying to finish up my first article for submission, so I chose not to participate. Well, I sent that article for consideration yesterday and have been thinking about retroactively joining the writing drive. This year I will remain on the sidelines, though.

My reasons are as follows:

1. As a graduate student who is taking classes, preparing for comprehensive exams, teaching, and tutoring, my priorities need to be elsewhere right now.
2. Most of my current projects do not involve fresh writing, but rather adapting and editing text that I have already written. This is not totally incongruous with the way that the drive is set up, but my targets are still a variety of smaller projects and do not fit well into a word-count based objectives.

All that said, I do have some writing objectives for November:

1. Review the material that I have already written that serves as the basis for the next article and create an outline for that article.
2. Create an abstract for a current ongoing project on Greek Historiography that takes it in a new direction.
3. Create an abstract/research proposal for the next new project on ancient Macedonia.

Each of these projects is preliminary–my focus needs to be on passing my comprehensive exams, but neither does that mean I will stop researching and writing.

Assorted Links

  1. Can Syria’s Fractious Opposition be Melded into One?– A story in the Economist about Syria and the divisions within the rebel forces. In particular, it focuses on western powers refusing to aid the rebels until they have a unified leadership. The author seems doubtful that anything will come of it and, while the west has cause to want a single leadership as to avoid anarchy, there may need to be a multi-state solution.
  2. Syria in Ruins– A visual account of the war in Syria on the Atlantic. Everyone should see these pictures.
  3. Mali and Al Qaeda – Can the Jihadists be Stopped– An account of the UN plans for intervention in Mali, which will be led by Malian and African troops. They are expecting that the intervention force will be able to at least retake the main cities. Unfortunately, this seems to be a band aid for underlying problems, including both a weak central government and disgruntled Tuaregs such that it might end an al-Qaeda led separatist state, but the local unrest will remain.
  4. Why White Women Voted For Romney– A story in the New Yorker that looks at the demographics of the election. The author points out that saying that Obama and the Democrats win the women’s vote is misleading. Educated women, much like educated men, tend to skew liberal, but women are also closer to representative of their racial category (talking about polling data here, not what these mean…I don’t make up the categories), albeit to a lesser extent. White women, like white men, tend to vote conservative overall.
  5. Can Paper Survive the Digital Age?– An essay in the Guardian about the digital age, and calling for people to take the time to remember the paper age.
  6. Orhan Pamuk – By the Book– An interview in the New York Times with my favorite author whose work I have never read.