Writing buddies? Accountability to meet end-of-summer deadlines


Hey all,

I am looking for any interested folks (masters students, PhDs, postdocs, anyone welcome!) who would like to buddy up to meet upcoming writing deadlines. I have a chapter due on 5 September, as well as final revisions on an article that has to be submitted asap but needs a lot of substantial work before submission.

I always think I'm going to get a ton of work done in the summer, but then... so much procrastination!!!!

Let me know if you would be interested in joining, what your goals are, what your plans and schedule are, and let's see if we can boost productivity.


PS This topic doesn't really fit in with any of the formal topics listed below, I chose PhD advice/support but this is not meant to be limited to PhD students only.


I keep trying to get my supervisor to agree some deadlines with me and ask me to submit work to her from time to time, we agree goals and deadlines and she puts dates in her diary but she never follows through and asks me for it so I have gradually stopped meeting the deadlines because she seems to only show an interest if it is beneficial to her in some way.

I could do with someone else keeping me to deadlines like this. I wish there was some kind of group for PhD students similar to weight watchers or something, where you know everyone will know if you have put on a few pound, or in our case, haven't progressed your word count at all lol.


Well, this could be a little bit like that. For example, I should hang my head in shame for not yet having finished up that article I mentioned above, despite wanting to have finished it off last week. My deadline is tomorrow, no matter what! :) I'll let you know if I have submitted it! But you can also use word count, or whatever tracking measure you find helpful.
Just as an aside, and for what it's worth - expecting any "handholding" from a supervisor is usually a long shot. I think very few of them will be willing to hound you down to submit work or even ask you for it - you should be sending it to them as agreed, no prompt needed. Haha in fact, in my experience, it's the other way around - you submit something and then have to hound them to read it!! But all this depends on your arrangement with your supervisor, I guess.
Let me know one of your goals/deadlines, and I'll happily badger you!
Wish me luck for tomorrow - it will be such a huge weight off my shoulders to get this article in!


Hey Dr Crabby, how are those deadlines looking? And your word counts? How do you decide how many words you need to write per day, by the way?
Happy to report I submitted my article.
Now on to a chapter that is due on 15 September... argh!!


I might as well join you, but does transcribing interviews and focus groups count as writing? I have four interviews and 2 focus groups to transcribe, currently I've done 1/2 focus groups and 2/4 interviews. Exactly half way!

My deadline is also mid September.


Hey Kenziebob, it sure does! :) Transcribing is hard (and tedious!) work, and I too would need to keep myself motivated for that, so welcome!
Well done on being halfway - how long have you been working on it?
I've done all the research for my chapter, but have written only about 350 words (shameful, I know). I'm a slow writer so I need to get going. My goal (completely arbitrary because I've never really motivated myself by using word count) is to have a 1000 words (edited) added to that by Friday afternoon.


Thanks! I've been working on this since mid-July, although I did get sidetracked by my probation report and viva at the end of July. Since then it's been pretty much non-stop transcribing, which is fun.......not!

Do you have a plan? I find it really useful to plan first by making bullet points - slightly less intimidating than sitting and trying to write a chapter straight away. Then I link up the bullet points and think of a structure and start writing knowing that there's already quite a few ideas there.


Thanks, Kenziebob! Good idea - I have a draft table of contents for it, but I think I need to use your idea of bullet points in each section to help me structure the argument and flow. This is actually just the tip I needed today, thanks so much.

Good luck with the transcribing today! (A viva would have sidetracked anyone! Congratulations!)


Let's knock it out of the park this week!


Argh!!! Anyone else feels like other stuff just keeps being piled on your plate, cutting into your writing time? I'm so far behind schedule :(

Avatar for rewt

Quote From vespatonowhere:
Argh!!! Anyone else feels like other stuff just keeps being piled on your plate, cutting into your writing time? I'm so far behind schedule :(

100% yes! Literally everyday I add more things to my to do list that complete. Never going to finish it.

But I am prioritizing my work and setting aside certain amount of the day for writing. Like I have found that the most productive time for my writing is 9-10 in the morning. Everyday without fail that is my writing time even it means delaying other work in the lab or meetings. Like a journal paper has far more priority over a poster. I would love to make that poster perfect or do 5 repeats instead of 3 but I know my limits. I gave up being a perfectionist, which I sometimes regret.


Thanks Rewt, I needed this today. I have a shoddy half-draft thing that is supposed to go to a fellow student for a round of review before I submit it formally for review, and the fear of not having time to get it to perfect has been hampering me big time. Now i"m just going to prioritise it and power through and get it to "as good as possible within the time available". I'll also give better time slots to it from tomorrow, instead of doing soul-destroying admin and emails and only getting to writing once I'm already tired and cranky.