Exhausting #acwrimo

Today marks the end of the first week of #acwrimo (Academic Writing Month). How do I feel? To be honest, I feel exhausted. And that’s really surprised me.

I was expecting to feel energised. I know that when I’m productive I have a lot more energy. The more goals I set, the more I achieve, and the better I feel.

I’ve been looking forward to this year’s #acwrimo since…well, since #acwrimo 2012. And the timing is perfect – this #acwrimo I’m writing the literature review chapter of my PhD, which needs a good deal of updating since my first year review.

My daily goals are a bit complicated. I work as a technology trainer two days a week, so my first goal is 90 minutes early every weekday morning (including work days), and 4 to 6 pomodoros throughout the rest of the day on the three non-work weekdays.

So I’ve been getting up at 6:45am every morning, and beavering away from 7-8:30am. Then work or pomodoros.

On the non-work days, 4-6 pomodoros isn’t a huge amount. I’m really not working flat-out. I’ve read my book, played video games (usually Civilization V or Oblivion), gone for coffee with friends.

And I’ve been getting lots done. I’m really pleased with my progress so far. I’m still not sure whether finishing the literature review within the month is a realistic target, but that’s what I’m working towards.

But I’m still exhausted.

And I’m not sure what the answer is. Is this tiredness an inevitable part of the PhD process? Is it time to power through, knowing the end is in sight? Or is this a sign that I’m pushing myself too hard, and that I need a break? Perhaps it’s just my brain and my body reacting to the darkness (after all, winter *is* coming).

What do you think? Do you find the winter months more difficult? Is tiredness an inevitable part of the writing-up portion of the PhD? Or is it a signal to slow down? Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter (I’m @ellenspaeth)

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3 comments on “Exhausting #acwrimo

  1. Nat says:

    I agree, I’m definitely exhausted, but not from relentlessly typing away. I think it’s more that my brain isn’t really resting, as it doesn’t let go of all the threads of thoughts related to various writing projects. So, anytime I’m not actively doing something, my brain goes back to chewing over those open loops.

    It’s only the 7th? *gulp*

  2. […] Today marks the end of the first week of #acwrimo (Academic Writing Month). How do I feel? To be honest, I feel exhausted. And that's really surprised me. I was expecting to feel energised. I know …  […]

  3. […] This academic writing month has been strange for me. I’d already been pushing myself to the limit, but somehow I thought it was a good idea to push myself even harder. You can read about my goals and the ensuing exhaustion here. […]

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