The end of the week tally was:
1 grant proposal: Submitted!
1 thesis: fully drafted and in my inbox
2 papers: analyses finalized and partially drafted
2 papers: revision & accompanying letter fully drafted and feedback given
3 papers: fully drafted & feedback given
1 paper: analyses run but more to go
If I hadn’t spent so much time on the grant proposal (both during our group time and late each night), I’m sure I could have accomplished more than I did on the paper I’m primary author on, though I did make some progress there. However, my biggest accomplishments of the week (other than, did I mention, the grant proposal?) was giving feedback to students and other co-authors on 4 papers, and meeting with students about other papers.
Overall we were generally happy with the week. It generated a fair bit of conversation in the department as people came by to see what we were up to. And we all agreed that when my lab space is next door to my office in our future building we are going to be more productive together (drop the lag time between sending emails and replying to them). The verdict was mixed on whether 5 days was the ideal – some people thought it was too long, and others liked it and were ready to schedule the next marathon. We may try for mini-marathons – either one day, or paper specific or both – in the next couple of summer months.
Couple of other observations – one of my students fashioned herself a standing desk and seemed to really like that. We had snacks every day and went out to lunch on Friday which helped morale, though morale likely would have been higher if, like Cindy Berg, we had a better setting than a window-less conference room.
But generally, we all really liked being near each other, and all engaged in the writing process. The collaboration was excellent, too, knowing we were involved in similar activities and able to check in with each other throughout the day.
Have you ever tried something similar? What worked about it and what would you change?
“Writing marathon first appeared on Eva Lefkowitz’s blog on June 9, 2014.”