The other day I received a call from a friend. We had worked on a project together towards the end of 2009 and were finally able to see the fruits of our labor. That day, in his mailbox, he received the in-print version of an article we had worked together on long ago. We had thought that the work we would put into the project would be minimal. As with most things it was much more time consuming than we originally thought it would be. None of that took away from the joy of finally having a finished product. In fact, it probably only added to it. This success did get me thinking about how other people can help motivate and drive you in your work though. In fact our conversation eventually moved in that direction.
One of the recurring themes for me this summer is convincing myself to hunker down to read and write as much as I possibly can. This is difficult. In part it is difficult because it is a solo project. When you are in classes (for better or for worse) there is a deadline for everything and most of those things are close deadlines. Homework is assigned for the night and due the next day (or the next week) and these types of deadlines are helpful. The last time I did studying of this nature (for my master’s degree) I worked with a small group of friends. We set deadlines and meetings and kept to them. We held each other accountable for the work that needed to be done (even if it wasn’t our own). This type of situation is extremely valuable and I really do miss it. This friend and I will certainly be working together in the coming fall on some of the things I’m working on this summer. No doubt we’ll both be more productive.