There are better and worse ways of doing things but there is rarely One Right Way that works for everyone. Whatever it is that you want to do, you need to decide the best way for you. Researching your options can help narrow things down, but there comes a point when you need to experiment.
Although you normally apply the scientific method to large data sets (if you use it directly at all), the principles apply even when n=1.
- Decide what you are trying to test or achieve
- Change one thing at a time
- Take notes
- Adjust the experiment
I do this with my business.
When I’d been offering A Meeting With Your Writing for over a year, I decided to experiment with offering Thursday sessions. I scheduled 3 sessions in February and March 2014, reviewed how it went, and decided to offer a Thursday time regularly. In September 2015, I decided to experiment with a second Monday session that would be at 10 a.m. Pacific time.
The people who participate in A Meeting With Your Writing really like it. They tell me they get more writing done and enjoy their writing more. They register again and again. They tell their friends about it. However, it’s a synchronous activity. Part of what works is that it’s a meeting at a fixed time each week. And sometimes you have to teach at that time, or it is not convenient for your timezone.
My goals for these experiments are to observe how this benefits people who already attend another session, whether more people are able to participate, and how offering more sessions fits into my workload.
You can experiment with your work
If there is something you are dissatisfied about how you work, you can experiment with alternatives. You don’t need to commit to a big change right away. You can pick a small thing. You can commit to trying it for a limited amount of time before making a decision about whether to make that change permanent.
- Decide what you’d like to learn by trying this.
- Try it.
- Observe how it works for you.
- Adjust accordingly.
There is a recorded class (with a workbook), Establishing a Writing Practice, that takes you through this process for your writing in Foundations of an Academic Writing Practice. This class is available in the Resource Room for members of the Academic Writing Studio.
I’ve also designed a (free) 15-minute per day Academic Writing Challenge is you want to experiment with writing daily and/or writing in short blocks of time.
Pick one. Experiment.
This post was edited Nov 2, 2015.