NOTE: This is the EDITED version of this post, LAST EDITED ON MON. 1/10/2012 TO INCLUDE IMPROVED VIDEOS (MORE BUT SHORTER VIDEOS WITH THE VOLUME PROBLEM CORRECTED).
Happy New Year, fellow blossoming researchers!
I hope this post finds you well, and I hope that the beginning of the new year, though potentially hectic in some regards, is also filling you with fresh ideas and excitement.
This post contains:
- a discussion a major CAUSE of my reignited love affair with discipline and how good that’s been;
- VIDEO CLIPS of computer file structuring, freewriting, and the process of CONTENT MAPPING (a pre-writing task) in Tufts free V.U.E. computer program;
- a list of inspirational quotes I’ve encountered since joining Phinished.org.
Well, there are SO many good things to blog about that I can’t keep up with all we could discuss:
- Of course there are always research-related applications: reference and task management tools such as those in Citavi and Mendeley; idea and knowledge management tools such us those in Citavi, V.U.E., and Mendeley; outlining tools such as those in Citavi, Scrivener, and V.U.E.; task management tools such as the Pomodairo program and Citavi; and the like.
- Then there are the notions of MOTIVATION and MOMENTUM and COMMUNITY that are always wonderful to discuss.
- Then there is the the topic of researcher disposition and skills—a topic about which I am learning more and more. It is fair to say that I have become an avid proponent of treating these skills and dispositions more explicitly and formally in graduate study programs.
And the list goes on!
I’ve decided, after all, to in this post share (1) the sentiments that have led me to update my researcher mantra to what it currently is, (2) a few videos about going from CONCEPT MAPPING to CONTENT MAPPING in V.U.E., and (3) Phinished.org quotes and taglines I’ve found particularly inspiring. If you find something in this post particularly helpful, please comment and/or pass it along!
My Phinished.org tagline, which contains my researcher’s identity statement, motto, and mantra, along with a ticker for my next major due date!. PLEASE CLICK ON IT TO READ IT.
POST TOPIC 1 OF 3: How the Christmas Day sermon “Tired of Doing Right” Reignited My Love Affair with Discipline
I was blessed to fly to Texas to enjoy Christmas with family and friends. While there, I was able to attend the church I attended from roughly the ages of 20 to 30 where Emmanuel White, Sr. is the minister.
The sermon he delivered: I have let people listen to it on CD, and one response was: “Best sermon I’ve heard—literally and honestly—in about 10 years.”
What was the sermon about? The title of it was “Tired of Doing Right.” Okay: So right off the bat, as researchers, I’m sure we could all just stop right there and talk for a minimum of an hour and half about what it means for the person who is tired of doing right. I won’t do that in print here (mischievous smile). Instead I’ll just say that the sermon, adapted from Galatians 6:9, was very funny and real and educational and helpful and insightful.
One of my BIGGEST take-aways from the sermon was that:
In order to NOT grow weary in well-doing, in order to NOT grow tired of doing right—especially when the PAY-OFF is taking and just by nature will take a LOOOOOONG time—is to know that there is a DUE SEASON (a PARTICULAR time) during which you are slated to reap benefits, but only if you don’t let up on your commitment and intensity of effort.
Another MAJOR, MAJOR take-away from the lesson was this:
Joy, minister White said, comes from FULFILLMENT at having been PLEASING. (I, Mickey, would comment here that being pleasing to one’s own standards is probably a researcher disposition!) Happiness, though, is different. And we are aiming for JOY (though we have no problem with happiness, too!).
I want to view my research and research process work with joy, don’t you?
The sermon as a whole led me to the following change in heart:
I used to have a LOVE affair with being disciplined. With WORKING disciplined. What happened, exactly, to cause me to lose faith that if I just kept at it, the pay-off would come? No matter: It’s time to fall back in love with discipline again.
“Love discipline, and she will love you back!”
I think for me the problem has been this: Writing without understanding, just to get pages (and I had TONS), and then having to toss them (TONS) because they didn’t work because they were never well-conceived as part of some larger scheme.
Psychologically, having to toss scores of pages was a hit for me. It messed with my conception of payoff.
I now have learned this about myself as a researcher/writer: I need to respect pre-writing and free-writing MORE than anyone (including myself) wants to allow me to. I need to respect the place of pre-writing and free-writing in the life of the research writer, even when others are telling me to just throw some junk together. To be SURE there is a balance: There is the concept of “g’nuff” as we say at Phinished.org. But writing topically but aimlessly nonetheless? At this level of the game, it’s better to write from an an outline or something similar.
And that’s a perfect transition to my second topic in this post: CONTENT mapping (as a follow-up and back-and-forth process to CONCEPT mapping) in Tufts’s V.U.E. software program. Join me below!
POST TOPIC 2 OF 3: Videos of Me (Mickey) Using Tuft’s V.u.e. software To Concept Map and Begin Turning My Concept Map into a CONTENT Map
Drowning in the literature! That’s been my stall, as I’ve shared before at this blog. It’s not for lack of effort or work or sleepless, sometimes anxiety-filled early, EARLY mornings or late, LATE nights that I haven’t made more progress.
It’s having too much literature and not quite knowing how to manage.
Enter better file structuring and Tuft’s V.U.E. (along with OmmWriter and Citavi) to the rescue!
Below are the first videos in a series demonstrating how I am using awesome computer file structuring, OmmWriter, and V.U.E. to (begin to) structure a conceptual framework . . . by going from brainstorming CONCEPTS to adding literature I’ve collected. This process is yielding MUCH BETTER PROGRESS than my trying to build up from 600+ pieces of literature all at once. Yeah (headshake). I know. 😉
In subsequent posts, I hope to add the videos that would complete the series, including:
- a video demonstrating how to transition from a VUE content map to a sentential outline in Citavi;
- a video about how to attach quotes and thoughts and ideas to a Citavi outline; and lastly,
- a FULL(ER) video about how to export components of a quote-, thought-, and idea-laden Citavi outline to a TEXT FILE (MS Word or PDF) that is the basis for a RAW DRAFT
I think that would just about demonstrate the academic researcher-writer digital workflow that I have finally, finally, FINALLY been able to devise that really, REALLY works. (Phew, that’s been a doozy of a process for me!)
Anyway, below are:
- a preview video of what the final video of the series will entail: Going from an quote-laden Citavi-created outline to a raw draft of a paper; and
- the four videos about going from computer file structuring to freewriting in OmmWriter to concept mapping in VUE to content mapping in VUE.
I pray they’re helpful, informative, inspiring, or some combination thereof! If so, please share with others and let me know!
I can’t think of a reason that a researcher-writer wouldn’t fall in love with Citavi. Citavi is the “star” of this first video shared below.
Preview of the AIM of steps in this workflow: Creating a RAW DRAFT from an outline created in Citavi (which can then be revised and edited to be a final draft).
First Four Videos in This Academic Researching-Writing Digital Workflow
Video #1 in the series:
Video #2 in the series:
Video #3 in the series:
Video #4 in the series:
POST TOPIC 3 OF 3: Leaving You with a Bit of Inspiration
I close out this post with a list of inspirational thoughts, quotes, and taglines I’ve encountered over the past few months. Onwards and upwards. I hope you enjoy.
- While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.—Henry C. Link
- But remember, the brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.–Randy Pausch
- If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.—Dale Carnegie
- “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”–Mark Twain
- Note to self: Stop whining and just do it! (a Phinished.org member)
- Be so good that they can’t ignore you.
If you enjoyed and gained something from this post, please share it and/or comment.
Happy researching and writing, all! We’re getting there, one work session at a time!