Writing retreat and onwards
January was extremely busy for me and I am glad that I took a week’s holiday from my day job and focused on writing. It was the first time since my PhD years that I spent so much time focusing on writing, and I really enjoyed it.
For the week of the writing retreat, I set a number of aims:
- Decide the title of the book
- Write “about the book” and “about the author” blurbs
- Edit the first draft of the book and write the conclusion, which would result in a complete 2nd draft.
I am pleased to say that I accomplished the first two, and that I have updated the information on the book page accordingly. The book will be called Leading Virtual Teams – Field Notes from a CEO by Dr Maren Deepwell and will be published in 2022 as an open access publication by the Association for Learning Technology, UK.
The book is subtitled Field Notes from a CEO because my years as an Anthropologist gave me a researcher’s mindset that I have never quite left behind. Although I have settled into a different mindset in my ten years as a CEO, no longer just observing, but leading, I still find myself just as curious about seeing the world from someone else’s viewpoint and doing my best to walk a few steps in their shoes. Leading a virtual team has challenged that ambition in interesting ways, and provided me with a new field for exploration.
I also made significant progress editing the first draft into a more coherent and complete 2nd draft. Of the 51,000 words I wrote since last summer, 47,500 have made it into the nearly completed version. The overall book will be ~55,000 words long.
What’s left to do is to finish editing Chapter 4, which I wrote first in July last year, and which needs the most work and also to rewrite the conclusion and expand it. I left the conclusion to last, dropping in fragments along the way, as I wanted to get a feel for what the book would be like overall, before finalising my concluding thoughts.
By the end of this month, the complete 2nd version will be finished and then the next steps await me: getting feedback from a wider circle of critical friends and readers, liaising with our publishing partner to progress the copy editing and deciding on a cover for the book, too.
Exciting times ahead, that’s for sure!
Talks and events
Join our monthly radio meet up on DS106radio. This time I’ll be talking about the writing retreat and share news on book progress on Wednesday, 9th February 2022 at 19:00 GMT on DS106 Radio – chat with me or submit song requests #DS106radio.
The first month of coach training has given me a lot of prompts for reflection. One of the fundamental coaching techniques I am learning more about is how to use powerful questions and as I was writing, I discovered that many of the reflective prompts and questions included in various chapters could be used in this context, too.
One of the ideas this has given me is to create a set of questions specifically about working from home and being part of virtual teams, that could be used in a coaching context, and could also be helpful in wider professional practice. I hope to share these in a future monthly update.
Writing buddy update
Posey has been an excellent writing buddy, and we have been taking regular breaks from the computer together as well as our regular afternoon walks. However, the best thing for her this month has been to finally be allowed in the office full-time.