The Book

Update 2: Given the details below, I was probably being outrageously optimistic around my writing progress in these two weeks, not least when it became clear there was a “family situation” ongoing that would present significant challenges to focusing on writing. However, I did actually manage to get more done than I feared, the first chapter is basically finished, the second is well on the way, I did much more research for the difficult 5th chapter and I worked on references and figures for all of the six. More importantly, I definitely rediscovered my writing mojo. I’m actually genuinely motivated to get this project done again. To keep up the momentum, I have decided to participate in #AcWriMo  this year. Let’s see if I can keep going to the end of the year…

Update: So it’s been almost a year since I wrote this and what’s happened? Not as much as I’d hoped but realistically given the demands of the day job, not to mention family life, that’s probably not surprising.

I have a good strong structure sorted out, I’ve done most of the research and referencing I need for three of the chapters that are a bit outside my subject range, I’ve almost finished the first chapter and I have completed parts of several of the others, so I do feel it’s plausible I can finish it, though much much slower than I initially reckoned with. (As an aside, the Danes have a term for my working style, tidsoptimist, I am always over-optimistic about how much I can fit in to a given period of time). I am steadily getting better at planning my time, it’s a definite downside to enthusiasm though.

I have now taken a week unpaid leave to write as much as I possibly can – the stretch target is 30,000 words in the week (5,000 per day for 6 days), 20,000 might be more realistic, but if I can get as much of the bulk done as possible this week, the editing and additional bits should be fairly straightforward in the dribs and drabs of time I can carve out during the week.

I’ll post an update at the end of each day this week with my writing total and which chapters I’ve been working on.

Ready, Steady, Write!


I haven’t really wanted to write about this before as I hadn’t really thought it would truly happen but I have now started and I seem to have some momentum so let’s see what happens.

I was immensely flattered to be asked to write a book (by series editor Peter Knight of Keele University on behalf on Blackwells/Wiley) on a cryosphere subject of my choice.

I chose to suggest one on incorporating cryospheric processes into climate models, reasoning that most if it is in my head anyway and I have a pretty good opportunity to learn some new stuff from my colleagues in the process.

Yes it’s a little bit niche, but given current ongoing developments in both cryospheric research and climate modelling including the ISMASS and ISMIP6 programmes, it seems like a good time to try and draw a synthesis of the field together. The book should be suitable for graduate students who may use the output of such models or who may want to develop these models further, at least that is the target audience in my mind. I am fortunate enough to have a few of these in our department right now so I can start to judge what they do and don’t know and what they need to know.

I shall use this page to post updates on my progress and random thoughts that occur to me. I may also find time to write the odd blogpost summarising bits and pieces that I find interesting on the way. Clearly though, this is not part of my day job and with 2 young children and a husband there are always plenty of other things that need doing, so the writing is happening at night (“not a morning person” doesn’t even begin to describe me at 6am) and rather slower than originally planned, but I am at least motivated to really get this done now.

Thanks to the marvellous Jennie Ferrara who has her own very exciting climate writing project for getting me going, I’m looking forward to some good progress over the next few months.

So in the meantime, if you spot me on twitter or facebook when I should be writing please feel free to remind me on the #ruthandjenniewrite hashtag…

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