I first discovered the benefits of ‘social writing’ while trying to finish my PhD qualifying report as a new mum back in 2011. I would meet for regular writing sessions with two fellow mums (one an MA student and the other a historian) in our favourite Mumbles café. To our great surprise, this way of working in short bursts between baby sleeps and feeds (maybe a maximum of 30 minutes pure writing time), and the commitment that we would be there no matter what, was extremely productive. I got that qualifying report in, the MA mum passed her Masters with flying colours and the historian mum finished and published the book she was working on.
A few years later I discovered this concept of meeting socially to write for short bursts is not new and is used by professional writers, students and academics worldwide in order to maximise productivity. The movement, known as Shut Up and Write! started in San Fransisco. Shut Up and Write! is basically what it says on the tin. Writers get together and focus on producing text In short bursts of 25 minutes. There is a short break in between each focus session for writers to chat and gather thoughts before going back for the next sprint.
Last term ASP piloted a Shut Up and Write meet at 8.30 – 10.30 on a Friday morning. We weren’t at all sure if anyone would come that early or if the concept would work in a classroom setting. But the students came regularly and liked the commitment of meeting a writing group for 2 hours while some of their housemates were still in bed. People came from a number of different colleges and it was moving to see the mutual encouragement and focus grow over the weeks. We look forward to seeing the regulars again and welcoming new students this term!
ASP Shut Up and Write sessions
Fridays 8:30-10:30, Glyndwr K, Start date: 13th Feb
An ASP tutor will be on hand to help with any difficulties.
Read more about the shut up and write movement
Read about the benefits of focusing in short bursts: