“Shut Up and Start Writing:” We’re Starting a Writing Group!

That will be our motto.

So, after some inquiring on Facebook, I’ve discovered that there is some interest among colleagues to start a writing group that would help us all stay focused on our writing projects and get stuff done this summer. There are a lot of ways to do a writing group but I thought we would keep this one simple, encouraging, and easy. So here’s what I propose:

1. We will run the group for the next 7 weeks, from the week of July 2 through the week of August 6 (so the final check in would be August 11). At that point we can re-group and decide if we want to keep going through the Fall semester.

2. I will post a writing group post on Fridays, you then have until Monday morning to check-in in the comment section and leave at least two pieces of information: what you did this past week and what you plan to do next week. Feel free to also leave comments about how your project is going, struggles you’re having with it, things that got in your way, things that helped, etc. This is supposed to be about accountability AND support. Hopefully the comment section will be a place of mutual support and cheering on.

3. Your goals for each week can be whatever you think will help you. Measure in time, words, pages, whatever. The more specific you can make it the better, though. It will be easier for you to see your progress and for us to hold you accountable if you have tangible goals for the week.

So, if you are interested in participating all you need to do is leave a comment below letting us know what you’re currently working on (chapter, book manuscript, revisions, article, dissertation, etc.) and what your goal is for next week. I don’t expect this group to get huge, but if it does I’ll cut off the number at some point. No one wants to read 100 people’s writing goals. Also, don’t be lame and quit or go AWOL without at least letting us know first. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments or send me a tweet.

I think this is going to be fun!


8 thoughts on ““Shut Up and Start Writing:” We’re Starting a Writing Group!

  1. Commenting! I’m in. Still trying to finish a chapter this week, which probably means working for most of today and tomorrow. Wordcount for this week so far is obscene (10, 032); getting through the chapter the way I want to has taken *way* more time than I expected. Clearly need to revise my outline for the next.

    I’m also maintaining an anonymous blog with random updates, observations, and ridiculous inspirational video clips. If folks are interested, I’m happy to share the address.

    Thanks for setting this up, Mike!


  2. I’m working on revising my dissertation into a book manuscript. This week, I’ve read several books on how to undertake such a project and re-read and recorded my reactions to my introduction and first chapter. Next week, I plan to complete my re-reading and commenting. I hope to be able to start formulating a specific revision plan. I intend to work on this 2 hours every day next week.

    Megan–my first chapter went the same direction (way longer than necessary, too much research and too much time). It really does get easier with the next couple of chapters!


    1. Alas, this is the second chapter. But the first was all lit review — this is the first one that actually handles a case study. So hopefully the next one will be easier?


  3. Glad you’re in, Megan and Brandi!

    I realized I failed to answer my my own questions in my post.

    I’m writing my dissertation and I should be done drafting a chapter by the end of business today. So, for next week I want to do a lot of revising and have the chapter ready to go to my adviser by the end of the week.


  4. Thanks for the invitation Mike. I’m working through the last bit of revisions for a dissertation chapter, which I hope to be sending off to my advisor early next week. Pending his comments, I’m sure I will be doing more revisions before it is final. For next week, while waiting on comments, I will be working through the outline of the next chapter. My aim is to have a working outline from which I can begin drafting the following week.


  5. Hey Mike,
    I am re-working my manuscript (dissertation to book) for the entire summer. The manuscript is due October 1st and I am trying to hustle because people are reading the newly re-worked chapters for me, and they need time to comment etc.
    So this week I am trying to finish Chapter 3 (which used to be chapter 2) and is the chapter that has always given me buckets of trouble (I re-wrote it three times for the dissertation.) This chapter officially sucks, so I think I will need some cheerleading to get through it.


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