The topic for the #AdjunctChat on Tuesday, April 29 is:
Experiences with Writers’ Groups: Find or start a writers’ group for accountability and collegiality
The chat will be facilitated by Melissa Lovell @melovell.
Research into academic writing consistently points to the role that supportive colleagues and peers play in the development of productive writing habits. Robert Boice’s well-known book Professors as Writers argues that ‘sociality’ is one of the four pillars or steps in a productive writing routine, along with automaticity (developing momentum using spontaneous and generative writing techniques), self-control (being conscious of your self-talk) and externality (choosing external conditions that increase the probability of writing).
A quick look at what Boice has to say about sociality may help us think about the potential benefits of writers’ groups and other forms of social writing such as #shutupandwrite. Boice argues that writing is basically a social act, even though it is one that we typically do in private. Without a community of writers and readers, writers become lonely and it is more difficult for writers to develop a sense of audience. He provides some advice for making writing more sociable including soliciting comments on writing at all stages of a manuscript, preparing oneself for the sting of negative criticism by practising constructive self-talk, building social networks (especially among the gate-keepers of scholarly writing such as journal editors or leaders in a scholarly field), and developing a sense of audience. Writers groups may be able to help with some or all of these aspects of sociality.
This week’s #adjunctchat focuses on the subject of writers groups, including our experience of them, their challenges and how to get one started. Several questions will be used to kickstart
Q1 Have you ever been involved in an academic writing group? What was its goals and structure?
Q2 What have you gained from being a members of a writers’ group or, if you’ve never joined one, what would you hope to gain from this kind of group?
Q3 In your experience, have you found social writing situations beneficial or do you prefer to see writing as a solitary endeavour?
Q4 What are some of the challenges or drawbacks of writers’ groups?
Q5 What questions do you have for #adjunctchat participants about starting or running a writers’ group?
All are welcome to #AdjunctChat on Tuesday, April 29, from 4:00-5:00pm EDT.