Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hosting a Writing Group?

[Check out the UPDATE, below]

A special note out there for academic writers in the Humanities:

I'm thinking of hosting a once-a-week writing group here on the blog, based on the idea of a dissertation writing group. The idea, just as a starting place (with possible expansions) would be to check in once a week and discuss how we're progressing towards medium-term goals, which we could set per-semester -summer. These posts (maybe Fridays?) would essentially become a writing-focused open thread for people who commit to participating for any given work period.

It wouldn't be a true writing group, because we wouldn't be sharing our actual writing (though that could change, if we decided it ought to). But it might be a way for us -- especially those of us who are lone-whatevers in our departments, and especially those of us at teaching-focused institutions -- to get back to thinking of writing as something we do, and even something that's vaguely fun.

Yes, we're heading into silly season. But we also have a summer coming up so we could get a real running start at this: Plan now; start (say) June 1.

Any interest?


UPDATE: Okay, so Another Damned Medievalist and I are hatching a plan to co-host this little venture. Tentatively, the first "term" is set for the 12-week period for May 27 - August 12. We will alternate blogs for hosting the group's Friday meetings. May 27 will likely be given over to introducing yourselves and your 12-week projects, so be thinking about that.

More details forthcoming after ADM & I get a chance to hatch our plans at the 'zoo.

34 comments:

Belle said...

Yup. I'm interested!

Dave said...

I think I'm interested, but I wouldn't be able to participate immediately—I'm defending June 6 (but do want to get an article turned around from my dissertation shortly thereafter.) So, if you're cool with having a newly minted (er, assuming all goes well on June 6, I mean) PhD participate who won't be able to do much but cheerlead for the first week or two, I'd love to participate.

emilyselephant said...

What a terrific idea! I'm a dissertating grad student and will be traveling all summer without obvious sources of writing motivation, so I'm definitely interested.

clio's disciple said...

Tentative interest, although, as you know, my schedule doesn't lend itself to steady writing every week. I'm certainly up for being supportive of others.

Digger said...

I'm interested!

sophylou said...

I'm interested. I'm a humanities librarian with a PhD in history and could use some support/cheerleading for getting a history article finished this summer.

heu mihi said...

YESSSS!!!!!

How's that for enthusiasm?

Another Damned Medievalist said...

yes -- or a separate locked-down blog...

Tigs said...

ooh, I'm humanities-ish-- can I come play?
If so, yes!

Bardiac said...

Ooo, sounds great. I'm interested.

Eileen said...

I would be interested, if you don't mind having someone who's just starting out. I'm revising my first article for publication and working on my first dissertation chapter this summer (in an American history program).

Phul Devi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Notorious Ph.D. said...

Blogger ate my comment, and I'm in grading jail, so I can't write it again, but I'm seeing some good ideas here.

ADM, contact me? I think you may be onto something here.

Erika said...

I'd love to join! I'm on the TT in a humanities field, and would love the support for getting papers off my desk this summer. Great idea Notorious!

Notorious Ph.D. said...

And just a note: I think that, in principle, the group (if it gets going) should be open to all levels, from ABD to fourth book. The only qualification would be a commitment to show up and do the work.

WIP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WIP said...

This sounds like a really fascinating idea. I will not even start my dissertation until next year, but I will cheer for everyone writing articles and dissertations alike and begin to bite my nails over choosing a topic.

(I wish I knew how to edit my comment rather than delete. Technology fail.)

Sarah said...

Ooh! I would sign up for this if I were writing any sort of anything resembling a dissertation. I'm not in academia, but I do love writing. Carry on!

Jason said...

I'm interested, though I may be frustrated/frustrating during the process--but then that's what the group is there for, right? I don't have any good writing habits, and have to rebuild momentum on my diss. from a year-long virtual standstill after passing my proposal.

Jason (sometimes commenting as "Don't Call Me Here")

Jason said...

And I second the interest in a locked down blog from ADM.

AJR said...

Might be interested, especially in the private blog idea. Longtime lurker/fan and professional medievalist here.

Another Damned Medievalist said...

Have sent email. LMK -- you can send to my gmail, too -- easier to reach me there :-)

I can set up, or you. Maybe we can get it underway while I work on my current paper -- due SOON!

Ro said...

Great idea and I'd love to join! I'm recently tenured at a teaching-focused locale and am working on getting an article out this summer that's related to a bigger project...

thefrogprincess said...

I emailed Notorious earlier when I couldn't comment for some reason. Just registering my interest!

Mags said...

I'm interested -sign me up! I'm writing my dissertation while living far away from my home university, so I feel like I'm missing out on the support structure that fellow students would provide.

Comrade Svilova said...

I'm not in grad school yet, but I'm working a few papers for journals and on my writing sample for my application to a humanities field. I'd love to join, if my status doesn't preclude my participation.

Mel said...

Yes!! Very interested! After the first two chapters I seem to have hit a road block on the dissertation writing. Been doing some major procrastinating. This would help!!

firstmute said...

Yes! I'm on the final chapter of my dissertation and would *love* to get that off my plate this summer.

Trapped in Canadia said...

I'd love to join! I'll be traveling for research, but still need to write to finish my dissertation. This will be the perfect way to keep on track!

Sulpicia said...

This sounds like an excellent idea. I'm trying to set up an online group with three friends at the moment (we're thinking meetings via skype), but that's going to be more based on exchange of writing. Also, the others are non-medievalist lit scholars, and it would be fantastic to have a more diverse group on the go as well. A little more motivation surely couldn't hurt.

akoh said...

I'm interested!! Sign me up.

J. Otto Pohl said...

I am currently about half way through a book ms and hope to finish most of the first draft before the end of summer. So, yes, I would be interested in joining. I try and get two to four pages double spaced written a day.

Earnest English said...

Ooh, I'm interested!

I'm on the T-T in a humanities field and would LOVE to have some community around the writing, rather than the reading, of scholarly work.

Aeon Elpis said...

Kerry Anne Rockquemore ran a series on Inside Higher Ed last year about different types of writing groups. Her model for an accountability group might work well for this. Here's the link to her article: http://www.insidehighered.com/advice/summer/summer2

I'm already in an accountability group -- and it really does work. A great idea!