Boost Your Writing Productivity with Your Own “Shut Up and Write” Sessions!


Could organizing “Shut Up and Write” sessions within your study cohort enhance accountability, build community, and skyrocket your productivity?


Back in 2021, I experimented with running some ‘Shut Up and Study‘ sessions that any student could attend. These were virtual coworking opportunities to help students with motivation and maintaining academic progress while the world was still in the grips of the COVID pandemic. We had a few students attend, I enjoyed the sessions a lot, and think those that took part got something from the process. They aren’t running anymore, but I never stopped thinking about the format.

A few months ago, I got the chance to speak to Malaika Santa Cruz, the Director of Operations at Shut Up & Write. They, not surprisingly, were the inspiration for the Shut Up and Study name. Malaika got me thinking about running sessions again and provided me with some materials from their websites and network to assist. But one of the challenges of running sessions centrally (i.e., open to anyone in the Flinders community) is creating a strong shared mission to connect everyone. When sessions are open to everyone, it can be hard to feel part of something meaningful because the group is too broad and diverse. However, when individuals set up sessions within their respective cohorts, they are linked by common goals and shared experiences, making the sessions more relevant and engaging.

Thus, I am inviting you to consider setting up your own Shut Up & Write sessions with your existing study cohort. For example, if you are in an Honours cohort, see if other members of that cohort would like to organize and attend co-writing sessions. Or perhaps you are part of a club or student association and could organise such events for an existing group. If so, consider the following.

Invitation written by ChatGPT & Gareth

Are you struggling to find the time and motivation to sit down and write? Whether it’s an essay, a research paper, or even just some personal writing, it can be challenging to carve out the time and space needed to focus. That’s where “Shut Up and Write” sessions come in!

 

What is “Shut Up and Write”?

“Shut Up and Write” is a movement that brings people together in a supportive, structured environment to focus on their writing. The idea is simple: gather a group of people, set aside dedicated time for writing, and just… write! No distractions, no procrastination—just pure, focused writing time.

 

Why Should You Set Up Your Own Sessions?

Setting up your own “Shut Up and Write” sessions within your study cohort can be incredibly beneficial. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Accountability: When you commit to writing with others, you’re more likely to stick to your writing schedule.
  • Community: Writing can be a lonely activity, but it doesn’t have to be. Share your struggles and triumphs with others in the same boat.
  • Productivity: Dedicated, distraction-free time is a powerful way to boost your productivity.

 

How to Set Up a “Shut Up and Write” Session

It’s easy to set up your own session! Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather Your Group: Find a group of friends or classmates who are interested in writing. It can be as small as two people or as large as you can manage.
  2. Choose a Time and Place: Decide on a regular time and place to meet. It could be a quiet room on campus, a café, or even a virtual meeting space if you prefer to meet online.
  3. Follow the Method: The Writing Partners community has a great method for structuring your sessions, which you can find here. In short, you’ll want to:
    • Start with a quick check-in: Share your writing goals for the session.
    • Set a timer for 25 minutes and write without distractions.
    • Take a 5-minute break after each writing sprint.
    • Reflect and celebrate what you’ve achieved with other participants.
    • Repeat the process as needed.
  4. Stay Consistent: The key to making these sessions work is consistency. Try to meet regularly, whether it’s once a week or several times a week.
  5. Support Each Other: Use the time to not only write but also to support each other. Share tips, give feedback, and encourage one another.

 

Join the Wider SUAW Community

If you’re looking for more resources or want to connect with the wider “Shut Up and Write” community, check out shutupwrite.com. There, you’ll find additional tips, local meetups, and an online community of writers just like you.

So what are you waiting for? Gather your cohort, set a date, and start writing! “Shut Up and Write” sessions could be the key to unlocking your productivity and making writing a more enjoyable, communal experience. If you get something up and running, let me know (e.g., comment on this post).

As a heads-up, existing PhD students do have Online Working Sessions, of a similar flavour, offered through HDR Connect which might serve a similar purpose.

 

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