Writing initiatives can be an excellent way of improving your productivity and helping you feel more positive about your work. They offer accountability and peer-to-peer support, and provide structured windows of time for writing, free of distractions and prevarication.
The Humanities Researcher Development and Training Programme runs two core writing initiatives:
- The Baillie Gifford Writing Partnerships Programme
- Shut Up and Write
The Baillie Gifford Writing Partnerships Programme, co-ordinated by Dr Emily Troscianko, allows you to register your writing preferences and find someone to meet and write with on a regular basis. The programme also offers a range of other support alongside the core service of finding you a writing partner. There’s a termly orientation session to introduce strategies for scheduling, planning and prioritising, tracking progress, writing well, enhancing resilience, and generally bringing your daily working reality closer to your ideal. Emily also sends out writing tips to give you ideas for how to make your writing meet-ups effective and enjoyable, and weekly reading suggestions to give you different perspectives on writing, goal-setting, professional development, and wellbeing. Finally, writing bootcamps and writing breakfasts and afternoons provide more intensive opportunities to change and reflect on your working habits in a group setting: they include timed writing sessions as well as food and drink, guided stretching, planning and review, reflective tasks, and sometimes work-sharing or admin sessions. These events will be run virtually during Trinity 2020. To find out more and to register for the programme, see this page.
Shut Up and Write is a fortnightly writing group that provides a quiet space for researchers to get work done with colleagues in a friendly, supportive environment. Participants share goals and help each other with writing questions between timed silent-working sessions: no emails, no distractions, just dedicated and focused time to get your work done. See the events tab of the researcher training pages for forthcoming sessions of Shut Up and Write, which will take place virtually in Trinity Term 2020.
There are a number of other writing groups in Oxford that are co-ordinated by individuals, faculties and departments and are not affiliated with the researcher training programme. You can join the 'Oxford Writing Groups' page on Facebook to find out about events taking place, or to set up your own writing initiative.