A big challenge for faculty is finding time to write; especially during a busy semester, we can easily find a distraction that will slow down progress on any number of projects that we have just started, gained some momentum on, or almost finished. To (re)claim time, faculty on Mason’s campus meet every Friday morning to write. Our Friday faculty write-ins are popular with attendees who report a number of benefits, including progress on projects.
Writing groups like these have caught on pretty widely in academia; faculty join them not only for the ways in which these groups help faculty complete projects but also for the ways in which they can minimize the feelings of isolation writing projects can often impose. In a recent blog post, Deidra Faye Jackson details a few of the social benefits of writing groups. Although she is writing to graduate students, Jackson reports benefits similar to what we have heard from faculty participants on our campus: that writing groups help faculty develop a sense of connection with colleagues and increased comfort with writing. Write-ins often add structure and accountability to writing processes that motivate writers to persist through challenging stretches. Jackson also points out that participants can refine their work based on conversations about projects with colleagues: “Discussions of each other’s academic work, before a receptive and captive audience, may yield refreshing perspectives worth pondering or incorporating into analyses.”
If you are interested in joining our Friday faculty write-ins, click here more information or here to sign-up for a session. We also host multi-day writing retreats every January and May. Check out our website for information.