Writing groups can provide enormous support for your writing over time. Having a group of colleagues you meet with on a consistent basis can keep you on track, productive, and continually developing and progressing on your scholarly projects. Writing groups are also a powerful tool for developing interdisciplinary relationships, learning about the often fascinating work of your colleagues, and providing support for you as a teacher, scholar, and individual.
Writing groups can also:
- Promote attention to audience and writing as a process, a set of stages or building blocks that we all go through
- Allow you to hear your work out loud and let you see the effects of your writing on real (but supportive) readers
- Encourage you to focus on both readers' and writer's needs
- Help you develop strategies for responding to others' work
- Affirm (and sometimes challenges) assumptions about what makes good writing in your field
- Promote substantive rethinking/re-seeing texts
- Re-ignite interest in and commitment to projects
- Help you gain perspective and build confidence
- Enable you to learn discourse conventions in other disciplines
- Counteract the isolation inherent in much of scholarly and creative work
- Support ongoing productivity
- Provide immediate feedback, as well as feedback in the context of previous drafts and projects
- Remind us of what our students go through when we assign them writing
If you are interested in participating in a writing group, contact the Center for Writing Excellence director, Dr. Jonathan Rylander. He will be compiling a list of interested faculty. Also, consider coming to a Faculty Writing Support Program Retreat where you can meet other faculty who might be interested in starting a group.