By Alice Hague
Alice Hague recently submitted her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, UK. She is interested in faith-based engagement in politics and the public sphere, and her thesis investigates faith communities and environmental activism. Earlier, Alice described how she set up a variety of social writing supports. In this post, she provides some great advice about light and space, time and co-hosting – perfect tips for anyone wishing to DIY their own writing event.
When I started my PhD, I had never heard of writing retreats or writing groups. I certainly never expected to find myself co-leading residential and non-residential writing retreats and a monthly writing group at my university. Yet, as I started to come across resources like @DocwritingSIG, I increasingly felt that my thesis-writing would benefit from some form of structured, communal writing experience. I was struggling to find opportunities however, and eventually came together with a friend and colleague, to try and create something.
The writing group that followed became an important part of my PhD experience. It contributed not only to words on the page, but also to a sense of community, something that was critical in helping me to turn pages of field notes and interview transcripts into a completed thesis. So, if you feel that a writing group might help you make progress, I encourage you to try it out. Even if it is just commitment to a morning writing session with a friend, give it a go – you never know where it might lead. Here are a few things to think about, as you try and find what works for you. Continue reading