Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Drop and give me 50!

My writing students might sometimes think I'm a drill sergeant when I force them to write and write and keep on writing, but I rarely get a chance to apply these skills to my colleagues. In May, though, I'll crank up my drill-sergeant credentials and put some colleagues through their paces when our Faculty Publishing Group offers its first-ever Academic Writing Boot Camp.

The idea is simple: for three days, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., faculty members will gather to give their summer writing projects a kick-start. Each day's activities will include writing sprints intended to get the juices flowing, extended writing time to get massive amounts of words on the page, and feedback on portions of the writing project.

This is my first time leading an effort like this but I hope not the last. I've already planned some helpful activities but I need more. Here's where you can help: if you've ever been involved in a faculty writing workshop like this one, what was most helpful? What was least helpful? If you've never been involved in this kind of activity, what would attract you to the workshop? What kind of activities would most effectively support your writing efforts?

I welcome suggestions in the comments. That's right: I want you to drop and give me 50! (Words.)  


Bardiac said...

Our writing center does this, and it's really helpful!

The director (if you want, email me and I can put you in touch because he's wonderful) gets people started with filling out a handout: what do you want to do for the workshop? What do you want to accomplish today?
And he also gets some muffins and coffee/tea; we meet in an area of the library where people can sit together at desks or spread out and sit alone.

Laura said...

Can I come?

Bev said...

I wish you could! We'll be opening up registration to MC faculty and staff after Spring Break...but enrollment is limited to 12.

JaneB said...

Setting clear goals, sitting and writing for fixed periods of time, 45minutes to 1 hour, in silence, then good coffee and snacks for a break, a chat and some moving around! A few of us in my real life writing group organise 'write-ins' on this model every now and then, and they can be phenomenally useful - somehow just knowing other people are also working helps keep everyone on task (a bit like the college library atmosphere I used to know, before lap tops and social everythings). Have a great time!

Bev said...

That's just what we're aiming for. We've reserved space in the library, which is incredibly quiet in the summer, with ready access to a lounge area where we can have snacks.