Wednesday, August 02, 2017

When the room demands writing

A colleague walks into a small conference room and says to the rest of us, "Greetings, writers!" Only three of us are in the room so far, but it's early. This is our penultimate Writing Wednesday, a weekly opportunity for colleagues to gather for a few hours in a quiet room in the library and simply write. 

There's no formal structure or programming. We chat a little before we get started and we often go out to lunch afterward, but usually it's just two or three or five faculty members tap-tapping away at their laptop keyboards. Sometimes we send each other drafts of our articles for feedback, but all that reading and responding happens outside the room, because our time here is reserved for writing.

I know some people can't write in a group, but somehow, I find it easier to remain focused on the task at hand when I'm writing in the midst of my colleagues. No one is checking my work, so I could be sitting over in my corner playing FreeCell for all my colleagues know, but something about the space and the company demands that I keep writing. 

In this room I have written big chunks of the article that I sent off to a journal last month, and since then I've been working on a conference paper proposal and a sabbatical proposal. And now I'm writing this blog post! That's not really what I'd intended, but look, we're only 20 minutes into our writing time. I'll post this and then get down to doing what the room demands: writing--in a hurry before the summer runs out! 

Next week is our final Writing Wednesday, and we'd love to keep it going through the school year but it's really difficult to find a common time. But that doesn't mean I won't try. After all, if we are writers, then we'd better focus on making time to write. 

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