"Hide and Write” on Fridays in the Center for Writing

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The new Faculty/Staff Retreats, like the one this January term, give writers five days to write without distraction or interruption. In the presence of others who are busy at their work, and with brief conversations at the end of each day to commiserate, writing that needs to get done gets done. Scholarly articles, dissertation chapters, book, conference, and grant proposals, are begun or finished. As one participant remarked:

"Working with others who want to make progress as much as you do helps you fight distractions. Having an environment with no evidence of your other responsibilities is wonderful for the ability to focus."

The participants of both retreats have remarked on how difficult it is to find the space to write, and to control the distractions and real responsibilities of teaching and service—let alone family—that often derail opportunities to write. A retreat is “binge” writing—a full immersion into the writing life that can jumpstart a project or a writer’s long-term productivity. By Thursday of this January’s retreat, however, a fear settled in: How can we keep connected to and progressing on these projects now that they’ve been ignited?

So begins the Friday “Hide and Write” in the Center for Writing. Every Friday afternoon of the academic semester from 1-4 p.m., writers can reserve a spot in JRC 361 to write. Again without distraction or interruptions, writers can make weekly progress on their projects and keep those projects alive.

To reserve a spot for a Friday "Hide and Write," contact Dr. Susan Callaway by the Thursday of that week at sjcallaway@stthomas.edu or call (651) 962-5602.

Fridays not possible for you? Another excellent option is to arrange to write in the presence of colleagues at another time that’s convenient. Find other interested individuals who can meet when you can. Then locate a neutral spot on campus away from your department, and write. You’ll have the camaraderie and accountability, and you’ll also have access to others who can read your work in progress.

Looking for others to write with? Susan Callaway will keep a list of anyone looking for others to form a group, but please know that the retreats are an excellent way for you to begin such networking. (The next retreat will be in May or June.)

If you'd like more information on writing groups, the Retreats, or the Faculty Writers Program, visit the Faculty Development web site or contact Susan Callaway.

The Faculty Writers Program is a collaboration between the Faculty Development Center and the Center for Writing through which all faculty and staff will find ongoing support as they write.

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