Organising a Writing Retreat

This week we organised a writing retreat and invited people from our networks to participate. During these writing retreats the general idea is to write anything that you want to, and then we sit together around a table and work on our texts. We try to book seminar rooms or places where we usually do not work to make it easier to turn off the other work related tasks.

The day starts off with some coffee and then we go round the table so that people can describe their writing plans for the day. The idea then is that we stick to your plan, and we are not allowed to look at emails or do other things. This time we were seven people and we worked on journal papers, PhD theses, analysis of data and preparation of teaching material so there is really a variety in what we write about. Three of us were working on the same publication from the STRIA project, and I must say that we really did great progress.

The schedules for the writing retreats usually looks something like this:

9.00-9.30 Arrival and coffee. Introductions, setting goals, planning
9.30-10.45 Writing slot 
10.45-11.00 Break and/or review
11.00-12.15 Writing slot 
12.15-13.15  Lunch 
13.15-14.30 Writing slot 
14.30-15.15 Break with walk
15.00-17.00 Writing slot 
17.00 Evaluation of the day

 

In the spring 2020 we might try to organise a reading retreat with the same kind of schedule, to provide an opportunity for people non-fragmented time to read. Many of us really appreciate the concentrated atmosphere of writing retreats, and generally I write more on those occasions than any other day in my office!

Åsa Cajander

Professor at Uppsala University
Åsa Cajander the research leader of the HTO research group. She is Professor of Computer Science with a Specialization Towards Human-Computer Interaction at Uppsala University.

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