I’ve been doing Shut up and Write since the start of my PhD and I can’t stop raving about it. I’m almost finished my book/thesis, I’ve done it in excellent time, and it’s because I’ve done most of it in the company of writers and postgrads (many of whom are now friends), in gorgeous cafes, with good coffee, and the exquisite space that is created when a bunch of people gather to produce text. I thought I would never write a book. I thought I would spend my whole life wanting to write, but never actually doing it.
Shut up and write is the single biggest change I have made to my writing practice, and it has had the single biggest impact on my productivity as a writer.
You don’t need to wait for someone to organise a group. One other person makes a group. Sometimes some of us do #shutupandwrite over twitter if we can’t meet in person.
Grab a writer. Set the timer on your phone to 25 minutes. Write.
A couple of months ago a friend told me about the ‘Shut up and Write’ movement in San Francisco. The idea is quite simple; a group of writers converge on a location, presumably one with good coffee. After 15 minutes of chit chat they, well – just shut up and write. They write solidly for an hour, then take a break for coffee and more chats before they leave.
I tend to think of writing as a solitary activity which needs a closed door and the phone/email/twitter off the hook. The idea of being with other people to write sounded so illogical I was naturally keen to give it a try. In fact…
I’m doing it right now.
As I write this post I’m sitting in one of my favourite cafés on campus, opposite my friend Jonathan who has recently set up “The Research Whisperer” blog. We met…
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