Shut Up & Write, a movement that started in San Francisco, is a way for writers to structure their time and connect with others. The formula is simple: meet in a convenient location, write in silence for an hour, and catch-up over coffee afterwards.
For academic types, who have embraced the idea, it’s a great way to carve out dedicated writing time and make progress on thesis chapters, journal articles, and grant applications. While an hour doesn’t sound like much, it’s amazing what you can get done if you really focus. The discipline and shared sense of purpose that comes from writing with others also keeps you accountable and reminds you that you aren’t alone.
Although it’s great to write with a group of people and have coffee afterwards, at Shut Up & Write Tuesdays we understand that it’s not always practical. So we developed a virtual Shut Up & Write that allows you to get all the benefits* of a traditional Shut Up & Write without leaving your home or office.
On the first and third Tuesday of each month, we host three virtual Shut Up & Write sessions on Twitter. The first session is at @SUWTues and is scheduled to suit people in the Asia-Pacific region (including Australia, New Zealand and PNG). The second session is at @SUWTUK and is scheduled to suit people in the UK and Western Europe, as well as folks in Perth. The third session is at @SUWTNA and is scheduled to suit people in the US and Canada.
Each session follows the pomodoro format – two 25-minute blocks, separated by a 5-minute break. Your host tells you when to start, when to rest, when to start again, and when to stop. You can engage with others by responding to the @SUWTues / @SUWTUK / @SUWTNA tweets with information about what you’re working on and the progress you made during the session. Be sure to use the hashtag #suwtues / #suwtuk / #suwtna so others can see you, cheer you on, commiserate, and offer advice. By engaging with your hosts and the other participants you have an opportunity to connect with an international network of academics and PhD students and be part of a thriving community of practice.
*Try as we might, we cannot figure out how to send coffee through Twitter. So until our boffins make a breakthrough, that part of the experience unfortunately remains BYO.