A key part of WriteFest* since its launch in November 2015 is the our workshop designed and led by Dr Matthew Cheeseman (@eine) – ‘Writing Without Discipline’. When we were first developing this workshop we wanted to introduce creative writing concepts to researchers working in other disciplines as a way to support people who felt tense or anxious about writing, or had fallen into a negative relationship with their writing, often their PhD thesis.
The title of the session, Writing Without Discipline, means that any of us can come at writing creatively from any discipline. It’s also a pun, of course, because writing requires a lot of discipline, no matter what research field you work in.
The workshop helps researchers to understand how writing can change our thinking. And how understanding how we write, changes the way we relate to writing, and how we build our own habits of writing. We help participants get to grips with creative methods for generating text, and techniques for reflecting and editing to introduce new ways of building writing into their daily routine. The workshop provides a framework for understanding how writing is constructed, a discussion of the tools, technologies and practices that support writing and helps participants to think creatively about adapting and enhancing their writing habits.
In previous years, we have run this workshop face-to-face, and the skills and techniques learned therein, have led to submissions to our creative journal – the Journal of Imaginary Research (download Vol 3 here).
This year, since there are 12 universities participating in WriteFest, we created a blended video/face-to-face session that can be used by any facilitator who wants to gather a group of researchers (postgrad, early career, academic staff) together for 90min.
The above video component fits neatly into a facilitated group workshop session and to find out how to run this workshop (it’s free!), what you’ll need, and how to blend the video and face-to-face together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of the Writing Without Discipline Facilitator Pack.
* WriteFest (#AcWriFest18) is the University of Sheffield’s festival of Academic Writing. WriteFest 2018 boasts plenty of silent but companionable writing retreats, co-coaching sessions, a corrections club, writing workshops, a video guide to crafting your own ideal writing soundtrack, a Spotify playlist to write to, and a YouTube playlist in which academic staff share their writing processes, habits and spaces. We encourage all academics, research staff, and research students to join us and write.