Have a blank page staring at you?
Devote a half day to the theory and practice of getting started, and end it with words written and a plan for where next.
1 September 2022
How does it work?
- You decide which project is most in need of some serious anti-procrastination treatment.
- You do what you need (research, note-taking, planning) to get to a point where writing is viable.
- We review 5 why’s and 10 how’s for getting started (before needing to be done is already imminent!).
- We put some of the how’s into action in our writing session prep (physical and mental), including clear goal-setting.
- We harness the power of collective focus to get words on the page.
- You review your session 1 progress and then take a screen-free break starting with some guided stretching.
- You learn from session 1 and set a goal for session 2.
- We do some more focused timed writing.
- We review session 2, lay breadcrumbs to help us get started easily next time, then zoom out to crystallize our getting-started learning.
- You benefit this specific project (by getting it decisively started) and also your wider writing practice—by learning how to get things off the ground, whatever strategies and habits turn out to be crucial for you in bringing the procrastination to an end. So you can use this event as a springboard for a decisive autumn’s writing.
When and where?
This event is happening on Zoom.
Thursday 1 September, 14:00 to 17:30 BST.
- Q: Who can take part? Anyone! I’ve developed these events primarily through my work with grad students and researchers, but there’s nothing intrinsically academic about the event methods.
- Q: What kind of writing does it work for? In theory, any kind! If you have an academic piece to get on with (e.g. a thesis chapter, article, conference presentation, grant proposal, etc.), it will work well for that. If you’re doing something else (a blog post, book review, story or novel, etc.) it should be good too. If you’re working with a different genre, feel free to reach out and discuss with me in advance whether the kinds of planning and execution we’ll be practising are relevant to it—but the answer is probably yes!
- Q: How many other people will there be? Numbers are capped at 20.
- Q: What happens once I book? You’ll receive a booking confirmation, and then the week before the event I’ll send you full joining instructions.
- Q: Do I need to do anything beforehand? If your project needs any research or other prep work before you can realistically get words on the page, please set aside some time in the days leading up to the event.
- Q: What if I can’t make the entire session, can I still sign up? I ask you to please not book onto this event unless you can commit to attending the 3.5-hour session in full. Late arrivals and early departures are disruptive for everyone else, and make the event much less useful for you. If you arrive late you may not be able to join.
- Q: What about if I need to cancel completely? I don’t offer refunds after booking. The only exception is in the unlikely event that I am unable to run the event as advertised, in which case of course you receive a full refund and first refusal for a place on the next event I run. I encourage you to do all you can to show up for this event and make the most of it.
- Q: Why so inflexible? I have a lot of experience running writing events, and all my experience tells me that too much flexibility benefits no one. You know that little part of you that thinks it doesn’t matter whether you stick to your plans or follow through on your commitments or turn up 10 minutes late? That part of you (and me) loves believing that no one else cares, and that no one suffers as a result—ourselves or anyone else. A certain level of strictness in these events makes it impossible for that part of you to thrive—and that tends to work out very well for you, for your writing, and for everyone else taking part, even if it’s uncomfortable at first.
- Q: Can I read more on the principles you use to design this event? Of course. Indeed, I ask you to familiarize yourself with these before you book, just so we know we’re on the same page. You can find more details in my outline of why I run these events the way I do, here.
- Q: What if I need more help? If you find that the event raises questions about your writing practice in general or your progress on this specific piece, or you know in advance that you’d like to maximize the benefits of taking part, you can book a 1-1 writing consultation with me, to take place in the week of the event or the week before or after. This is a 30-minute Zoom consult plus an email summary of what we covered and agreed—for example, the main obstacles we identified as lying between you and achieving your writing goals with pleasure, and the solutions we generated for overcoming them. I don’t offer this type of short consult other than as an event add-on, but you can book it any time up to a week after the event ends. You should decide when it would be most useful to you to have it. The cost is GBP 100 if you book during or after the event, or GBP 75 if you book beforehand.
- Q: Do you write with us? Yep! This is one reason I love running these events: I get so much of my own writing done. I’m always amazed by how different it feels writing in a focused group of other writers versus on my own.
How much does it cost?
The fee for the half-day event is GBP 40 (currently around USD 49).
- The highly structured 3.5-hour group session
- Writing planning and review resources for the session, with copies for you to use again
- A post-event email including a full guide to getting started, with additional ideas for you to try out independently
If you have access to a research allowance or other funds, you may well be able to use them to pay for this event. Let me know if you need a receipt containing any specific details.
Ready to book?
Book your place on this writing event (Thursday 1 September 2022, 14:00 to 17:30 BST on Zoom)
(By booking, you confirm that you have read and agree to the event principles and pragmatics set out here.)
Add on a 30-minute writing consult (once you’ve paid you’ll be sent a Calendly link to book your preferred slot)