Loughborough Doctoral College

News and blog

24 Jan 2019

The Writing Gym

Hi! We are two PhD students who struggle with writing which is why we decided to set up The Writing Gym. We are hoping that this student-led initiative will help PhD students at Loughborough University develop the habit of writing and make the process more fun!  Come and join us. Vani Naik (School of Business and Economics) and Kristina Gavran (School of the Arts, English and Drama)

What is it all about?

The Writing Gym is set like a weekly 2-hour long club that anyone can join, with time to write and time to socialise and talk about your writing. It is a dedicated time for writing in a quiet space with a supportive group and a chance to chat in the break.

Writing your thesis is like running a marathon, it can be extremely daunting if you haven't done one before (or even if you have)! But what if you break it into smaller, easily achievable goals and exercise your writing-muscles regularly?

Doing your PhD can be quite a lonely process, especially writing. That is why it is important to do it sometimes in a group. It is easier to write when everyone around you is writing as well - we are building upon social accountability.

The point is: You will only develop writing by doing it. And doing it regularly. Wouldn’t you like to kick off your week with a session of writing in which you will achieve your goal, no matter how small it is?

Turn your goal into a habit and write with us!

When? Every Monday morning 10 am – 12 pm! 

Where? 

23.9.19 - G006

30.9.19 - WAV044 

7.10.19 - D202

14.10.19 - D202

21.10.19 - WAV044

28.10.19 - WAV044 

4.11.19 - D202

11.11.19 - D202

18.11.19 - D202

25.11.19 - WAV044 

2.12.19 - WAV044

9.12.19 - D202

16.12.19 - D202

23.12.19 - no gym 

6.1.20 - D202

13.1.20 - D202

20.1.20 - D202

27.1.20 - D202

What do I need to bring? Your laptop and enthusiasm.

Structure of the session:

Intro – 10 minutes

The host starts the session by explaining what ‘The Writing Gym’ is and how it functions. Then each person writes on a piece of paper what they are writing (e.g. article, chapter, essay) and what is their mini goal for this session (e.g. 500 words, re-draft into 1000 words, sort introduction). The goal has to be measurable, achievable and timely (for this session). When each participant has written their goal, we all introduce each other in the group and explain the goal to other people. The goals are then taken by the host and either projected on the screen or stuck on the wall.

First writing – 45 minutes

The host sets the timer for 45 minutes and everyone just writes. There is no chatting, making coffee, surfing on the internet. Just write!

Break – 10 minutes

Everyone reports back to the group how much of their goal have they achieved. The host updates the projection or each person writes on their paper.

We make a cup of coffee, chat, eat some biscuits.

Second writing – 45 minutes

The host again sets the timer for 45 minutes and everyone concentrates 

Feedback – 10 minutes

When the time is up, we all go back to the group and report how much we have achieved for today and how we felt about writing in this way during The Writing Gym.

So, all together you spend 1.5 hours writing and 30 minutes socialising. Now, that is a good start of the week!