Writing groups have always been helpful, and, especially in graduate school, they’re often done in-person. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of that right now, but thanks to modern technology, writing groups are still happening, albeit virtually. Writing groups can be incredibly beneficial, for both creative writing and academic writing. Whether you’re working on your thesis or dissertation, wanting to keep up a practice of regular writing, or working on something creative, being part of a writing group, even online, can have many benefits.
Whether it's via Zoom, Skype, Google hangouts, or even just through Google drive, a virtual writing group might be just the thing you need.
It keeps you accountable. When you’re part of a writing group, you may be required to bring new writing each week, or follow a certain schedule (often based on how many members are in the group). This helps to keep you accountable for your writing. If you know you have to bring in writing, to participate like everyone else, you’re less likely to slack off.
It helps keep your skills sharp. Not only are you writing on a regular basis, but when you’re part of a writing group, you’re also reading the writing of others and providing feedback and critiquing their work. This helps develop and maintain critical thinking skills and provides opportunities to provide constructive feedback, which is important in the world of academia.
It can improve your writing. In addition to the obvious (getting feedback and being critiqued by other members), being part of a writing group can help improve your writing in other ways. Speaking with and learning from others in the group can help build your creativity, inspire you to try new techniques or research new things, and can help motivate you when your drive is low.
It helps build relationships. Academia and writing can be lonely, especially when you’ve reached the thesis or dissertation stage. Writing groups are wonderful places to meet other people who are working on projects, and great spaces to get to know each other and develop and nurture personal and professional relationships. Especially with uncertainty about graduate programs being in-person in the fall, or the threat of closures again, a virtual writing group is especially great because it doesn’t depend on the in-person component.
Here at Dissertation Editor, we are big fans of writing groups, both in-person and virtual ones. But we also know that while writing groups can be a great way to get the work down on the page, it’s not the final step in any project, whether it’s professional, creative, or academic. Next comes editing, revising, revising more and more, and then the final touches of proofreading and formatting. We’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can be of assistance.< Self-Publishing 101 Books to Read in Honor of the ADA Turning 30 >