November is Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo), with many academics challenging themselves to complete papers and thesis chapters over the course of the month. Rather than locking yourself away to try to hit your daily word target, turn AcWriMo into a social event by joining a community with whom you can share your successes and failures.
Why join an AcWriMo community?
Whether you’re looking for motivation, inspiration or commiseration, many people find that joining a writing community can help them keep going through AcWriMo. One of the major advantages of the challenge is that people are taking part around the world, celebrating each other’s successes and providing helpful advice when someone is struggling. You can bounce ideas off your community, build a support network, or just add a little solidarity to an otherwise solitary pursuit!
Where to find your AcWriMo community
Twitter is home to a vibrant AcWriMo community at this time of year. Check out the #AcWriMo hashtag for advice, blog posts, motivation, tips for overcoming writer’s block and more, and feel free to brag about your daily accomplishments! If you come across someone who’s struggling, maybe you’ll be able to provide them with some much-needed support.
Universities and research institutions
Universities increasingly hold communal writing events throughout AcWriMo, providing students and academics with a dedicated space to work on their projects in companionable silence. If this isn’t available, your institution may have co-working spaces or “hot-desking” offices, allowing people to work independently but in a dedicated communal environment. As the popularity of AcWriMo grows, you may find these spaces are filled with those taking part in the challenge!
Start a group
If your institution doesn’t host any AcWriMo writing sessions, why not start your own writing group? All you need is a few colleagues with a similar goal, a quiet space, and a plan for when to meet. The Thesis Whisperer website provides great advice for setting up a “Shut up and write!” group. Don’t forget to schedule in breaks!