When I started A Meeting With Your Writing back in September 2011, I didn’t even know if it would work. All I knew was that virtual accountability and community was needed, and that I was prepared to facilitate something that might help.
Now, it feels central to everything I do.
Participants have told me that it has transformed their lives. Even mid-career academics who were already successful tell me that they now have a writing practice in a way they never really had before.
On February 3, 2016 I opened the Academic Writing Studio, a larger community space for academics, while incorporating A Meeting With Your Writing and adding further resources for members.
I have been creating and sharing resources alongside A Meeting With Your Writing for many years, such as PDF resources on Focus & Distraction, as well as advice on Selecting a Journal. I was also occasionally leading live classes on topics like Planning Your Semester, Establishing a Writing Practice, and Dealing with Criticism. The Studio provided a way to share these with regular participants in A Meeting With Your Writing, and motivation to offer classes more regularly.
The classes also motivate me to create other asynchronous resource, and issues that arise in our discussions sometimes lead to new classes or other resources. I also offer free access to the e-books of my Short Guide Series for members, where I have written up many of my findings and advice in long-form.
In 2020-21, I realized that the Studio had outgrown the initial vision. I clarified the purpose and core values of the Studio and started updating the format for live classes to provide more time for group coaching. It is the Academic Writing Studio for a reason, namely to:
support you in regularly finding the time, and protecting that time, for your writing without extending your working hours to do so. Writing is a fundamental part of your job; it belongs in your normal working hours.
We are in the process of updating and reshaping the Studio website to make it easier to find and use the resources. A Meeting With Your Writing is still at the core and offered 3 times a week to increase the chances one of those times fits with your schedule. I offer quarterly planning class, regular Office Hours for group coaching that responds to participants needs, and other live classes focused on your writing practice.
My new Annual planning class will be on June 4, open to all. Sign up here.
A further Studio members only Planning class is on June 25. Become a Studio member for access.
Once we get the website updated, I hope to have more time for creating resources and classes. I also want the Academic Writing Studio to be a place where members can cheer each other’s accomplishments, commiserate over the frustrations, and share strategies. I initially experimented with a hosted forum on the website but the technology for social connection and the myriad demands on your attention have meant that hasn’t worked out. Building asynchronous community spaces is still on the agenda though, starting with a book-review club. Watch this space!
I’ve always wanted the Studio to be accessible to a wide range of academics at various stages of career, in various types of employment (or not), and in a wide range of institutions and countries. When I realized that the value of accessibility was conflicting with my values around paying for the value of the work, I instituted a modified pay-from-the-heart pricing scheme.
The regular price is £50 per month which aligns with the value of the resources.
There is also a Pay-Less option to make the Studio accessible to those who are not in a financial position to pay the full price, or who anticipate only making use of some of the resources. The Pay-More option provides an opportunity, for those with the resources, to contribute to making the Studio accessible to a wide range of participants. You get access to the same resources and same community no matter which price you pay. And you can change your payment easily as your circumstances change.
Membership is priced low enough to facilitate giving it a try, even if you might miss a week or two; while also high enough to give you that extra nudge to come, even when it seems hard.
I hope to see you in the Studio soon…
This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been substantially updated.