Learnings from a Residential Writing Retreat

Staff member Samantha Likonde stands in a forest holding an umbrella

From Friday 27 to Sunday 29 October, a group of Fellows and Affiliates visited the Burn near Brechin for IASH's first writing retreat of the academic year. Despite the damage caused locally by Storm Babet, the group made it safely to the Burn for a weekend of writing, walks, board games and discussion, facilitated by former Fellow Dr Anna Pilz.

Anna has written a brilliant blogpost reflecting on the weekend's activities for the IAD4Researchers blog:

Before we departed, I asked the participants to share their learnings and what practice or approach they would like to take with them. Here are the key takeaways:

  1. Write in different spaces. New environments can bring more focus.
  2. Set modest goals. Achievable writing goals give a positive feeling of progress.
  3. Write in short bursts. You don’t always need a full day or a full week to schedule writing; progress can be made in just 90 minutes (or less).
  4. Schedule writing time. Whether it’s an afternoon, an hour every morning, or a day in the week – writing is part of researchers’ work.
  5. Use the Pomodoro method for emails. Limit the amount of time spend on emails as they are rarely urgent and the next time you ‘check in’ the issue may have well resolved itself.

We left with new experiences, new connections, and motivation for writing. What a way to launch into Academic Writing Month.

Click here to read the whole blogpost. Many thanks to Anna for running the entire weekend on our behalf!