How do you find time for writing?

Writing is one of my top priorities but it’s often a different story putting this into action and setting aside time for writing. Writing is a challenge for me.

Putting words on paper…what am I trying to say; How do I phrase this sentence; is what I am saying good enough?; who would want to read it anyway?..….All of these thoughts and come into my head and prevent me from writing anything. The consequences of writers block are BIG, especially when I am trying to write a thesis!

So when Lynn Nygaard offered to deliver a workshop on writing for publication at DCU I jumped at the chance. I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn some techniques to support my writing,  I could move from a blank word document to pages of ideas.

With the support of the NIDL group I advertised this to others in Irish higher education and the event was really popular. Many of us in educational technology research are in the same boat, while we need to write and publish our research, time pressures often prevent us from getting to the writing phase.

I advertised the writing retreat as a day-long event: a workshop on writing techniques in the morning and followed up by shut-up-and-write sessions of 25 minutes duration in the afternoon.

Participants’ comments showed that writing is a challenge for many of us: “The workshop gave me a clearer approach to how to go about writing a paper. It was also comforting to realise that others struggle with this as well”.

The workshop “gave me some great strategies to help inform my own writing and in supporting others develop their writing skills

Some participants suggested that the event could be extended to a 2 day event. Ideas have been buzzing around my head after the retreat as it was a really positive and productive workshop. The enthusiastic feeling in the room with participants was a lot like what I experienced when working on the DIT eLearning Summer school.

Watch this space for more writing support initiatives, perhaps some shut-up-and-write events; other events to increase and enhance our digital scholarship. Most of all I would like to develop something longer, strategically designed to assist and support the writing we need to accomplish in order to publish.

Let’s get Irish higher education TEL research on the publications map 🙂

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About Muireann O'Keeffe

I am an educational developer currently working at DCU. I have a passion for researching and evaluating technology that can support and enhance learning. In the past I have taught on Masters programmes (Msc Applied elearning & Postgraduate Diploma in Third level Learning and Teaching) as well as Leadership development programmes.
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