Writing retreats can make you a happier and more productive research writer
Researchers at all stages of their careers, from PhD students to senior professors, can struggle with writing. A writing retreat can be part of the answer to these writing struggles. In our experience, when colleagues from a research team attend a well-designed writing retreat, they become more motivated, inspired and productive.
Writing retreats should take place away from the office and can run for one or several days.
A well-designed retreat gives you time to write, and the tools you need to get the most out of that time. The retreat should also improve your writing process overall to help you become a more effective research writer in your daily work.
When you’ve been on a writing retreat, you should come away saying “I learned a lot AND got writing done, which is just perfect” and “Thanks for an amazing writing retreat! It was both super productive and inspiring!” – that is exactly what participants on our retreats have said.
While the key element to all writing retreats is dedicated writing sessions, a retreat hosted by GlobalDenmark provides a few additional elements to help make sure you leave the retreat a stronger and better-structured writer.
Structured, facilitated time
Retreats work well when the day is organised into slots for planning, writing, receiving feedback, replanning and rewriting. It’s also important that participants have time to relax and reflect too – that’s part of the writing process! To help everything run smoothly, it’s a good idea to have a facilitator who can motivate, coach and keep people on track with their writing. When GlobalDenmark’s writing coaches facilitate workshops and retreats, we advise and coach researchers on their writing throughout each day (but not during dedicated writing sessions).
Tools for writing
Our retreats introduce participants to tools that enhance their writing process. Our programmes include goal-setting sessions and what we call ‘social, deep-writing sessions’ – at least 45 minutes allotted to concentrating on writing while sitting together with other dedicated writers.
Beyond that and depending on the needs and experience of the participants, our programmes include tool-based sessions on such things as feedback techniques, writing style, storyboarding, dealing with rebuttals (revise & resubmits), or overcoming writer’s block. Not only will these sessions help increase your output during the retreat, they will provide you with writing practices you can integrate into your daily work.
Come prepared – just write!
This final element rests on the participants themselves. Walking away from a writing retreat with a sense of accomplishment means arriving at it well-prepared.
Participants should set themselves clear goals for a writing project they will work on at the retreat. And we always advise participants to do as much preparation as possible before the retreat – for example, background reading, data collection or collecting references. This will give you more time to just write – one of our key mottos!