CSU Writes offers communal writing sessions for productivity

Writing is an essential tool to share new research and knowledge, though putting these ideas on paper can be a daunting task. CSU Writes is making writing a priority by bringing colleagues from across Colorado State University together in a designated, communal setting. Show Up and Write Logo

Since launching in 2015, CSU Writes has connected staff, faculty, postdoc and graduate students to writing facilitation events and provided support as they embark on individual writing projects. The program offers workshops, retreats, editing groups and additional resources to inspire writers across all fields. Throughout the spring semester CSU Writes will be offering “show up & write.” sessions to encourage staff to come together and pursue projects ranging from dissertations to grant proposals. 

Writers are welcome to any of the 18 “show up & write.” sessions held each week across campus. These drop-in writing workshops are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays in 110-minute blocks. Sessions are open to the CSU community, and anyone with an interest in writing is encouraged to participate. Writers can also volunteer as proctors who facilitate sessions while working on their own projects. 

Based on Judy Bridges’ initiative of “Shut Up & Write,” each session creates a welcoming atmosphere that allows writers to build focused and productive time into their regular schedules. With the simple intention of gathering and writing together, participants have the opportunity to make the most of the semester and accomplish their writing goals. As a reflection of this commitment, writers can earn a coffee mug or pint glass after attending 20 sessions. 

“I’m asking for really smart people who are already working on their own writing projects, who may be having a difficult time scheduling in and getting those projects done, to ask what happens if we just show up?” said Kristina Quynn, director of CSU Writes and assistant professor. 

While people often turn to coffee shops, libraries and other combined-use spaces, “show up & write.” is focused exclusively on writing. Within this quiet and distraction-free setting, everyone becomes a writer and shares a dedication to the writing process. 

“When you show up and write you could be sitting alongside people who are engineers, people who are clinicians, people who are in liberal arts,” said Quynn. “It doesn’t matter what field, they all have to write, and so their primary identity is as a writer.” 

Beyond the task of completing long-term projects, “show up & write.” also emphasizes the craft and practice of writing. As writers work towards a goal and make a habit of attending writing sessions, they create the opportunity for high quality work through scheduled drafting, creating and revision time. 

“It’s not just about the product you’re putting out, it’s about the skills you’re developing as a writer,” said Quynn.