Shut Up and Write! Cambridge

cambridge shut up and write

Today has been a very writing-centric kind of day. ThinkLab has been teaming up with the folks behind the international Shut Up and Write! community to host a couple of events on November 6, 2023.

Our first session has been at Wolfson College, on a pleasant autumnal morning:

The idea to experiment with SUAW sessions came from our buddy The Thesis Whisperer, during her visit to Cambridge and which she covers in this helpful post: “Shut Up and Write!

Through The ThinkLab, we’ve been hosting regular academic SUAW sessions for anyone that would like to join us. If anyone has a location at a College, library, or department, please do get in touch!

We’ve held a couple of sessions so far this term at Hughes Hall, Cambridge. They also have a very nice cat there:

 

Personally, I love the idea of making writing into more of a community activity. Writing oftentimes involves a lot of time by yourself and spending times in quiet spaces. And sometimes (a lot of times) I feel like there are more pressing work tasks to take care of. But that’s the thing, isn’t it? The hardest part is just showing up and carving out dedicated time in our very busy schedules to write in uninterrupted sessions. And I write all of this saying that for the better part of a decade I resisted the idea of writing communities because I felt that I worked better alone. And sometimes that might very much be true, but that little bit of social pressure and accountability can be a great productivity boost.

In the sessions that we’ve run, we’ve been using the Pomodoro technique to alternate focused writing sprints and then breaks.

In my online course with edX, Digital Wellbeing and Productivity, I talk about our relationship to time and work. One of my favorite examples is Parkinson’s Law, which discusses the phenomenon that we might all be familiar with in some shape or form — that work tends to expand into the amount of time that we have available. Sometimes, time constraints and a little bit of pressure can help us with our productivity:

 

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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

tyler shores cambridge

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