The Glasgow Set: An Emerging Writer’s Circle #PedagooGlasgow

As promised, just blogging my workshop outline from today at #PedagooGlasgow – thanks to all those who attended for making it a great session! 👍👌👏

Writing Workshop: A Goal-Orientated Approach

Dr Carol Webb
Twitter: @cazzwebbo

Assumption: you want to write, but might be getting stuck getting started

Workshop objectives: develop personal meaning & motivation for writing and set some personal goals

A writers’ circle approach

“The Bloomsbury Group—or Bloomsbury Set—was an influential group of associated English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists,[1] the best known members of which included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E. M. Forster and Lytton Strachey. This loose collective of friends and relatives lived, worked or studied together near Bloomsbury, London, during the first half of the 20th century. According to Ian Ousby, “although its members denied being a group in any formal sense, they were united by an abiding belief in the importance of the arts”.[2] Their works and outlook deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, criticism, and economics as well as modern attitudes towards feminism, pacifism, and sexuality.[3]”

The Bloomsbury Set: “Lived in squares, wrote in circles, and loved in triangles”

Today: The Glasgow Set?

who, what, why, what, what, how, when, where….?
An emerging story? ☺
Perhaps… “united by an abiding belief in the importance of teaching, research and writing”.
Perhaps… “Their works and outlook deeply influenced pedagogic theory, practice, policy, and educational reform as well as modern attitudes towards schools, students and teachers” ???

a) Who are you? Identity as a writer…
• Are you writing as Miss Smith the teacher, the researcher, the mother, the explorer, the secret belly-dancer or something/someone else?
• Mr Jones the NQT, the runner, the fly-fishing expert, or enthusiast in working memory?
• “Come out”… Discuss and share with your group

b) What do you want to write about?
• Teaching, research, parenting, adventures, belly-dancing, fly-fishing, being an NQT, your interest in working memory or something else?
• Discuss and share with your group

c) Why do you want to write about these things?
• Why write at all? Brainstorm reasons for writing…

d) What is your motivation and what does this mean to you?
• If motivation and meaning are missing, can you create motivation and meaning?
• What rewards might you give yourself for writing?
• How will it feel to you having written something?

e) What can you write about?
• Idea brainstorming… nothing is a wrong answer in brainstorming
• If writing about teaching/research: your own practice? Experiences? The students? Behaviour? Learning? Your subject area? Challenges and overcoming them? Latest developments in pedagogy? Latest developments in technology? Contributing new ideas and feeding back to pedagogic practice in your field? Validating the previous claims of others made in research? Experimenting with new ideas? Something else?
• If you had to go and write something now, what would it be about? Share thoughts and ideas

f) How can you write about all this?
• Use of laptops? iPads? iPhones? PC? On a flipchart constantly kept open? Personal notebooks and reflective diaries? On slate? With chalk?
• Blogs? Magazine articles? Conference papers? Journal papers? Books? Essays? Dissertations and theses? Other ideas?
• Discuss pro’s, con’s, the processes of each and personal preferences.

g) When is the best time for you to write?
• At work/home? In the morning? Afternoon? Weekend? What time? Be precise…
• Discuss your optimal times for taking time out to write
• How can you reclaim time that something else less worthy is taking up?
• How can you minimise distractions?

h) Where is the best place for you to write?
• On holiday? Writer’s retreat? Fitting it in to a normal routine in your working day? In bed? In the bath? In your favourite armchair? In your kid’s tree-house? On a park bench? In a secret cupboard behind the cleaner’s bucket and mop?
• Discuss the best places to get undisrupted you-time

i) Final task for personal reflection:
• Make a promise to yourself to write something, in a certain place, at a certain time, using a particular method, on a certain topic, for a particular genre, this week. Give yourself a deadline.
• Write this promise down to yourself now, and then do it.
• Then tweet me @cazzwebbo by the end of this week to share what you did, where, when and how
• Get the twitter handles of the others in your group and tweet them to tell them that you fulfilled your promise to yourself as well

j) Follow up task:
• After you have done i) above, share with your tweet group on twitter your next writing goals using the hashtag #TwitWrit and keep each other informed what you have done and when. Have fun in your writing circle!

Feel free to use the comment space below to continue discussion…

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