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Faculty of Nursing takes part in Shut Up & Write Tuesdays

By Scott Strasser, October 11 2016 —

The University of Calgary Faculty of Nursing wants you to sit down, shut up and finally write that paper you’ve been procrastinating — at least for one hour every other Tuesday morning.

The Faculty of Nursing hosts Shut Up & Write Tuesday on the first and third Tuesday of every month. The one-hour writing sessions give academics a chance to come together and get work done. 

“The whole gist of it is you get your butt in the chair and actually write instead of multi-tasking or doing other things,” said Faculty of Nursing scientific writer Jill Norris, who coordinates the sessions. “It’s a way to build community for academics around writing and a way to be productive.”

The Shut Up & Write Tuesday movement started in Australia as the Twitter handle @SUWTues in 2013. The movement is now a global online initiative that sees academics from all over the world write at the same time.


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“There was so much international interest that we quickly launched [in the United Kingdom] and [in Asia] so people in other time zones could get involved,” said @SUWTues founder Siobhan O’Dwyer, who is also a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter. “As we’ve expanded, many universities have also created offline Shut Up & Write Tuesday groups, which meet face-to-face but are coordinated with our Twitter sessions.”

That means those participating at the U of C are writing at the same time as people in the UK, Australia, or other countries taking part. Participants can connect on Twitter using the #SUWTues hashtag.

Writers who take part in the sessions follow the Pomodoro technique — a time management method that involves working for 25 minutes straight, then taking a five-minute break.

“What we know from research around productivity is that workers are most productive when they work for about 50 minutes. What this is trying to do is bring that work-rest interval to writing,” Norris said.

According to Norris, Shut Up & Write Tuesday isn’t the only initiative from the Faculty of Nursing to bring writers together. She said the faculty has hosted multiple group writing sessions for both students and instructors.

“My job is to promote best practices in writing, so what I’ve done over the last three years is try and build community around writing and being productive,” she said. “There’s a bunch of new research around the benefits of writing groups and bringing people together, because it helps build accountability in your writing.”

Norris said that above all, the Shut Up & Write Tuesday sessions give academics a chance to share in the struggle of writing together. 

“[Writing] is such a solitary activity and by bringing people together, we can talk about the work we’re doing and we can find out that everyone is struggling together,” she said. “Writing isn’t easy for everybody. It’s good to be able to tell our stories about writing and come together and form that community.”

Shut Up & Write Tuesday is open to students in all faculties. The sessions take place on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 9:00 a.m. in Professional Faculties 2250. The next session is on Oct. 18.

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