Writing in virtual co-working spaces helps boost your motivation and focus — and as a result, your writing output and productivity. You can self-organize virtual co-writing sessions with your peers, use an established virtual co-working platform — or join the Writing Scientist community for a monthly co-writing session to kickstart your writing project.
Before the pandemic hit there were quite some things I couldn’t imagine doing online. Like joining (and enjoying!) a virtual dance party.
At first it seemed absurd: dancing alone in my room, watching two dozens of other people dance on my screen — what’s the point of that? Why not simply dance on my own when we can’t meet in person?
But I had to realize that sharing a dance online is different than dancing alone. Connection is possible even through the tiny Zoom squares. We don’t need to stand next to each other to feel each other’s presence.
And the same goes for co-working. We gather together to work because then we focus better and procrastinate less. It’s partly peer pressure and partly inspiration: when everyone around you is working, the easiest thing to do is to work as well.
That’s why students go study to libraries and freelancers patronize co-working places.
At first sight virtual co-working might sound as absurd as a virtual dance party. But actually it’s pretty cool — maybe even better than the in-person original as there are no disturbances through noise and movement of people around you.
Virtual co-working is ideal for writing
Since the beginning of the pandemic I have moved my writing retreats online and launched the Write Up Your Paper online course where participants wrote the whole draft of their paper in Zoom sessions — in two weeks. And it worked really well!
This is what one participant noted after the drafting weeks:
Drafting in a [virtual] group gives you the impression of being in a classroom and this motivates you to write and to respect the timing. It forces you to respect the appointment and to give more importance to the task of writing (that very often comes after the other things to do).
Monthly virtual co-writing with Writing Scientist
Since I have also enjoyed (and benefited from) these sessions, I decided to offer regular (monthly) virtual co-writing sessions for the Writing Scientist community — for free! No registration required, simply join the Newsletter* to receive the reminder about the next date and the Zoom link:
*Your Newsletter comes 1-3x per month with a fresh dose of writing stimulation and a possibility to ask questions and suggest topics for new articles. No spam. Unsubscribe anytime. More details in the data protection policy.
Next sessions take place on Monday, August 2 and August 30, from 9 AM to 1 PM CEST (Central European Summer Time, UTC+2). Newsletter readers will get an email with the Zoom link one hour prior to the start of the session.
09:00 – 09:15 Warm-up round with goal setting and freewriting
09:15 – 10:30 Writing
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 – 12:30 Writing
12:30 – 13:00 Q&A round
That’s right — you also get a chance to ask me questions and get help with your writing struggles!
Not sure whether such a co-writing session would be useful for you? This is how some participants describe their experience:
I enjoyed this co-writing session a lot. I am typically bad at taking breaks so it was really helpful to have “an alarm” reminding you of a break. Also, having other people around even though only virtually really helped me to concentrate and I managed to write 1.5 pages during the session. Q&A session was also very good. We shared our progress and experience. I will definitely try to make time to join next sessions.
Sharing a writing session, I feel like there is someone around with me while I’m studying. It is good for encouragement. I used to study, write, and read in my lab. So I find the co-writing very helpful.
Despite being a researcher and writer for twenty years, this was a groundbreaking session for me! I tried various methods to persuade myself to start to work on revisions of my book, and this session was the first time I stopped planning for it and actually did it! I wrote almost three pages. Yes, they will need more attention later, but hey, it was from zero to three pages in half a day, and that really feels like a miracle. Thank you!