Write Space, Write Place: the Power of a Writing Community
by Nathan Marquam
For a lot of the writers I work with, one of the hardest parts of writing isn’t coming up with ideas, organizing them, or even getting the words on paper– it’s finding the time to get the words on paper. It can be really difficult to set aside time to write and to protect this time from other commitments that might encroach. Additionally, if you’re already feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it can be really difficult to find the energy to get into the flow of writing. Enter the Writing Center’s Write Place/Space write-on-sites, which provides both in-person and virtual write-on-site opportunities. Now, writers can build designated writing time directly into their schedules, be supported in setting achievable goals, and connect with other writers.
The UWC has had write-on-site workshops in some form since 2018. When the pandemic hit in 2020, however, we had to think differently about how to foster community-building about and around writing. The desire for community-oriented writing support also increased as students, feeling isolated by social distancing requirements, found it different to achieve their writing goals. Writing is often framed in such an individualistic way that many students weren’t aware of how social their writing lives were until connecting with others became much more difficult. We started running virtual write-on-sites via Zoom, intentionally creating a space where writers could connect, support each other, and stay on track with their writing.
Now that face-to-face operations have resumed, we’ve started offering in-person write-on-sites as well. To differentiate between times when we meet in person and online, we call the in-person meetings Write Place and the online meetings Write Space. These names call attention to how these different modalities shape the practice of writing together– the Write Place workshops happen in the Cavanaugh location of the Writing Center, and is therefore shaped by everyone being in that room together. The Write Space workshops allow people to create a writing space from home while still connecting with their community, so the name emphasizes that the space is built through the communal practice of writing together.
Regardless of whether you come to Write Place, Write Space, or both, you don’t need to sign up in advance– just drop in and write with us! If you can’t come right at the beginning of the workshop, it’s totally okay to come in whenever you can. You can work on any kind of writing you want, whether it’s a short assignment or a longer project like a thesis or dissertation. Check our website for this semester’s schedule. If you have any questions about the Write Place/Space workshops, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.