Shut Up & Write

Shut Up & Write will be returning in 2018.

Stay tuned for announcements in January!

GSA’s Shut Up & Write sessions are part of a worldwide movement. They’re regular, structured social writing sessions, designed to help beat research student isolation while helping you beat procrastination.

Sessions are free for students and academics at the University of Melbourne.

Shut Up & Write sessions use the Pomodoro Technique.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

A full pomodoro cycle lasts for about 2 hours, comprising four sets of sprints and breaks. Using the Pomodoro Technique you will almost always find you make much more progress, even though it’s the same amount of time.

An Italian – Francesco Cirillo – came up with the idea in the late 80s and needed to keep track of his 25-minute sprints. The nearest thing to hand was a kitchen timer shaped like a tomato (pomodoro in Italian). Now the word is synonymous with 25-minute productivity bursts.

Prepare for Shut Up & Write

  • Shut Up and Write sessions are not about creating the perfect final version of your work; they’re intended to get the words out onto the page, which you can edit and polish later.
  • Trust that you know enough about your topic, and try not to get caught up in finding the ideal phrase or sentence.
  • Katherine Firth, the Head of Academic Programs at Trinity College, has more tips on generative writing and first drafts.

Five steps to writing

  1. Decide what you want to work on during the session
  2. Make some notes (or dot points) to help guide you. Having a plan, however rough, can keep you on track.
  3. Get organised: Organise your notes! The Cornell Method is a great way to do this, but any system is fine as long as it works for you.
  4. Have your references and data analysis results ready, but don’t worry if you don’t have every detail: you can go back and finalise things in a later draft.
  5. Write!