Your writing group may want to spend some of its meeting time actually writing. Writing your responses to different kinds of writing prompts and exercises can provide your group with material to discuss in your meetings, even when no one has brought a draft for the group to read. Using writing exercises can also help you develop an effective writing process and practice writing in a relatively stress-free and productive way. Comparing your responses can help you get to know the other group members better and learn from one another in a constructive setting. Below are several writing exercises that your group might try. You could spend anywhere from five minutes to an hour on these exercises, depending on your interest and the directions your conversations take.
By writing about the writing group, the way it is working, and the policies that you have established, your group can get to know one another’s preferences better, resolve potential problems, and learn to work together more effectively.
Every writer is different, and so, too, is every writer’s writing process. Writing about and talking about your processes with one another can help you think about your own process more concretely and learn from each other’s strategies.
Instead of writing text that will become a part of a text (such as a paper or dissertation chapter), it is sometimes helpful to write about the text itself. Doing so can help you find trouble spots, solidify some of your ideas, and figure out a useful organization before you start writing the text.
Don’t pause between each set of questions—just keep writing until you have responded to all six sides of the cube. (From the Ohio State Center for the Study of Teaching and Writing website.)
Your group may want to experiment with creative writing as a way of accustoming yourselves to the regular habit of writing. For some, creative writing can be less stress-inducing than writing that must follow rigorous academic conventions. Try these starters: