Starting a writing accountability group

A Writing Accountability Group (WAG) is generally group is a small group of individuals who meet weekly (for about 10 weeks) for 1 hour to write. WAGs exist in many forms but generally consist of 4-8 individuals who are committed to meeting and writing on a consistent basis.

The primary goal of any WAG is that the group maintains the time for writing.

The aim is that at the end of the 10-week block, WAG members would have developed a consistent writing practice. Individuals set their own weekly goals and WAG members provide support towards those goals.

To learn more about WAGs, visit the Office of Faculty Development at the John’s Hopkin’s School of Medicine or WAG Your Work.

The structure of a WAG

The process for a WAG is generally similar from week to week.

In the first 5-10 minutes, individuals complete a shared document with their writing goals. WAG members can also verbally share these goals during this time, including any hiccups in accomplishing their writing goals during the previous week.

Actual writing time should be between 30-40 minutes (for a one hour session). Writing might include anything from brainstorming, developing a figure, compiling a bibliography to outline or drafting text. It is important that individuals set their own goals for their writing projects.

The final 10 or so minutes should be used to discuss if the day’s writing goal for the WAG session was met and plans to continue to write until the next WAG meeting.

To hold WAG members accountable to their goals, group members commit to showing up for each WAG, which is possible, if your writing time is protected on your calendar.

During sessions, WAG members may discuss progress and offer encouragement and strategies towards meeting weekly goals.

MyStudentHq online writing accountability group

I have implemented an online WAG. It is a general workspace, with features that can help with accountability. You do not need an account to sign up. You’ll only be asked to add your name so that we know who has joined each session.

Learn more about the MyStudentHq online writing accountability group and join us with this link. We are looking forward to writing with you!


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