Earlier last semester, Dr. Meredith Drake Reitan from the Graduate School at USC established a writing group for female graduate students. With dedicated meeting times every other week across both campuses – UPC and HSC, she would host past “boot campers” (students that went through their external fellowship boot camp) in comfortable rooms for some valuable quiet time.
Although I have only been able to make it once, I found the semi-structured writing time to be incredibly effective. Each session, everyone gets a chance to introduce herself and chat for the first 10 minutes, write for the next 50, take a snack break for 10, and the write again for the remaining 50.
During this time, I caught up on my qualifying document as well as a research paper in preparation. It was very helpful to have this time specifically blocked off for that since I usually get distracted with emails, projects, and other students in my lab. It was also extremely encouraging to meet other women with similar experiences to my own (being one of very few female PhD students in my program).
If you’re interested in joining in, don’t hesitate to contact the Graduate School! The meeting times have been scheduled for the rest of the semester, so make sure to block off these times soon!! See you there.