For the past number of years (maybe 3) our office has helped facilitate faculty writing groups.
Here’s the timeline of how that happened:
- 2-3 people asked our office for writing help.
- More people came out of the wood work, I decided I could take on 5.
- The mighty goddess still did not see fit to bless me with more hands, so in a fit of insanity I turned over one of the writing texts I used to refer people to, and contacted the author and found out that she would come and run a seminar at our university.
- She did, and told people that they would be smart to start writing circles.
- I kissed this woman’s feet until she and I were both uncomfortable.
So, these writing circles have existed and flourished and been very successful. I rarely attend their meetings, they are self-sustaining although sometimes I am anonymously contacted to go in and wrangle things a bit. But I was quite surprised when the de facto leader of one group asked: “will your office buy us a celebratory cake if we publish an article?”
I was even more surprised when I mentioned this to a second group who quickly started to plan what cakes they would order.
The thing is, we so rarely congratulate academics because they are supposed to do what they are doing. So when do we congratulate them? Honestly? Well, never.
It’s a weird environment. An environment that could use cake.