The Community You Have, The Community You Need: Building an Online Accountability Group

An interesting piece on creating a support group for writing – this time doing it by correspondence rather than face-to-face meetings.

The Accidental Philologist


(This is based on a presentation I gave to a working group on graduate student writing support at the university where I did my doctorate. Another blog post arising from the discussion was written by my friend Michael and is found here. I promise that the reasons why there was a beer-drinking baby goat at my post-defense party will become clear as you read.)

For the past two years, two of my graduate school colleagues and I have exchanged daily accountability emails. Sometimes the word “daily” gets a gasp, but yes: every day (weekends are optional). In the morning, one person starts an email conversation laying out our goals and commitments for the day, and the other two chime in as they start their own work. Over the course of the day, as necessary, someone might shoot out another message in the chain, whether a practical question (“do…

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