Developing the Professional: Unpacking Graduate Student Resources #4

Written by Teresa Blumenthal, Associate Editor for Spanish and Portuguese Review.

Quick Facts

Resource Type: Summer Productivity & Writing Groups

For the majority of graduate students, the spring semester is coming to a close and summer is fast approaching. Many graduate students among other researchers in academia use the summer not only as a time to relax and refuel, but also as a time to get work done that sometimes isn’t possible during the busy semester. The goal of this post is to provide writing and work-promoting groups for graduate students in Spanish and Portuguese seeking a community during the summer and into the next academic year. 

100 Days of Writing Slack Page: This is a community that engages with all stages of the writing process and makes space for connecting with others even within a productivity-focused group. For example, there are sub channels within the community to co-write every day for good accountability in the writing process. For example, if writers face a submission rejection, there’s a space to vent frustration and receive support. For accountability, members can voice weekly goals on a specific sub channel. I only mention a few here, but there are so many great sub channels (cowriting, daily goals, and gratitude are just a few!) within this community! 

Get a life PhD Blog: This blog is a wealth of information that I first learned about in Wendy Laura Belcher’s writing workbook that I covered in the first Unpacking series post! This blog is all about being a PhD while also managing life as a human. Each year, the blog creator Tanya Golash-Boza hosts a Creative Connections Retreat to facilitate academic productivity while finding time to refuel in the process. If unable to attend the retreat there are several posts about writing and staying productive during the summer such as keeping track of your time and staying productive over the summer

Writers Unite Facebook Group: The goal of this Facebook group is to cultivate a community during the writing process. This group is open to all writers, and can be a great place to engage with different writers who are also seeking the discipline of writing and being part of the writing process. One of the most important things we can do as writers is to be better connected to and grow in our process of productivity.  

Writers Helping Writers: This is a website to help and guide authors through the writing and publication process. Similar to the Writers Unite Facebook Group, this resource is not confined to guidance for only academic writing. A creative writer could use this resource to grow their skills and get involved in a new community. If someone is seeking a strictly ‘academic’ mindset, I still recommend checking out the Struggling with (and Regaining) Confidence in Your Writing post with great guidance and resources with the difficult process of writing as well as the Writer Burnout post

Graduate students are working to grow in several facets of academia such as teaching, developing projects, researching, serving the community- and sometimes all while taking courses! Many graduate students use the summer as a time to write, but are challenged by the task of making research and writing a daily discipline. Being part of writing communities not only is a practical method for accountability and feedback practices, but membership in the writing community can also be a humanizing practice to connect with writers and gain awareness of  common struggles and strategies as well. 

Spanish and Portuguese Review Relevance

SPR publishes in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, and many of our authors are often writing in their second or third language. Students seeking to write in their non-dominant language or work on their submission for SPR can utilize these resources to best take part in the publication process. For students reading this who are writing in their non-dominant language, there are also resources that can be of great importance in the writing and development/editing process. For example, consider checking out What advice do you have for authors writing in their second (or third, etc.) language?, SPR Presents Dr. John Maddox “From Classes to Publication: What Worked For Me”, and SPR Q&A: Editorial Decisions Explained.

Additionally, summertime is often a time when authors are responding to reviewer feedback before resubmitting a manuscript. Students working on responding to the SPR reviewer feedback may find addressing reviewer comments and How to respond to reviewer comments – the CALM way helpful. 

Connecting with a writing community, leveraging resources for writing in a second or third language, or responding to feedback on an accepted manuscript may be just what this summer writing project entails!

Personal Highlights

Similar to many graduate students, there can be a lot of pressure to use “off” time between semesters to be productive. I highly recommend joining a writing community for several reasons: 1) being accountable to get something done during the summer; 2) remembering that there are other people in the grind of getting work done and connecting with those people; 3) spending my time productively so I can rest and recharge without feeling like work is hanging over me.  

Comment below on how you refuel and recharge over the summer and some of your productivity plans!

Teresa Blumenthal is a PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests include Heritage Spanish, language attitudes, educational motivation, Spanish in the U.S., and language acquisition. She is particularly interested in Spanish spoken in Texas, and the language attitudes related to Spanish in Texas.

Clip art image promoting "Developing the Professional: Unpacking Graduate Student Resources": Summer Productivity & Writing Groups, by Teresa Blumenthal

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