Day 1: Share an #AcWriMoment
From Helen Sword and Margy Thomas
#AcWriMoments can include fuzzy friends like Freddie the Dog and Theodora the Cat, who generously assisted in the creation of #AcWriMoments.🐾 (Screenshot by Helen Sword)
There are in our existence spots of time, That with distinct pre-eminence retain A renovating virtue, whence […] our minds Are nourished and invisibly repaired; A virtue, by which pleasure is enhanced, That penetrates, enables us to mount, When high, more high, and lifts us up when fallen.
The great-great-grandparent of #AcWriMoments is Wordsworth’s concept of spots of time. In The Prelude, Wordsworth movingly describes these experiences as precious stretches of uncounted minutes when we sink into a sense of cohesion, even sublimity, and find pieces of encouragement or insight that enable us to return to the workaday world with the courage to carry on.
Such moments are not a luxury in a world like ours. Without them, how could we keep going?
In this month-long #AcWriMoments adventure, we focus on facilitating moments rather than counting minutes for two reasons. First, this experiential approach honors the connection between process and product, a prudent strategy when you consider that the ingredients we put into our writing process are what come out as products in the end. Second, when we focus on qualitative aspects of writing, we notice important progress markers, such as clarity of purpose and connection with imagined readers, that get overlooked when we only consider our writing quantitatively.
As you’ll discover throughout this month, #AcWriMoments come in many shapes and sizes. Any moment where you cultivate connection with your academic writing—whether an individual project, your larger body of work, or the person that you are as a thinker and writer—can be an #AcWriMoment. All you have to do is pay attention, not only to the task in front of you, but also to its potential for larger meaning.
Together, these 30 #AcWriMoments add up to something SACRED:
Strategic moments yield insights about what idea you’re really trying to convey and how best to convey it.
Artisanal or crafty moments immerse you in the process of creating work that is not just true and useful, but also beautiful.
Creative or experimental moments open you up to insights you never could have planned.
Reflective moments bring insights about who you are and how you express your unique self through your work.
Embodied moments invite you to physically enact the ideas you’re trying to express, thus deepening your understanding of those ideas.
Delicious moments are, well, just that — moments to be rolled around on your tongue and savored.
Not all #AcWriMoments are identical in length, but each one is irreducible. A moment is the smallest unit of meaningful experience. And within a moment, you can find a window on eternity.
Share today’s #AcWriMoment with the many other scholars around the globe who are taking part in this 30-day adventure! Please leave a comment below to tell us which kind of #AcWriMoment you are most looking forward to cultivating this November.
#AcWriMoments is just getting started! We’ll have a fresh prompt for you every day in November. To help others discover this resource, please forward this message to friends and colleagues. If you’re reading this on Substack, would you drop us a heart and a restack too? We’re so grateful to have you here! 🙏
Helen Sword and Margy Thomas