Critique on Writers' Retreat as a Source of Motivation

Paper Type:  Literature review
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1111 Words
Date:  2022-04-07


Academic writing is an area which has not been widely researched. There are limited research studies that have been conducted to establish the challenges and experiences in this field which would be essential in improving the writing conditions of the authors of scholarly publications. This raises the need for extensive research in this area for the sake of inspiring productive writing patterns from academics. Sarah Moore, in her book "Writers Retreat for Academics: exploring and increasing the motivation to write" notes that introducing writers' retreat for academics would do a great deal of good in professional development opportunity. This essay aims at critiquing the literature by Moore on the interventions and support that needs to be accorded to academic writing.

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The topic on academic writing is of great significance to the field of research and the education sector as a whole. These academic writers contribute greatly to the circulation of knowledge through the research studies they conduct and the publications they produce; materials that are used widely in schools and further writing. With the significant contribution that academic writing has in the field of knowledge, it is prudent to find ways that improve it and makes it more productive. This can only be done by providing motivation to the writers as well as devising ways that can make the experience much easier. This is especially so for the women writers who carry a variety of responsibilities beyond their professional lives. As such, the topic is of much relevance to the growth of the academic writing field.

The research study carried out regarding the topic of Writers' retreat for academics has provided several suggestions to improve the practice. One of the suggestions is collaborative learning which recommends writing as a community-based activity rather than a solitary one. Even though collaborative writing has been proven to contribute to the effectiveness of academic writing, individual responsibility for one's writing is key for accountability. A writer should labor for the piece of work he or she is putting together such that they can account for the information written therein. Even the sources that are provided by other members in collaborative learning need to be verified by the writer before including them as part of a research study. Another way in which this assistance has been suggested is through conducting retreats for the writers.

The aim of the retreats is to create an atmosphere where the mind is separated from the environment that the person is used to which could be a hindrance to writing. The activities engaged in during the retreat are meant to clear the mind and trigger the mind into deep thinking. Retreats also provide the opportunity for extensive learning since the writers will be exposed to new environments from which they can gather information for their articles. The interaction with each other during the retreats is also helpful in exchanging information and sharing ideas. The participants are also allowed personal time to allow concentration on one's work and for putting down the materials.

The materials selected in this research study are within the context of the betterment of academic writing. The study uses resources from other authors who have aired their contribution to the topic. The contributions of these writers to this topic are in forms of suggestions emanating from findings they have had in their line of research. For instance, Grant and Knowles (2000) have contributed information on retreats for writers, providing guidelines on how it should be conducted. The retreats have been given relatively significant credit for producing excellent results. The ability to finish a piece of work results in the sense of accomplishment for the writers, a feeling that gives them the anticipation of participating in the retreats. The fact that writing provides a long-lasting impact as compared to practices such as tutorials or lectures brings enjoyment to the writers. Writing also brings out a variety of creativity in the different disciplines. Retreats provide the opportunity to achieve this by providing space for uninterrupted sessions which boost the flow of ideas. In most environments at home, many writers have the challenge of finding time for uninterrupted writing. Thus the retreats are highly valued.

The research review provides a relationship between theory and empirical research. The methodology used included speaking with writers who had participated in the retreat conducted by the University of Limerick. The theoretical perspective was that retreats provide an alternative better environment for writers and are, therefore, recommended as a means to increase the motivation to writers. The empirical research was carried out on writers from the University of Limerick, and their feedback analyzed after the retreat. The responses to the review before the retreat are both positive and negative. The positive responses were in relation to the enjoyment that writers feel upon conception and completion of an idea. Others were related to the uninterrupted writing which is possible during these retreats and which are difficult to get in other environments. The interdependence among the group members encourages the sharing of ideas and information sources which are helpful for the writers.

Some of the negative responses associated with writing include the problem of personal confidence and competence, the problems associated with starting an idea and carrying it through to completion with consistency, and the pressures of meeting deadlines whether internally and externally. There was also the challenge of the discomfort associated with the extended periods of writing. A major challenge according to the writers is the external sanction whereby someone has to credit the work done by the writers before it is approved. These concerns are raised before the retreat was undertaken. However, after the retreat, all the writers were in agreement that the environment provided by the retreat was a motivation for them and a productive experience. The commonality brought about by the fact that they pass through similar challenges acted as a motivation for them.


The existing research and the responses from the participants is evidence enough that writers' retreats are productive means to motivating writers. Other means to improve academic writing would be to boost the writers' confidence, an aspect that retreats provide. As such, academic writing should be considered as an important field that requires motivation just like any other job, and especially so because it involves brain activity which gets weary and needs to be often triggered. For example, conducting a research project on a certain disease is very involving and would require the participation of other people apart from the writer. Since the project is very involving, the brain might get crowded over time, necessitating activities that would refresh it. As such, writers' retreats are an incredible source of motivation.

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Critique on Writers' Retreat as a Source of Motivation. (2022, Apr 07). Retrieved from

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