The Writer's Den

UCLA's creative writing student group


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Summer Experiments: The Last Stand

Forgive me for the cheesy title, but I thought it was funny. Anyhoo, remember how we mentioned that we’d be blogging about our summer experiments? The time has finally come. Cue dramatic music.

Well, it was only Anna, our wonderful executive director, and Amy (aka me, I’m speaking in third person, this is weird) who had to suffer through this specific writing strategy. The strategy that we had to do for a week was: Only write while standing up. So, we did, and this was Anna’s response:

“Standing up is hard work, and I am lazy. This week, I learned that at least some of my love for writing stems from the fact that it is an activity typically performed while sitting. On the first day of the experiment, I was about to sit down to write, but then I remembered that I needed to stand and got really, really sad. After about five minutes of scribbling, I wanted a break.

Needless to say, the first experiment did not increase my writing productivity as I hoped it would. Sadface. BUT I have one important tip for those who want to try it out: find a writing surface of appropriate height. If you are bending or crouching, failure is basically guaranteed.

Happy writing, friends!”

The love for sitting is completely understandable. Personally, I like lying down while writing, but I did try out the standing. I may have cheated a little by leaning against the wall, or propping my leg on a couch to steady myself, but oh well. I agree that it was more tiring to write while standing. However, in a way, it was somewhat motivating for me. I had to put in more energy to hold myself up, so I wasn’t as distracted by messages and the internet. I would’ve had to stand longer if I’d procrastinated on writing, which would’ve been more unwanted effort. So, this method somewhat increased my productivity.

As a bonus, I attempted to beg my good friend, Sally, to join in on this experiment, and she told me that she had actually tried writing while standing up before. She immediately said that it was “tiring” and “not a good strategy.” When I asked her to clarify, she revised her statement. She was at her parents’ restaurant and had been sitting for a while, so she decided to stand by the counter while she wrote. The method was fine, she thought, but she felt that “it’s easier to lose focus after a while” and that “it’s harder to keep good handwriting.”

So it sounds like, based on this small sample size, the general consensus is that writing while standing is tiring. However, it may encourage some of you to stay focused if this strategy was applied for a short period of time.

If any of you guys try this out, feel free to leave a comment below! And send us more writing strategies our way at thewritersden@ucla.edu. We’ll be posting the next writing strategy soon, so stay tuned!


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The Writer’s Den: Summer Edition 2015

Hey all! Summer Session C (8/4-9/6) is almost upon us. Aside from internally crying while dragging our bodies to class, we’re super excited to spend the summer with you guys!

Meetings start as soon as this upcoming Tuesday, August 4th at 7pm in Kerckhoff A201A. And we’ll probably go get boba afterward, because caffeine. There will be a lot more of these chill hangouts to look forward to, including a performance at the improv space in Westwood and a trip to the beach! We’ve got lots more socials in mind, some of which may be impulsive (midnight food run, anyone?) But, hey, spontaneity is always fun, and we’ll make sure to send an email beforehand to let you know about these excursions.

Email us at thewritersden@ucla.edu if you have any ideas for writing activities, or ideas for outings. We look forward to seeing you all!


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Summer Experiments

Hey party people, hope that your summer’s going well!

We’ve got an exciting project coming up, in the form of what we’d like to call writing experiments. While the fancy italics might make the term sound tall, dark and mysterious, the concept is quite simple. Every few weeks, we’ll have a new writing strategy posted on the blog for anyone to try out. Our purpose is to see how effective these techniques may be, and how much of a fool we, the participants, can make of ourselves.

These strategies may range from something as simple as writing in bed, to writing while intoxicated (not that we’re advocating that; it’s The Writer’s Den, not The Writer’s Tavern).

You might want to sit down to prepare for this next bit.

This time, our writing strategy will be…

Only write while standing up.

Thrilling, we know. But hey, if you wanna join in on the fun, or if you have a writing strategy you’d like to suggest, shoot us an email! You can reach us at thewritersden@ucla.edu

In case you have yet to sign up for our summer 2015 mailing list, feel free to do so here if you’re interested.

Thanks guys, and have a wonderful day!