In fall of 2020, I joined the CSU Writes team to intern as the lead support on the Writing Accountability for Research Projects (WARP) program. Actually, I didn’t know anything about WARP until I interviewed and was selected as a CSU Writes intern. I am the fourth WARPer intern, and, as with those who held this position before me, I have been sworn to secrecy about what participating researcher share about their weekly research goals and writing success behind-the-scenes. But here are some highlights of CSU Writes’ best kept secret I can share with you about WARP.

The WARP package is currently only available to upper-level writers such as post-docs, staff scientists, and faculty members. It promotes consistent writing in concert with short and long-term goals. The package is typically structured at semester-lengths and begins with the identification of semester-long writing goals. Participants receive an email at the beginning of each week that contains a writing tip, and inquired about the writer’s goals for that week, which are then logged. At the end of the week that writer is asked if they accomplished their designated goals.

This year marked an especially difficult time to devote to writing as many faculty experienced additional workloads in response to pandemic-related university changes. Jaclyn Stephens, an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, says, “Given all the pandemic-related disruptions to both research and teaching, I didn’t feel that I had made much research progress this semester. However, at the end of the semester, WARP reminded me of the goals I had set in August, and I was happily surprised to see how many I had met.”

CSU Writes facilitates the development of sustainable writing practices by cultivating writing efforts. From guest speakers and panels, to weekly drop-in writing sessions and regular writing group gatherings, CSU Writes maintains a variety of approaches to foster a positive and effective writing culture. As Dr. John Pippen, Assistant Professor of Music and “show up & write.” proctor puts it, “I don’t worry about publishing. I just show up and write.”

In addition to providing writing tips catered to maneuvering the changes this year brought, WARP assessed the goal-completion of each participant by calculating the percentage of completed goals according to the number of goals set. Doing so helped the writers reflect on their goal setting/accomplishing practices. The WARP program will continue to log goal related information and relay this data back to participants. We hope to provide additional details such as lull periods in the semester so writers can identify when in the semester writing progress is most affected. In 2022, WARP will extend beyond the individual package options and pilot team support as well. In scientific and scholarly projects, writing is often done collaboratively; therefore, we expect WARP to be especially beneficial in a setting where group goals are set and evaluated on a weekly basis.

CSU Writes will continue to evolve to best suit the needs of professional CSU writers, whether that means mending in response to a pandemic, or simply developing new programs and expanding current programs to provide the best support. No matter if your field is English literary studies, or computational physics, writing is a necessity. Rather than writing be a component of our jobs that we dread and put off until the final minute, what if writing was the professional task we were most excited about?

As the WARP lead support, I am excited to help you share with the world your accomplishments in the coming year!