Maybe you’ve noticed CSU Writes doesn’t Tweet, isn’t posting on Facebook, and never ‘grams our lunch.


You won’t find CSU Writes posting updates or program announcements to social media for simple reasons: It would be counter-productive and against our program purpose. CSU Writes provides “distraction-free,” deep-focus, accountable writing spaces to support our research and scholarly writing productivity. To post our updates to social media would undermine the program’s focus, as well as your own.


A body of research on social media shows that when we are tempted with the distraction of scrolling on these platforms, we often sacrifice our capacity for deep work. When a large part of writing is, well, sitting down or settling in and putting pen to paper or fingers to keys, posting to and scrolling through media feeds is counter to our primary research or scholarly goals.


Cal Newport, associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, has spent more than a decade thinking and writing about knowledge work in a digital world and economy. Newport’s work notes that most of the digital communication “pings” and “dings” that so many of us accept as necessary to our daily life are counterproductive–literally, we produce poorer quality and less ample work than we would if we disconnected from social media and email. In fact, we now know that social media platforms and the devices on which we use them were designed to be as engaging (in other words ,“distracting”) as possible.


In Deep Work, Newport focuses extensively on the natural mismatch between being productive and the draw of social media. Newport’s work reminds us that we write best when we can be focused—deeply—and become immersed in our work. Good research is good writing. And, good writing requires deep work.


Newport’s other books, A World Without Email, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, and Digital Minimalism, also attend to best practices for productive knowledge workers.


So, if we want to help you become the best writer you can, which, again, inevitably involves sitting down and writing, at CSU Writes, we had to conclude that it would be hypocritical if we took your time and attention away from your writing to “ping” you about an upcoming workshop or retreat.


We’d like to humbly pose a question as we close this newsletter piece…is your attention to social media drawing your attention away from your writing?


If yes, CSU Writes is here to help redirect your attention. While you are here, peruse the upcoming retreat schedule and sign up for an intensive distraction-free writing experience, or reach out to proctor show up & write., which provides writers with a distraction-free virtual writing space daily. Or reach out for a consultation and conversation, we’d love to talk with you about your deep-work projects. Write (don’t scroll) on!