The third member of our writing group defended today. Congrats Dr. Donna! That leaves 2 of us left to finish, and we don’t even have our proposals done yet.
I have to admit that this writing group was a bit weird – most form out of a group who are close to the same point in their programs, while we formed in a more ad hoc manner – One person had collected their data but was having trouble writing, one was lost as to how to proceed, one was on track (the organizer of course, and the first to finish) and the other two of us were still taking classes when we started.
The result has been that in some ways it has been very successful (moral support) an in other ways it hasn’t (we each tend to retreat when doing the bulk of our writing).
I suspect that starting a writing group early in a graduate career with a group at the same point in their career would be better; you could work through getting the flow of writing together while it is class assignments and such, so that by the time the dissertation comes along the group is working well and productively.
Having said that, I still feel there has been value in this group, if only in a group to commiserate with. The PhD experience is a strange and often lonely one that helps to share.