Monday, October 29, 2012

Twitter and NaNoWriMo

NaNo is great! I mean, what author doesn't like an entire month dedicated to Literary Abandon? But it's easy to get burnt out as well.

So how do I keep my Spirits up for NaNo? Twitter of course!

What does Twitter have to do with NaNo, lots of things. It's come to my attention these past few months that lots of writers aren't aware of writing sprints.

A writing sprint is when writers get together, time themselves, and write as much as they can in that time frame. It gets the blood pumping, and the word count soaring.

Before I tell you my favorite Hashtags to sprint in, I'll explain how to use twitter to this end.

You're going to need Tweet Deck, it's a desktop program that looks like this -



See how there are four columns with different content on each? Well, each column is a search I've done for a different Hashtag (anything with a # in front.) I treat each column like a chat room, watching what people say and responding. You can add more columns and make Tweet Deck bigger, or you can just scroll across the bottom to see more of what you've searched.

Alright, moving on to my favorite places to do writing sprints -

1. #wordwars - In #wordwars you get a partner and go head to head for a specified amount of time. The object is to beat your partner in word count by the end of the time limit.

2. #wordmongering - I love this one for it's consistency. Every hour at the top of the hour (8:00, or 9:00 for example) people gather for a 30min sprint and come back to report words counts and cheer each other on. There's no negativity allowed in this hashtag, everyone is a winner.

3. #1k1hr - This one was developed with the idea of writing 1,000 words a day. If you sprint, it shouldn't take you more than an hour. The only problem I have with this one is that you have to find other friends to sprint that 1 hour with you. Sometimes I've gone into this hashtag asking if I can join a sprint and gotten no response (which to me is the same as a 'no thank you') but that's only happened outside of NaNo. During NaNo anyone was willing to sprint with anyone who wanted to join in on the fun.

4. #writeordie - This one isn't really a chat room for sprints like the others. Write or Die is a web app that allows you to pick a time and a word count goal. Depending on the level of difficulty you choose, it can do anything from making annoying sounds and flashing the screen, to deleting your words if you stop typing. It's good for staying off the internet, and when you combine with other twitter hashtags it can be super effective. You don't have to buy the software,  just fill in the box that looks like this -


Lastly, this one has nothing to do with Twitter, but there's always a chat going on at iwrite. If you want to sprint with the fun people there, that works too!

Hope this helps you all achieve those word counts you've been searching for!

P. S. My NaNo username is J. A. Bennett if you want to buddy up :)

31 comments:

Kyra Lennon said...

Thanks for the tips! I will add you as a buddy now :D

Nick Wilford said...

Thanks for the great tips, I had no idea about any of this stuff! (Being new to NaNo and very green with Twitter). I'll add you as a buddy. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I would come in dead last for all of those! I'm such a slow writer...

Anonymous said...

Good lessons in hashtags. The thought of writing under a time restraint makes me feel like I'm under water. I'm skipping NaNo but am sending out the best of vibes for everyone who is!

L.G.Smith said...

I don't NaNo, but I do see lots of people on Twitter challenging each other to a sprint. Seems like a great way to keep each other motivated. Kind of lights a little fire under me, too, to see so many people writing so much. :)

Elisabeth Kauffman said...

Yes! Good strategy with TweetDeck. I was on Twitter last year, but TweetDeck is much more organized! Also, I love Write or Die. Great program... great motivational tool.

I'm going to make you my writing buddy right now! @fairbetty (on Twitter, too). See you in November!

Steph Sessa said...

This sounds like a great strategy and great motivation! I'll def have to try it some time.

ilima said...

What a great idea. I've never done a writing sprint before.

M.J. Fifield said...

I did word sprints with a friend of mine during last year's NaNoWriMo. She won pretty much every time but I still got a little closer to that 50k goal.

Konstanz Silverbow said...

So helpful! Thank you!

Konstanz Silverbow
nothoughts2small.blogspot.com

prerna pickett said...

great tips. I'll be using them in a couple of days!

Pk Hrezo said...

It's so much fun to write when you share it with others around the globe. Twitter is awesome that way. And for just about anything else. I love watching the Oscars with Twitter and everyone commenting along the way. SO fun.

I was scrolling thru your older posts and wow that Katy Perry song really nails the feeling doesn't it?? Sorry to hear about the rejection. It always stings. I try to remember how far I've come, as well as the fact not everyone will get my stories. That's why so many writers have foraged thru to make self-pub an option.

Rena said...

Oh, these ones are great! Also, have you seen WrittenKitten? It's good too (but you have to save out all the time, otherwise you risk losing data if your browser crashes).

Samantha May said...

I've just started doing my own 30 minute writing sprints. I think I get more done in the sprints than if I set aside two hours to write :P

Good luck with NaNo!!

Jeff Hargett said...

I'm not officially participating, but am cheering (loudly) from the sidelines. Like Alex, I'm more tortoise than hare when it comes to writing.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I can't often sprint - the words that come out are so much crap that I hate myself after. However, I do push - just take a little longer to do it.

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

I wish I'd known about Tweet Deck when I had wifi, that would have saved me a lot of headaches! Ugh.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I have a horrible feeling that if I go anywhere near Twitter while I'm NaNo-ing I'll forget I was writing at all. For me, the best way to get the words down is to turn off the internet!

Lauren said...

I've heard of "Write or Die" before, just haven't used it. I might have to use it during NaNoWriMo this year. I'm your "writing buddy" now. :)

Anonymous said...

Look at you all organized. I think we're already buddies on NaNo.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm not participating in Nano, but I sort of admire those who are. I'd never have the wherewithal to keep track of words so exactly and force myself to write a certain number of words in a day or hour.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I participated in one sprint on Twitter last year. Tweet Deck I didn't have at the time, so it was cumbersome. But sprinting somewhere is so helpful!

Jenny S. Morris said...

I still have never downloaded Tweetdeck. I keep meaning to. But I mainly check Twitter on my phone.

Sounds like some great NaNo tips. Have fun!

Hope Roberson said...

I've heard of a word sprint but never wanted to ask :) Thanks for explaining and good luck with nano!

Krista McLaughlin said...

I added you as a buddy! I can't wait to cheer you on!

I just bookmarked "Write or Die" and I have to say that it is intense and I hate it, but I love it. :) It is definitely going to keep me motivated! :)

michelle said...

Good luck with NaNoWriMo!
I don't think nano is for me since I'm a very slow writer...

Julie Daines said...

Great ideas. I've never heard of some of these hashtags so I'll have to check them out during the next month of NaNo!

Cassie Mae said...

I'm so twitter challenged, lol. Maybe this'll help me overcome that :)

Demitria said...

Great tips :)




New follower..http://demitrialunetta.blogspot.com/

Anthony Dutson said...

Sweet! I've always wanted to know more about sprinting but was afraid to ask. Thanks for the post! ;)

I love Write or Die, but I'll definitely be playing with sprinting during Nano.

Kelley Lynn said...

This. Is. Amazing. Wow.

So much I need to learn about Twitter... haha