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 :)
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