Monday, April 12, 2010

Regular Write-A-Thons

I participated in a write-a-thon sponsored by Precision Editing Group last Thursday and after a fitful start was able to finish with almost 5,500 words in 4 hours. It made me realize how valuable that writing time is, sharing it with other people and knowing you're not a lone. I did two things they didn't suggest, but I found helped a heck of a lot in the process. First, I found am MP3 of a person typing. I put it on repeat and let it play while I worked so every time I would stop I'd hear that keyboard typing away and it would remind me I wasn't alone and I needed to keep going. Second, I wrote with a friend. We opened up a chat window between us and updated each other on our progress. Simple things like, "Just hit 2,000 words" or "Just finished chapter 3." Occasionally we would stop and take a few minutes and say "I'm really struggling" or "This is really fun!" Whatever we did, we just kept on writing, and it made me excited to do it again.

Rather than wait for someone else to sponsor a write-a-thon, I'm going to sponsor my own. Unfortunately at this time I don't have any prizes to motivate people to participate, but perhaps eventually, or maybe quarterly, we can do something like that. In the meantime, you'll have the pleasure of knowing you're not only working on your books, but you are not alone.

So here's what I'm going to do. On Mondays from 10 am - 2 pm, and Thursdays from 8pm - 12 am I will be on Windows live messenger. My user name is writingpal AT (insert @ symbol) and I am available for any serious writer. If you just want to chat with a writer, save that for another time and keep it clean. But if you want to write and have a pal to write with, open a chat window with me and let me know you are there and we'll write together for a few hours.

The second thing I'm going to do is post the typing MP3 in a player in my sidebar separate from my usual writing music player. That way, if you need the audible reminder that you really aren't alone, you can play that like I do. It makes it feel like someone is in the room writing with you. It really helps, trust me!

I'll keep doing this weekly, even if I'm doing it alone, but I do hope that some of you will join me now and then. I can hardly wait to meet you and write with you. If, for some reason, I am unable to be there on those particular dates, say because I'm on book tour or something, I'll let you know ahead of time, so you won't log on looking for me.

Hope y'all will join me!


Charity Bradford said...

Great idea Karen! I found that during our Nanowrimo write ins I was my most prolific as well. There is something about hearing the click clack of fingers on keys all around you that keeps you going.

I hope I can catch you some monday or thursday. Is that Mountain time?

Rebecca Irvine said...

I enjoyed participating in the event as well although I did not get as many words done as you did. I need to my kids better situated for regular writing fests.

Karen Hoover said...

Charity, yes, that is Mountain time, and it really does make a difference hearing those keys clacking away.

Rebecca, if you find there is a time that works better for you, let me know. If I can't squeeze it in at that time, I'm sure we can find somebody to partner you up with. :)

L.T. Elliot said...

Great idea, Karen! I'll totally to my best to write with you! =D

Tristi Pinkston said...

Coolness!! You know what, I think I might make a date to write with Karen every Thursday night!!

Karen Hoover said...

LT and Tristi, I'd be HONORED to have you join me! :D Oh what fun we'll have!

Cathy Witbeck said...

Great motivation, Karen. Just saying that time is writing time and sticking to it could be a good thing.

Kate said...

Just found this ... and I LOVE it! Can't do it tonight, but I think it's a great idea. I'll try for next Thursday and Mondays from 12:30 - 2:00 if I can get the boys down for naps early. :) Thanks for doing this.

Charity Bradford said...

Karen, have you had much response on this? I keep forgetting Mondays and that is when I can do it. I'm writing it down so I can join you next Monday.

Feel free to email me
charity.bradford @