It's six in the morning, and my alarm starts shouting at me to get my arse out of bed. I hit snooze and try to roll over, but then I remember I have a job to go to. I have to write.
And today, I'm accountable.
I just joined a group run by the amazingly prolific urban fantasy author C.E. Murphy, and the point of that group is word production. We're talking competition, timed writing sprints, and bragging rights at the end of each sprint. We're talking war.
We're talking writing wars.
For about the last month, writers from around the world have joined together at 9am Eastern Standard Time to battle for the highest word counts. The point is production - get as much on the page as possible - or for those in the editing stage, the point is to clean up as many pages as possible.
The amazing Ms. Murphy has written 90,000 words in five weeks using the Writing Wars. Robin Owens claims about 10,000 words in a week. Logging about 50 pages since this past Friday, Sharon Mignerey has declared the wars a success.
Why does it work so well for some? You can ask the other writers during the ten minute breaks between sprints, when we brag about how many words we just wrote, but I can tell you that it's nice feeling like I'm at the office. It's great to get a ton of work done, get up to stretch my legs and grab coffee, and feel like I'm glancing around the office to see who wants to meet me at the coffee maker. My own production has been fabulous in the three days since I started, though my work has mostly focused on the editing stage and in spite of the morning preschool chaos that ensues not long after the wars begin each morning. Of course, the wars aren't for everyone, but those who work well in a friendly atmosphere offering bragging rights, or who like messy first drafts that get the story on the page (what I call Vomit On The Page Draft), might find writing wars are just what they need.
Though the idea isn't new, the gathering point is. All are invited, and warlords often announce extracurricular writing sprints at the TooNoWriMo LiveJournal Community Page. As of yesterday, there is an effort afoot to keep rolling wars throughout the day to accommodate those of us with wee sprog units and morning chaos, or those in time zones that make the 9am EST meeting inconvenient. Check out the announcements to see when we're gathered to get some work done, or just pop in at the chat room.
Let the wars begin!