As of the day this article posts, #WriteClub has officially been around for eight months. The original explanation article, which you can find here written by #WriteClub head honcho Megan Whitmer, was posted on October 4th, 2012. Since then, it has received nearly 1500 views, and been the basic go-to source of information whenever anyone asks "WHAT IS #WRITECLUB?"
Here are a few updated FAQ's for anyone looking.
What IS #WriteClub?
#WriteClub is a Twitter hashtag where writers from all over the world come every Friday night (and randomly throughout the week) to join in support and encouragement of each other. We do thirty-minute writing sprints, with 10-15 minute breaks between. Start and stop times are tweeted from the host account, @FriNightWrites.
How do I join #WriteClub?
In the words of Megan, "There's a pretty complicated membership process. It involves you following @FriNightWrites and using the #WriteClub hashtag so people can find you. And also you have to tell me how delightful I am at least once a day. That's the biggest requirement." So. As you can see, we're very official. Also, I would add that using the hashtag means you report your word counts with it. This allows our StatsGuy to add your numbers to the ever-growing list, and include you in an epic writing marvel.
When do the official #WriteClub sprints happen?
Every Friday, our "Earlybird" group starts with the amazing Sarah Benwell (@SWritesBooks) in the United Kingdom. She begins at 7pm UK time, or 2PM Eastern Standard Time (11AM for West Coasters like me) and we literally go for at least twelve hours. Every. Week.
Sarah turns it over to either Megan or Angi (@AngiNicole722) at 8pm EST, and they hand it off to me or Carey Torgenson (@CareyTorg) at 11PM EST. We run until 2-3AM EST (11-12 for us), Beau Barnett (@iNukeYou), who lives on the East Coast, is there nearly the entire time, occasionally spouting out up-to-the-minute stats, and for records set, Sarah Blair sets off a confetti cannon.
US EAST COAST: 2pm-2am
US WEST COAST: 11am-11pm
(And often, we go later than that.)
Can I use the hashtag for sprints when @FriNightWrites isn't around?
Absolutely! We only record numbers during "official" sprints, but the hashtag is a public place meant for everyone to use. Feel free :)
What if I'm writing by hand? How do I report a word count?
What we've had writers do with this, is count how many words you write on one or two pages and take an average. Then, with every page or half-page written, multiply by that and report.
What if I only get a few words out in the thirty minutes?
Report anyway! Sometimes a few words makes the difference between breaking a record or not. We have some writers who pump out over 2K words in 30 minutes, and others who only get 100 or less. Some writers are writing poetry and focusing on getting the RIGHT words instead of a number. Other writers are revising and actually LOSE words (Don't report negative numbers though, we don't do subtraction). But no matter what, THEY'RE WRITING. They're WORKING. They're making PROGRESS on their work, and THAT is what #WriteClub is for.
What's the quickest way to annoy Megan?
(Or any of the other #WriteClub Sprint-leaders)
If you use #WriteClub to tweet nonstop marketing about your book, WE WILL BE SUPER ANNOYED. #WriteClub is for WRITING. We get together to write together, not to market our books. NOW, if you just got an agent/bookdeal/some other fantastic news, or if your book goes on sale and you want all your #WriteClub friends to know about it, that's great! We'd love to hear! But if you constantly tweet and tweet and tweet about it, you will find yourself shunned. ALSO, please, please, please refrain from making Fight Club jokes. We know it's a cool thing, but believe me, it gets old when you've heard it over a hundred times (109 to be precise. Yes, we track them.)
Where we are now...
The first night that Megan headed up the sprints was insanity. Over a hundred writers jumping on Twitter every thirty minutes to compare word counts and encourage each other. The following week it was much more subdued, but from that crazy beginning has grown a community so powerful I can't help but be amazed whenever I think about it.
Beau Barnett (AKA #StatsGuy), who voluntarily took on the ever growing task of recording #WriteClub statistics, has literally spent hours scrolling through twitter feeds every Friday of 2013 to keep track of these numbers. As of last Friday, 31 May 2013, the #WriteClub community has made the following records this year:
TOTAL Words Written in 2013: 2,438,003 in 22 weeks (!!!)
Highest Monthly Total: March 2013, 715,060
Highest Single Night: 176,236 on 5/31
Highest Single Sprint Ever: 2,732 (Beau "StatsGuy" himself)
Highest Individual Nightly Total: 22,192 (@poetIBe, who rocks my socks)
(I'm going to have to do a separate post on my blog entirely for stats, and when I do I'll link to it here for those interested.)
It really is incredible.
So, what are you waiting for? Block off your calendar this Friday and come join us. Whether you're writing poetry, short stories, novels or essays, be they hand written, typed, or painted on your bedroom walls, JOIN US. We'd love to have you.
The #WriteClub Crew:
Megan Whitmer @MeganWhitmer
Darci Cole @Darci_Cole
Angi Black @AngiNicole722
Carey Torgesen @CareyTorg
Beau Barnett @iNukeYou
Sarah Benwell @SWritesBooks
Sarah Blair @SarahLBlair
There are rumors of an Australia #WriteClub branch in the making, so all you Aussies out there get ready to get your #WriteClub on!!!