#WriteClub began in September 2012. 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 the first Friday night of every month (and randomly throughout the rest of the month) 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. <– go follow!
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?
On the first Friday of every month, our Aussies start us off with the awesome Rochelle, Renee, and Claire. They run sprints from 7pm to 11pm Sydney time, and sometimes go as late as 1AM if the words are really flowing. Depending on when they stop, we may have a short gap before the lovely Thames and Stephanie jump in to run sprints from 11AM to 4PM EST (3PM to 8PM GMT), after which the indomitable Ray shows up from 4PM-8PM EST (8PM-midnight GMT). Ray turns it over to either our resident pixie Haley, or occasionally our very own #StatsGuy Beau at 8pm EST, and they hand it off to Rochelle at 11PM EST. She runs till about 1AM EST. (See below for individual Twitter handles, just remember to follow the host account, @FriNightWrites!)
SUM UP: (Find the closest time zone to you and adjust.)
AU (Sydney): 7pm-10pm (and possibly up to 1AM); Sat. 1am-3pm
GMT: 9am-12pm (and possibly up to 3pm); 3pm on Fri till 5am on Sat.
US East Coast: 5am-8am (and possibly up to 11am); 11am on Fri till 1AM on Sat.
US West Coast: 2am-5am (and possibly up to 8am); 8am-10PM
Do I have to write that whole time to be able to participate?
HEAVENS NO. We’re not even there the whole time. This is a come-and-go party, and you can participate in as many or few sprints as you please.
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! You don’t have to be a sprinter to run with #WriteClub! 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.
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 December 31, 2013, the #WriteClub community has made the following records for the year:
TOTAL Words Written in 2013: 7,966,304
Highest Monthly Total: November 2013: 1,277,243
Highest Single Night: Nov. 1st, with 406,177
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:
And with awesome back-up support from Ken @CurtisKen!