I can’t remember if I’ve talked about word wars here before, so I think I will now.
Some years ago I was introduced to the concept, which is popular during Nanowrimo, if at no other time. The basic idea is that you and at least one other person log in to a chat room of some kind, set a timer, and write like crazy for 30-45 minutes on your work in progress (not in the chat window). Then you come back, report your word count, take a few minutes to stretch, and do it all over again.
The point of these wars is not to win, although the person with the highest wordcount gets accolades from the others, and at least half an hour’s worth of bragging rights. The point, mostly, is to be in a group of others all pursuing the same goal–getting the words on the page–and feeling a bit like you’re sharing the misery. Plus you get to chat for a few minutes between wars (much talk during the war itself is greatly discouraged: the idea is we’re writing, not whining, and I do smack people when they start talking too much), so it makes it a more communal effort than writing often is.
For me personally it’s a tremendously helpful way to continue writing, particularly after I’ve already worked in the morning and might be feeling like goofing off the rest of the day. I’m running a daily word war right now at 9:30am Eastern (the url is posted daily at my livejournal writing community. Most mornings right now I’m getting between 1500-2000 words; most afternoons, thanks to the wars, I’m repeating that accomplishment. Last Thursday someone came in for a couple hours, and at the end said she’d written more in two hours than she often got done in two days. So as an inspirational situation, it can be extremely helpful.
It might be something for you to consider as a way to get the words down, if you find yourself procrastinating. We’re trying to grow the room I’ve started so we maybe have weekend windows and Pacific Coast windows, since I’m in Ireland and am well and truly done for the day by the time people in California might be starting to write. If people here are interested, let me know, and I’ll start trying to coordinate times and stuff.
If you’ve participated in word wars before, have they worked for you? If not, is the idea intriguing? Terrifying? Tell me what you think.