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on the power of showing up

note: I wrote this post in April of 2019 (pre-COVID). It's been sitting in my drafts for quite a while, but I think it's time for it to see the light of day. It's been helpful for me to reread over the past few months, especially as I continue to try to make an effort to write, and I hope it can be helpful to you, too. i got an invite to a writers' group a few months ago, and i had never felt like more of a fraud in my life. it had been months, if not years, since i'd felt like a writer. the proverbial well of words in my heart had dried up, it seemed, and i wasn't sure if it was ever coming back. i agreed to go out of a sense of helplessness—i'd identified as a writer ever since i could remember. if i'm not a writer, who am i?  i told myself that it was important to show up and act like a writer even when i didn't feel like one, because even though i hadn't been writing, i reassured myself, i still was a writer. but sometimes the words f

Writing Resources: Let’s Talk About Word Wars

Staying motivated as writers can be hard, but I'm here to give you a little secret: aka, the NUMBER ONE RESOURCE TO KEEP ME WRITING THAT I'VE EVER DISCOVERED.

What is it?

Word wars.


♪ Do you want to have a word war? Come on, let's go and write... ♪

What exactly is a word war? (And how do you do one?)

A word war is where you and another friend (or two, or twenty) set a specific time to write for. It could be 15 minutes, it could be one hour, but the most important thing is that you're writing. Once you're done, you come back to your friends and compare word counts. (Word wars can also referred to as a word sprint, and probably other names I'm not aware of. On Twitter, there's a thing called #1k1hour, which is exactly what it sounds like. But I digress.)

I honestly don't remember when I was introduced to word wars, or how, but I do know that they changed my life forever. You may be wondering, why are word wars so great?

1. They keep me motivated
2. It's fun to write with other writers.
3. A little competition never hurt anyone.

Where can I find one?

Honestly, everywhere. You can also find lots of people on Twitter dedicated to having word wars/sprints. One of my favorites is Friday Night Writes, who dedicate the entirety of Friday nights to racking up those word counts. And honestly, I'm always down for a word war at my personal Twitter account, too.

You can also type "Word Wars" into Facebook and probably find Facebook groups dedicated solely to it. You and another writing friend can have one spontaneously if you'd like. You can also word war with yourself at Write or Die. Simply put, it's all about what gets you writing. 

Was this helpful? Have you ever done a word war?

(Be sure to check out my new writing resources page for every awesome writing thing I've ever discovered, and stay tuned for more posts like this in the future!)


Comments

  1. Wowzers. I've actually never even heard of word wars before. I am an extremely competitive person, so I can see how motivating this would be. I want in!

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    1. Thanks for commenting! It is extremely motivating. I love it, honestly. I'm glad I could introduce you to this awesome concept. We should word war sometime!

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  2. I've seen word wars happening before, and I've participated in one or two, but generally I find it doesn't really work for me -- for one, my writing time pretty much comes in splatters of 5 or so minutes between other tasks, so by the time I've found someone else, I'm not free any longer. I've tried Write or Die too, and it doesn't work because that red screen just makes my brain freeze up. Still, it seems like a really fun activity if it works for you, so go you!

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    Replies
    1. That makes sense! I often don't have a lot of time for them, either, so I totally understand that. When I do have time, they work very well for me. But if they don't work for you, I totally understand! You do you!

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  3. Word wars are so handy! My friends and I do ten minute sprints which are so helpful! My max is 547 in ten minutes. An hour is a bit long for me. :P But ten minute ones work awesomely. I found out about them from GTW. I'd never heard of them before that. XD

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. They really are helpful! Yes, I've only done one sprint for an hour. I usually do better with shorter bursts of ten to fifteen minutes, like you. I forget where I first heard of word wars, but GTW was a great help in reminding me about them. I figured some people might not have heard of them, so I thought it might be a good idea to post about it in case it helps someone out there!

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