Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One, Two, Three, Four....

I declare a WORD WAR!!!!


I've mentioned before how I need coersion, shaming, and teasing to actually turn out an impressive word count.
Or, more positively, ACCOUNTABILITY.

You know when you're trying buff up, or lose weight, and everyone says, "What you really need is a gym buddy, who will check up on you to make sure you're working out?" The little kid in you rolls your eyes because you will SO TOTALLY go to the gym on your own, you don't need THAT, you don't need SOMEONE CHECKING UP ON YOU.

Except deep down, you know - you're really not going to the gym.

Having a word war opponent is like having that gym buddy.

So. What's a word war? Courtesy of - 

word war

An occurrence in which two or more writers set a time limit, such as ten minutes, or thirty minutes, to write or type as fast as they can on a specific topic or to add onto their current novel. The person with the highest word count at the end of the time limit wins the word war. 

So, you promise Megan or Chessie or Jamie or Gina that you're going to word war with them, probably at 9 PM or so, and it's early afternoon, so you're all PSYCHED and PUMPED UP about the word war, because you're definitely going to beat them, and the words you write will sparkle and shine and they will make agents WEEP.

And then you get stuck in rush hour traffic, and your kids throw their dinner at you, and your husband wants to TALK or something ridiculous once they go to bed, and by that point you're FREAKING EXHAUSTED and all you want to do is fall asleep on the couch watching reruns of Arrested Development.

And then you look at your clock and it's 8:55. You are supposed to bring your A-game to a word war in five minutes. You have PROMISED to be there.

And then you hate Megan. Or Chessie or Jamie or Gina.
Just like you hate that gym buddy when you're lacing up your sneaks at 7 AM.

But you know what? You open up Scrivener anyway, and Chessie throws some trash talk at you on Twitter,
and your creaky exhausted fingers start moving over the keyboard. And then your character says something awesome, or her boyfriend does something cute, and your heart jumps a little. And you get all excited, and your fingers move faster, and oh geez can you believe you just wrote that gorgeous description of the desert at sunrise? You are BRILLIANT!!!

Before you know it, your half hour is up, and you take a look at your word count ticker, and HELL'S BELLS, you've written 1200 words, you genius you!!!

Yeah. That's pretty much how it works for me.

Even pantsing, I can hit 2K an hour. TWO THOUSAND WORDS AN HOUR.

The power of competition works to get me writing. Just writing. Even when I know I won't win.
And sometimes, just getting words down on paper can inspire the brilliance.

To end, I'll ask a favor of you - My sweet new little one is 2 weeks old now, and I've figured out a way to balance both her and my netbook on my lap. Meaning - I'm ready to word war again. Anyone up for a challenge??? *cracks knuckles*
So, what about you, sweet writerly-type readers? Have you word warred? Do you love it, or do you think it's insipid, childish, and pointless? I'd love to hear. And probably CHALLENGE YOU.


  1. Count me in! And holy crap- I thought I wrote fast, but not sure I can hit 2k an hour!

    1. Jamie. It. Is. On. (And I bet you can, if you're warring.)

  2. Okay, seriously? I think I'm amazing when I hit 1k an hour! WAY TO INTIMIDATE ME, LEIGH ANN! I'll admit I'm a pretty slow writer though. I haven't word warred with anyone else, but I do set a timer and basically word war myself. The timer really helps to keep me focused and not obsess over anything too much :)

    1. Oh, see? YOu are way more awesome than I am. I've tried warring myself and it never works. I need the judgy-judgy and trash talking eyes of an opponent on me.

      Hit me up if you're ever interested! It will be EPIC. <3

  3. I may be interested in this. I do probably 1500 an hour... maybe more if I'm in a groove. You'd probably beat me, but I'd be willing to give it a shot :-) Though, I'm in a different time zone... not sure how that'd work with my schedule... What the heck. I'm in. I've got a re-write I need to finish this month. :-D

  4. I soooo want to do this too! I've been neglecting to start my new WIP because I keep letting other things come first!

    But I've never done this! Sooooo when is this happening? How does it work? What do I wear? lol

  5. You know, obviously, that I'm always up for a word war.

    And p.s. I'm totally a celebrity now.

  6. I just started a new WiP, so I'm in. Another Meghan though (hence the silent h), can you handle two of us, LeighAnn?

  7. You can hit HOW MANY words in an hour? I am officially in awe/slightly scared of you… :D

  8. Haha, bring it! I've never word-warred officially before, but I give Write Or Die a pretty hard run for it's money :) It's hard for me when the kids are around (too many interruptions), but give me night-time and a spare hour and I've cracked 2K a few times ;) I'm just starting a new MS too, so this would be perfect. Think you can handle me??? *grins*



  9. I've started doing something similar with a friend, but not so competitive. We call it a Write-a-thon and basically set a time limit and word count, and try to get there. The first time, we said 500 words in an hour, but we hit that in like 40 minutes, so I think our final goal was 800 words in an hour. Done. The next time we only had 45 minutes and I decided to go big and say 750 words. And I wrote 1500 words in 45 minutes! It was awesome. Such a high. I used to get lucky to write 500 words in an hour. It's amazing what a little accountability will do.
    Of course, now I'm addicted to that kind of writing and it's become something of a crutch. Should probably fix that...

  10. All I got from this was "Arrested Development".

    What was that? Word war? Hah, that's funny. I don't participate in wars. I participate in MASSACRES.


  11. My boyfriend an I actually moderate a facebook group specifically for writers to find people to other writers to word war with. There are scheduled wars every day for everyone interested to participate in and marathons on saturdays:)
    Heres a link if you're interested:

    I love word wars<3 Nothing like some competition to get your fingers moving!


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