Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Write Your @ss Off

Write Your @ss OffOne of my favorite publishing-industry bloggers, Moonrat, of the famous Editorial Ass Blog, has proposed a “Write Your @ss” Off” day…sort of a way to start the new year off right.

This will be the second, not quite annual –perhaps more than annual– running of the event.

Would you like to participate?

The original idea stemmed from JES on his blog, Running After My Hat.

He himself stole it from the New York Writer’s Coalition who gathered together in NYC last year to do their write-a-thon in person.

(You can read JES’s post that started it all, here.)

JES proposed a “Write Your @ss Off” day last year because:

“The blogosphere — or maybe it’s just the corner I’ve been mostly visiting, the one with the writers and other assorted wordsmiths — seems to have been overtaken by despair recently. Or maybe it’s not despair, exactly. Maybe more like anomie, a sort of formless uncertainty about the whole enterprise of getting language onto paper or screen, into lyrics and scripts.


I think we could all use a shot in the arm.”

And so it was born, the great web Write Your @ss Off, (or Write-a-Thon, for those who don’t want to use the word @ss…)

Logistics for scheduling a single day to to accommodate the scads of us interested seemed daunting, so a weekend of Write Your @ss Off has been declared. (You need only choose a single day, and only 8 hours therein to participate.) The weekend in question is next: Friday through Monday, February 5 – 8.

In my infinite wisdom, I jumped the gun and asked to take off tomorrow  from my day job. JES generously responded to my d’oh!  comment over on Moonie’s blog, to let me know that tomorrow is okay, too. I’ve been told to “Go for it.”

And so I will. (Quite possibly, I will participate next week as well, since I already have that Friday off…)

The rules for Write Your @ss Off are simple and easy:

You must spend eight hours devoted to writing.

It’s possible, of course, that I’m am oversimplifying. JES makes it clear:

Write some, sure. Nobody could object to that. But even if you never lay your fingers on your keyboard, never pick up your pen or handheld voice recorder, even then: can you set aside 7-1/2(ish) hours in a single block of 24 hours to think about, work on, research, accommodate, market, and/or otherwise honor the act and craft of writing? Your own writing, that is, and not someone else’s?

Easy, right?

So, with those rules in mind, I’ve created my to-do list:

  • Write my daily minimum word count on the current work in progress
  • Write a duplicate amount of my daily minimum word count on something new
  • Submit three short stories to three different markets, 2 electronic, 1 snail mail
  • Sign and mail my new contract with Damnation Books
  • Reply to all my writer friends’ email that I’ve ignored for the last (uh, several) week(s) or so
  • Update my Web page (just some minor things)
  • If I have time, I’ll:

    • Organize my 2009 (Writing) Tax Items
    • Set up my 2010 (Writing) Tax Spreadsheets
    • Read from one of the gazillion writing books I bought this year
    • Write a summarizing blog post

I know it’s really ambitious…but I think if I focus, I can do a lot of these things… If you decide to play along, you don’t need to be nearly so organized. Pinky swear.

You can see all the participants in this really cool map that JES set up over at CommunityWalk. As I write, there are 58 pegs on the map!

Won’t you join us? If so, wonder on over to Moonrat’s blog and let us know in the comments. If you want, peg yourself on the map. I’d love to hear what you’ll be working on in the comments below!

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