NaNo Day 8: Double Up Day

Today is a part of NaNoWriMo known as Double Up Day.

The goal of Double Up Day is to A) donate to the organization that runs National Novel Writing Month (as a means of doubling your commitment to competing or something like that; honestly, I’m not sure, but donating is definitely involved) and B) double your word count.

While I went into the day planning to donate, I did not go in with the plan that I would double my word count. After all, I was already 5K behind on my personalized schedule. And I had another 3K planned for today. And still, if I managed to do all that writing, I would not have doubled my word count.

Then, the first word sprint happened.

As part of the year-round Ch1Con activities we’ve started putting on, Kira and I co-hosted an hour-long word sprint on Twitter at 1:00 PM. I got 1,641 words in through that. Then almost right away afterward, some of the Ch1Con team and I were talking on Skype and decided to do just a “quick word war” between us to get some more words in.

Like yesterday, it’s nine hours later again. But this time I’ve got 9,381 shiny new words in my NaNo project to show for it.

Today was way too much fun, almost constantly doing word wars and sprints with my friends while curled up on my apartment’s couch in an over-sized t-shirt and yoga pants. Sunlight streaming through the window and wrists sore from typing.

It’s days like today that remind me why I love NaNoWriMo so much.

More than how much productivity the month inspires, it also brings the writing community together. It’s a month-long party.

Now I’m off to try to actually tackle my to do list for the day, then tomorrow is homework and hopefully a little more time for writing. Fingers crossed there’ll be a few word wars thrown in there.

Goal for today: 3,000 + yesterday’s 5,000 = 8,000.

Overall goal: 16,000.

Current word count: 18,524.


PS. Miss any of the big news from Ch1Con the past couple days? Find links to our announcement posts here and here.

NaNo Day 9: #12HrWordSprint

After some complications with writing last night (namely: I was really, really burned out from all the school stuff), I did manage to get a little over a thousand words written. Hannah and our friend Sam and I also made a new vlog, which you should watch, because it’s about an important issue in the United States today.


Basically: If you’re gay, you currently cannot legally donate blood in the US. This was a somewhat reasonable decision back in like the ’80s, because of AIDS and everything, but now that we have all of the screening and testing we do on donors and blood to make sure everything’s safe anyway, it doesn’t make sense to let this policy stay in place. Potential gay donors just want to help others–shouldn’t we let them?

If you’re interested in signing the petition to change the MSM blood donation policy, you can find it on the White House website here.

It’s currently 9:38 AM EST, which means that we’re about twenty minutes out from today’s twelve hours of word sprinting/Potentially An Insane Word War.

Because I’m really intelligent and good at keeping up with things, I just found out yesterday that NaNoWriMo is actually officially hosting their 2013 Writing Marathon + Donation Day today. That means all kinds of extra special write-ins are occurring all over the world right now and NaNoWriMo’s giving away some kickbutt prizes hourly for donating to support them (DO IT). Make sure to check out and keep up with the festivities today. It’s going to be fantastic.

Meanwhile, that means our twelve hour Word Sprint will unofficially be coinciding with the 2013 Writing Marathon, so how awesome is that?

Interested in sprinting, what a Word Sprint is, or the Word War? Details below:


About the Word Sprint

A Word Sprint is basically an event in which you try to write as many words as possible within a set amount of time. Generally you sprint with other people, but it’s not a competition against them–just you against yourself. It takes NaNoWriMo’s “quantity over quality” mantra to heart.

Today I’ll be sprinting for twelve hours, from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM EST, to try to get caught up on where I’m supposed to be in NaNo today (which is about 9,000 words from where I’m at now). If you want to sprint with me so we can cheer one another on, you can write for as much or as little of the event as you’d like/have time for. Because it’s a competition against yourself, you can check in to post how many words you have throughout the day, when you reach certain goals, etc, on the Facebook event, Twitter (using #12HrWordSprint), or here–or you can just keep your word counts to yourself. It’s completely up to you. You don’t even have to tell me that you’re participating if you don’t want to. The entire point is just to write.


About the Word War

On the other hand, if you’re participating in the Word War I’m potentially hosting today, I need to know by noon. That’s 12:00 PM EST. The Word War will only occur if I have five people sign up by then, and the final word count you turn in at the end of the day will be for all the words you’ve written between 10:00 AM and 10:00 PM EST. You have until 10:05 PM to get your final word count to me, which you can do by emailing me at [redacted] with the subject line “12 Hour Word War.” I’ll announce the winner in my blog post tomorrow. Winner gets a nifty literary-themed mug.

What is a Word War you ask? It’s basically the same exact thing as a Word Sprint, except that instead of competing against yourself, you’re now competing against other writers to see who can get the most words.

You can sign up for the Word War by doing one of the following:

1. Comment on the post I put up on the Facebook event saying that you’re participating (it should be really obvious which post that is, because in it I say something along the lines of “like or comment on this post to let me know if you’re participating”).

2. Comment on this blog post saying that you’re participating.

3. Tweet at me on Twitter saying that you’re participating: @Julia_Byers

Again: You must sign up for the Word War by noon, eastern standard time, if you want to participate today, because the Word War won’t happen unless five people sign up for it by then. If the Word War does happen, feel free to post your word count throughout the day just like the sprinters, but make sure you send your final word count in an email to me by 10:05 PM EST with the subject line “12 Hour Word War.”

Update (12:06 PM, 11/9/13): Unfortunately it looks like we don’t have enough people for the Word War. Sorry, but thanks to all who signed up. Let’s still have fun sprinting, all right?


I’ll be posting updates about my word count throughout the day on the Facebook event and on Twitter using #12HrWordSprint, and I’d love it if you did too. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also feel free to leave updates in the comments. Whatever works for you works for the event.

day 9

Happy sprinting/warring!



NaNo Day 7: The Sunshine Award (+Potential Word War?)

While yesterday wasn’t the most fun thing to ever force myself through, it was productive. I talked to my professor about the thesis for my Spanish essay, finished the essay, did some other homework, and, oh yeah, wrote like 2.5k on NaNoWriMo.

So while I’m still 5,000 words behind my personal goal for Wednesday, I did catch back up with NaNoWriMo’s goal for the day, and I’ve been working this week to get as much of my weekend homework out of the way as possible so that I’ll have more time to write, then.

Interested in joining me for some Word Sprints on Saturday? My goal is to write from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and I’d love for you to join me for part of the day. (Plus, if five people let me know they’re interested in turning the Word Sprints into a Word War, whoever wins at the end of the day gets a fun literary-themed mug from me.) (I’m setting the bottom limit at five because I know that’s quite a few to get going in a day-long Word War, and therefore if we get that many, dude, you will deserve the prize.)

Sign up for the event on Facebook here or let me know in the comments, on Twitter, etc. If we do get enough people for the Word War, at 10:05 PM eastern time on Saturday I’ll check through all your awesome word count updates to see who’s written the most throughout the day. That should give you enough time to log those last minute words and post your final count on Facebook, Twitter, or on my NaNo blog post for Saturday (more details coming the day of the event).

In other news: Earlier this week one of the super cool writers who attended WriteOnCon with me this year, Craig Schmidt, nominated me for the Sunshine Award!

Sunshine Award

Rules for the award:

  1. Include the awardโ€™s logo in your blog post.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer the 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers.
  5. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

And here are my answers to the questions:

  1. Favorite color: Pink.
  2. Favorite Animal: I swear this question was invented for the sole purpose of forcing me into a mental breakdown. Some people were Disney Princess kids; I was a Disney Animal kid. But if I really must choose, I guess I’m obligated to say guinea pigs. And I will explain why in a future blog post (which means you’d better stick around, ya cool cat).
  3. Favorite Number: Seven. When I was about to turn eight, I kept getting confused and telling everyone that I was turning seven instead, and it’s been my favorite ever since because, you know, obviously my subconscious was trying to tell me something. (Also, my birthday is on a twenty first, which is a multiple of seven. And important things, both good and bad, in my life tend to happen on days that are multiples of seven. So I figure I might as well roll with it, right?)
  4. Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drink: I’m a big fan of smoothies, especially those of the strawberry banana sort.
  5. Favorite Alcoholic Drink: At this point in my life, I don’t do that whole “alcohol” thing. No judgement against people who do, obviously, but right now I like feeling in control, and that’s one thing alcohol is not very good at.
  6. Facebook or Twitter: Facebook–it feels a lot more personal than Twitter, like I’m talking to friends instead of coworkers. (Also: I’m a novelist, so doing stuff in 140 characters is a bit of a challenge.)
  7. Passions: Writing and reading, obviously. I also adore theatre, and movies, and traveling, and critiquing things. (If I get to tear a good movie to shreds, it’s been a good day.)
  8. Prefer giving or getting presents? Giving, definitely. I always feel really awkward getting presents, but if I can give someone something that they really want or that they need, it’s an incredible feeling.
  9. Favorite City: New York, New York–my dream is to live there someday. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I’m also really partial to Chicago, and most others. I’m a city person, through and through. I like the busyness.
  10. Favorite TV Shows: Glee‘s my number one (even though, let’s be honest, it’s gotten less and less good with every season and also is a bit of a mess). I also watch Once Upon a Time, How I Met Your Mother, Pretty Little Liars, Agents of Shield, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and occasionally a couple others. Oh, and lots of HGTV. I used to not be a TV person at all, but then my parents made the mistake of giving in to my pleas for a Netflix account, and it’s been downhill from there.

And now I’m going to be a loser and not nominate anyone specifically, because I don’t have the time to go searching for links and all that right now (la clase de Espanol is calling). So: I NOMINATE ALL OF YOU. GO FORTH AND BE SUNSHINEY.

day 7

Hope you’re having a great day!