Saturday, July 7, 2012

#Writingsprint!


Yes, it's been longer than usual for an update. But to be fair, for a good portion of that time, my blog was down. It got pulled as, “spam,” by the Powers That Be. So instead of checking it first, deciding whether or not it actually was spam, and then deciding if they should take it down, naturally that process was reversed: guilty until proven innocent.

At any rate, I've been having a blast on Twitter in the meantime. (I'm still trying to get a, “follow me on Twitter” gadget onto this blog, but the only one I found seems to be broken.) I've been reading tweets from celebs and from my home town, from other writers, and from people who just seem interesting.

But the most useful thing I've found on Twitter thus far has definitely been what is known as a “#writingsprint.” For the uninitiated (something I was a mere few weeks ago, so I'll slow down and explain), that pound-sign on Twitter is called a hashtag, and it allows you to key in on words or expressions of particular interest.

When you sign up for Twitter, it asks you to follow something like a minimum of 15 people, just so you get a sufficient number of tweets that interest you. I guess it “noticed” that I was following writers, and one of the recommendations it made for me to follow was Jane Espenson, a writer-producer currently working on Once Upon a Time. I recognized her name due to a mutual acquaintance and also the fact that I have admired her writing for years. You'd probably know her work if you've ever seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Battlestar Galactica, Dollhouse, or Caprica, and a bunch of other stuff I never even realized she wrote for (including two of my all-time favorite series, the brilliant Nowhere Man and Firefly).

After watching and seeing how Twitter worked for a bit, I jumped right on in. I saw Jane doing something she called a “#writingsprint” one day, explained as an hour of writing time during which you concentrate on writing only: no phone calls, no tweets, no Facebook or Google Plus . . . no distractions. I liked the idea, and though her #writingsprints always seem to come around too late in my day (I am a nightowl trying desperately not to be) for me to take part, I haven't let that stop me. Following Jane's example, I've started doing my own #writingsprints. I found a few other writers who have joined me, and we write together. Er, well, together, separately . . . just at the same time. But that doesn't matter. It's not even like a contest, it's just a good motivator to know there are others somewhere out there working on their own WiPs, just like me.

Since I've started this habit, I don't know how much writing I've gotten done, but I know I've been writing pretty regularly. I'm trying a new schedule to see how it works. But just the idea that there are people out there who are looking for me, to see if I'm writing, somehow gets me going, regardless of when I do my writing.

I have absolutely no idea if Jane (@JaneEspenson) was the originator of the #writingsprint, or if it's been around for as long as Twitter has had writers. But in my case, I will give Jane the credit, since she initiated the first one I saw. So thank you, Jane! You may not know it, but you've really helped keep the words flowing!

Aniko

P.S. If you want to join a #writingsprint, follow me: @AnikoTevvit and it won't be long 'til you see one coming up!