Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« on: January 04, 2018, 09:34:36 PM »
So I mentioned this in the Discord chat the other day and I know there were at least two people interested. I'm thinking that something that would be really cool to do would be a site-wide word count challenge, and in addition to that we'd have individual word count goals, too.

There's a community on Livejournal/Dreamwidth called Get Your Words Out (this is the official website that they have) where you basically pledge to write a certain amount of words within a year, and each month you check in and say what your word count is for that month.

It's been a long time since I've even attempted to do this challenge, so there's probably details I'm not remembering.
 
So basically, I thought that it would be cool if we did our own version of this, but instead of a year long one (especially considering we're already into January), we'd do, like, six months or something. I was thinking that if we had it go from, like, March to August or September, then it would theoretically work out because we'd be able to allow those participating to count the words they write for both sessions of Camp NaNoWriMo, which are in April and July. We'd more than likely allow role playing posts to be counted, too. The only thing I'm not sure about is how someone would count words for when they're editing something.

So basically, we'd have a site-wide goal, like...I don't know, some really high number (what's a realistic word count goal for us to try and reach?), and then we'd figure out increments of words that members would pledge to write, like 75,000, 150,000, 200,000, (these are some of the pledge numbers for GYWO) etc. You'd pledge to write X amount of words (i.e. 25,000) within those six or seven months, and we'd have monthly check ins where you'd have to reply and say "I'm at 15,000 words" for example. We'd also have to figure out what would happen if someone misses X amount of check ins.

My thought is that we could try to have word wars in the Discord chat, but part of the issue with that is that there's only three staff members, two of which are in the UK, so it could be hard to coordinate having someone to be in charge of the word wars unless we have volunteer coordinators or something. I'd love it if we could also get it so that we could use it as a way to invite others to participate in the challenge (but we'd want to actually encourage them to be part of the forum in general, as well, and not join just for the challenge and then disappear or something), too.

So here are my questions:

1. Is there any interest in this challenge?
2. Do you have any suggestions for what a good site-wide goal number would be?
3. Do you think the pledges I listed above (75, 150, and 200k) would work for us, or should we try to lower the goals a bit?
4. Does March-August sound like a good range of months to try it for?
5. Is there anyone interested in helping to coordinate and figure out the details for this and help be in charge of it? (Basically, sort of be moderators for it without really being moderators.)

I think that if we have a few people who are willing to help coordinate things- help figure out the details of the rules and pledges and all that, help with the check ins, word wars in Discord, etc- it will be easier to pull off 'cause then it won't be all on me/ @Sheepy-Pie and @Silver. I've never tried creating a challenge like this before so I basically have 0 idea what I'm doing and am loosely going off of what seems to work for Get Your Words Out, which has been going on for years now very successfully.

If there's only a few people willing to commit to it for this year, then we might have to consider just doing, like, a small club of people pledging to small goals and not make it into a massive site-wide thing where we really have to figure out the details. But if we can get a lot of people interested in it and willing to commit, then I think it would be a lot of fun!

Edit: If there's a few people who are interested in helping out with figuring out the details and actually overseeing it, I'll make a specific section of the forum only for those who are overseeing it to be able to post in so that we can discuss the details between now and whenever we decide to have this take place, so please let me know if you're interested in helping by replying to this post!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2018, 09:42:28 PM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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Manu

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2018, 09:12:56 AM »
1. Is there any interest in this challenge?
Yes! YES! YES!

2. Do you have any suggestions for what a good site-wide goal number would be?
Maybe we could have a sign-up period where members can name their personal goals and the site-wide goal would simply be the sum of these? We could round it up or add X% to it to make it more challenging, but we can just as well make it easy and see how it goes. There are likely going to be some that drop out or stay behind their goals, so the others will have to make up for that anyway.

We could also do a smaller version of it in February, for warming up, getting back into the writing habit, and testing the rules we come up with? February 12th-25th, for example, two weeks, and there would be a short break of 3 days before the actual 6 months challenge starts. (Taking part in the test run would not be required to join the actual challenge.)

3. Do you think the pledges I listed above (75, 150, and 200k) would work for us, or should we try to lower the goals a bit?
Since we're doing this for the first time, I'd just let people choose their own goals and go with that. We can adjust the pledges for future challenges once we know what people chose and what they actually managed to write.

4. Does March-August sound like a good range of months to try it for?
Sounds good to me.

5. Is there anyone interested in helping to coordinate and figure out the details for this and help be in charge of it? (Basically, sort of be moderators for it without really being moderators.)
Yep, I could help. I could make a google doc spreadsheet to enter the goals, current wordcounts, and stuff, and make pretty progress graphs.

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we'd have monthly check ins where you'd have to reply and say "I'm at 15,000 words" for example. We'd also have to figure out what would happen if someone misses X amount of check ins.
I'd go for weekly check-ins. The whole point of doing a challenge together with others is being held accountable by each other, isn't it? Weekly would work better for me, personally, to keep me motivated.
Hmm... I'm not sure what should happen if someone misses several check-ins. I expect that some will drop out,

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My thought is that we could try to have word wars in the Discord chat, but part of the issue with that is that there's only three staff members, two of which are in the UK, so it could be hard to coordinate having someone to be in charge of the word wars unless we have volunteer coordinators or something.
I might be missing something, since I'm not really into word wars, but why do we need site staff for word wars? I think it's good we have a Discord channel for that, but what else do we need? Any number of writers can get together, decide to write for X minutes and compare their word counts, and the word war is complete.
Most of the word wars in the German NaNo Discord worked like this: Someone posted "Is someone interested in joining a word war at XX:10?", some others posted "yes, me", they'd go into the word war channel, agree on a time to start and duration, someone would set a timer, post "start", and post "stop" once the time was up, and then everyone would simply post their wordcount and they's congratulate each other. Having both a voice and text channel for word wars could be useful.

Official and scheduled word wars done by the site staff could be cool, but once a week is fine, I think (if there are too many scheduled events, there will probably be less participants in each single one, so there's no real point in the additional work it causes for the staff members). You could do it around noon at the weekend, which would be evening in Europe and should hopefully be fine for most of us?
Official and scheduled word wars on Discord could be a cool thing, anyway, so that's also something we could test beforehand.


I can help with figuring out the details of the challenge and keeping track of the goals and making spreadsheets and graphs, but you'd need someone else for wordwars, since I don't do wordwars myself.
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2018, 10:36:45 PM »
1. Is there any interest in this challenge?
Yes! YES! YES!

2. Do you have any suggestions for what a good site-wide goal number would be?
Maybe we could have a sign-up period where members can name their personal goals and the site-wide goal would simply be the sum of these? We could round it up or add X% to it to make it more challenging, but we can just as well make it easy and see how it goes. There are likely going to be some that drop out or stay behind their goals, so the others will have to make up for that anyway.

We could also do a smaller version of it in February, for warming up, getting back into the writing habit, and testing the rules we come up with? February 12th-25th, for example, two weeks, and there would be a short break of 3 days before the actual 6 months challenge starts. (Taking part in the test run would not be required to join the actual challenge.)

Hmm, maybe. The math part sounds complicated, lol, but that's because me+math=not a good mix. So if yoooou wanna be in charge of figuring THAT out, be my guest. XD

I think simplest is better.

Hm. We could try to do one in February? It's something to think about.

I'm not going to go crazy over this if only a few people end up showing interest in doing this. I would like to see, like, 8-10+ people show interest in this. Otherwise, we might as well just make it a smaller challenge and do weekly check ins or something, you know? I know that we don't NEED everyone to participate in it, but the whole point is to, like, get a lot of member participation and having 8-10+ people would definitely help with that.

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3. Do you think the pledges I listed above (75, 150, and 200k) would work for us, or should we try to lower the goals a bit?
Since we're doing this for the first time, I'd just let people choose their own goals and go with that. We can adjust the pledges for future challenges once we know what people chose and what they actually managed to write.

Mm, maybe. I was mostly basing this idea off of Get Your Words Out and the way they do it, and I like that there's multiple pledge numbers that you can sign up for.

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4. Does March-August sound like a good range of months to try it for?
Sounds good to me.

5. Is there anyone interested in helping to coordinate and figure out the details for this and help be in charge of it? (Basically, sort of be moderators for it without really being moderators.)
Yep, I could help. I could make a google doc spreadsheet to enter the goals, current wordcounts, and stuff, and make pretty progress graphs.

Sounds great! I'm sadly not good at doing spreadsheets so that would be awesome.

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we'd have monthly check ins where you'd have to reply and say "I'm at 15,000 words" for example. We'd also have to figure out what would happen if someone misses X amount of check ins.
I'd go for weekly check-ins. The whole point of doing a challenge together with others is being held accountable by each other, isn't it? Weekly would work better for me, personally, to keep me motivated.
Hmm... I'm not sure what should happen if someone misses several check-ins. I expect that some will drop out

Again, I was basing the monthly thing on Get Your Words Out, but now that I think about it, I think you're right. Weekly check ins would probably work out better than monthly ones in our case.

Yeah, I think some would drop out, too.

Quote
My thought is that we could try to have word wars in the Discord chat, but part of the issue with that is that there's only three staff members, two of which are in the UK, so it could be hard to coordinate having someone to be in charge of the word wars unless we have volunteer coordinators or something.
I might be missing something, since I'm not really into word wars, but why do we need site staff for word wars? I think it's good we have a Discord channel for that, but what else do we need? Any number of writers can get together, decide to write for X minutes and compare their word counts, and the word war is complete.
Most of the word wars in the German NaNo Discord worked like this: Someone posted "Is someone interested in joining a word war at XX:10?", some others posted "yes, me", they'd go into the word war channel, agree on a time to start and duration, someone would set a timer, post "start", and post "stop" once the time was up, and then everyone would simply post their wordcount and they's congratulate each other. Having both a voice and text channel for word wars could be useful.[/quote]

To be honest, part of my thinking with this was just...the Discord is still new. There's only three staff members, two of whom are in the UK and thus not in the Discord very often when everyone else is in it. We're still getting used to the whole Discord thing, and I don't know, maybe it's just past experience but I feel a little better when there's at least one staff member around to keep an eye on things. This doesn't mean that I don't trust any members that are using it, but it's just...I don't know, I think I just generally feel better being around in the Discord, and not even just for the point of word wars. But the main reason was that, yes, usually when I've done word wars, there's been one person in charge of telling people when to start and stop the wars.

That being said, I'm definitely not against the Discord being kinda self moderated when necessary- meaning, everyone keeps themselves in line and follows the rules and doesn't need to have a moderator around, and if anything gets out of hand then the staff members are the ones who deal with it.

I'm not sure how many people are going to wanna do voice chat (even me :P ) but we can certainly consider that as an option.

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Official and scheduled word wars done by the site staff could be cool, but once a week is fine, I think (if there are too many scheduled events, there will probably be less participants in each single one, so there's no real point in the additional work it causes for the staff members). You could do it around noon at the weekend, which would be evening in Europe and should hopefully be fine for most of us?
Official and scheduled word wars on Discord could be a cool thing, anyway, so that's also something we could test beforehand.

I can help with figuring out the details of the challenge and keeping track of the goals and making spreadsheets and graphs, but you'd need someone else for wordwars, since I don't do wordwars myself.

The only thing about having them at noontime on the weekends, at least for me, is that it depends on my work schedule. -_- Lately I've been lucky and have had Saturdays and even Sundays off, but usually I work and usually it's until some time after noon (but no later than 4:00 my time, so after 9:00 for the UK). So for me to be involved, it'll be totally dependent on my schedule. Luckily, these days I find out my schedule two weeks at a time, so it should be a little easier to coordinate things.

I also agree that having too many scheduled events would mean less participants.

Awesome.

Is there anyone else interested in this, or are @Manu and I the only ones? XD
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Mars

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 05:11:54 PM »
I am interested. (Don't really have brain to answer all the questions right now)

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 08:35:49 PM »
1. Is there any interest in this challenge?
Yup. Sounds fun to me :)
2. Do you have any suggestions for what a good site-wide goal number would be?
Let's say.... 5 people show an active interest and agree to do it. Maybe 5 more jump in when things get going and they realize it's actually going to happen. Let's assume dedication towards an average of 50K per month for 10 people.... 500K sitewide. This leaves wiggle room for more people, and a max estimate of 166K for three people if that's all that ends up participating in the end. Call me a cynic.... but I've been gone long enough I don't know what the site activity is like lately :P
3. Do you think the pledges I listed above (75, 150, and 200k) would work for us, or should we try to lower the goals a bit?
I think 50K should be allowed as well, as stated above. It's an achievable goal, and fairly standard. But, no lower than that.
4. Does March-August sound like a good range of months to try it for?
Sounds valid to me. Gotta have that wonderful summer distraction. Long days, long writing hours. Huzzah!
5. Is there anyone interested in helping to coordinate and figure out the details for this and help be in charge of it? (Basically, sort of be moderators for it without really being moderators.)
I could see what I can do. It depends on what exactly needs help, but I'm happy to lend a hand where I'm able :)
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 09:14:03 PM »
1. Is there any interest in this challenge?
Yup. Sounds fun to me :)
2. Do you have any suggestions for what a good site-wide goal number would be?
Let's say.... 5 people show an active interest and agree to do it. Maybe 5 more jump in when things get going and they realize it's actually going to happen. Let's assume dedication towards an average of 50K per month for 10 people.... 500K sitewide. This leaves wiggle room for more people, and a max estimate of 166K for three people if that's all that ends up participating in the end. Call me a cynic.... but I've been gone long enough I don't know what the site activity is like lately :P

I like this idea, and I think it's fair enough. I'm not cynical about the amount of people I think will participate, but I know that realistically we're probably not going to get tons of participants. I'll be happy if we get more than, say, five participants but I'm not expecting more than 5-8, though I guess it depends. I haven't sent an official e-mail out yet about the idea (I'm trying to NOT send too many e-mails out too often) yet, but hopefully once I do so we'll get even more interest once people officially know about it.

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3. Do you think the pledges I listed above (75, 150, and 200k) would work for us, or should we try to lower the goals a bit?
I think 50K should be allowed as well, as stated above. It's an achievable goal, and fairly standard. But, no lower than that.
Yeah, definitely. I was mainly going off of the word counts for Get Your Words Out. :P

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4. Does March-August sound like a good range of months to try it for?
Sounds valid to me. Gotta have that wonderful summer distraction. Long days, long writing hours. Huzzah!
5. Is there anyone interested in helping to coordinate and figure out the details for this and help be in charge of it? (Basically, sort of be moderators for it without really being moderators.)
I could see what I can do. It depends on what exactly needs help, but I'm happy to lend a hand where I'm able :)

As far as anything that we'd need help with goes, offhand I can think of things like coordinating and helping with word wars (like, coming into Discord to actually lead them for an hour or so), helping with staying on top of the check ins and various discussions, etc.
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Elena

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 03:13:08 PM »
If you don't want me to write in English, I am in. If you need people to write in ENglish, then sorry.

I agree with Manu, on RPG-D the writing sprints for NaNo were done with someone saying :At :00 we start writing for 15 minutes. Post your word count at :15!" and not always a staff member was present.




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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2018, 03:15:07 PM »
If you don't want me to write in English, I am in. If you need people to write in ENglish, then sorry.

I agree with Manu, on RPG-D the writing sprints for NaNo were done with someone saying :At :00 we start writing for 15 minutes. Post your word count at :15!" and not always a staff member was present.

Well that's the beauty of this challenge. It doesn't matter if you're writing in English unless you're wanting to share excerpts or anything during the challenge. What we're basically doing is a six month long NaNoWriMo, but with multiple word counts that you can pledge to write within that six months. So it's totally up to you as to whether or not you're writing in English. :D
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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2018, 03:16:43 PM »
Re-tagging everyone I can remember that I originally tagged to see if there was any interest in this, since Hawkhost made us lose any responses from late last night/any time today  ::):

@SecretRock @Amblygon @SithLordOfSnark @Sheepy-Pie @Silver @Ahryantah @Bunny @Concinnity @NotWithoutMyFanfic @AlexaRene  @Alexis Black @Cassidy @Cracioppo @ericadawn16 @No One of Consequence
@Pandemonium @Rohierim @MagicMagor

Plus anyone else I'm not remembering to tag but might be interested! (And apologies if you've already responded to this post once today)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 03:20:35 PM by Jedi Knight Muse »
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WaitingCynicism

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 03:17:49 PM »
I'm not sure how well it would work for a campaign setting to be honest.

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 03:19:07 PM »
I'm not sure how well it would work for a campaign setting to be honest.

I'm confused. Are you saying you're writing a campaign setting, or...?
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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 04:08:27 PM »
I'm not planning to write in English, either, I'll just use it as motivation for progress in my WIPs :)

@thatguy You can simply count all the words you write for your campaign setting, I guess? As long as you're writing them during the challenge, they're fair game. I'll count outlines, too, if I do any in that time.
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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2018, 04:56:36 PM »
1. Is there any interest in this challenge? Yes please! Count me in!
2. Do you have any suggestions for what a good site-wide goal number would be? Uuugh, I haven't had time to read all the posts above so I'm going to assume that somebody else has given a better answer than I could.
3. Do you think the pledges I listed above (75, 150, and 200k) would work for us, or should we try to lower the goals a bit? I think people should be able to choose a shorter goal. I think I could do 75k in six months. I won't start with anything too ambitious because for the past few years I've usually only written in November for NaNo so don't know what to expect.
[/b]4. Does March-August sound like a good range of months to try it for?[/b] Works really well for me - I'm taking two months of unpaid leave during that period so should get some writing done.
5. Is there anyone interested in helping to coordinate and figure out the details for this and help be in charge of it? (Basically, sort of be moderators for it without really being moderators.) Eee... probably not me (partly since I sometimes don't have time to check the website during the week, and partly because I think I'd like to help organise the book club/read a book together thing so don't want to do too many things in one go).

Let's go team Worldsmyths! :D

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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2018, 08:50:51 PM »
I'm not planning to write in English, either, I'll just use it as motivation for progress in my WIPs :)

@thatguy You can simply count all the words you write for your campaign setting, I guess? As long as you're writing them during the challenge, they're fair game. I'll count outlines, too, if I do any in that time.
Okay, now I get what @thatguy meant.

To bounce off of what @Manu said, we would definitely be willing to include whatever you're writing for the campaign as something that can be counted towards your word count for this challenge. I'm not going to be super picky (I mean, as long as it's fictional and you're the one writing it, there's probably nothing that we wouldn't allow you to include in the word count?). I don't want to make this a super complicated thing where because you're writing X, you can't participate, or because you're using Y language you can't participate. The whole goal is to get as many members as possible to participate!

1. Is there any interest in this challenge? Yes please! Count me in!
2. Do you have any suggestions for what a good site-wide goal number would be? Uuugh, I haven't had time to read all the posts above so I'm going to assume that somebody else has given a better answer than I could.
3. Do you think the pledges I listed above (75, 150, and 200k) would work for us, or should we try to lower the goals a bit? I think people should be able to choose a shorter goal. I think I could do 75k in six months. I won't start with anything too ambitious because for the past few years I've usually only written in November for NaNo so don't know what to expect.
[/b]4. Does March-August sound like a good range of months to try it for?[/b] Works really well for me - I'm taking two months of unpaid leave during that period so should get some writing done.
5. Is there anyone interested in helping to coordinate and figure out the details for this and help be in charge of it? (Basically, sort of be moderators for it without really being moderators.) Eee... probably not me (partly since I sometimes don't have time to check the website during the week, and partly because I think I'd like to help organise the book club/read a book together thing so don't want to do too many things in one go).

Let's go team Worldsmyths! :D

Yay!

I like the idea of giving people shorter goals to go for, too. I've never reached 50k, I've only reached 22k (for anything that actually counts), but I could theoretically get myself to 50k? Not on something brand new, though. It all depends on how the editing goes. (Speaking of which, that's something we're going to have to figure out, is how people who are editing their writing during the challenge would be able to count what they're editing towards their word count.)

I'm quoting @MagicMagor here because his reply was lost due to Hawkhost losing the recent posts from today. Luckily I have what he replied with from the email notification. XD

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The text of the reply is shown below:
1. Is there any interest in this challenge?
Yes, sounds like a great thing.
2. Do you have any suggestions for what a good site-wide goal number would be?
I would also make  that depending on the number of people who wants to participate. And i would NOT use 50k/month and member as an estimate. The 50k in NaNo are ambitous and not everyone manages that in November, not counting on holding that pace for six months.
3. Do you think the pledges I listed above (75, 150, and 200k) would work for us, or should we try to lower the goals a bit?
I think pledges are good idea. And since these stretch for six month it isn't that much. Even the 200k would translate to "only" 33k per month.
4. Does March-August sound like a good range of months to try it for?
Fine with me.

I would also vote for the google doc-spreadsheet and weekly check-ins.

All sounds good. :D

I'm so glad to see you guys showing interest in this! :D

I think I'm possibly going to make a password protected section for figuring out the details of this stuff, and then after we've gotten the details figured out we'll make it non-password protected (if I can figure out how to do that o.o I should be able to do so) so before the challenge actually starts.

I'd love to see at least one or two more people volunteer to help out with figuring out the details, 'cause otherwise it'll just be me and @Manu. :D
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Re: Site Wide Word Count Challenge? Any interest?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 09:33:54 PM »
And i would NOT use 50k/month and member as an estimate. The 50k in NaNo are ambitous and not everyone manages that in November, not counting on holding that pace for six months.
Ahahaha.... man was that a typo on my part :) I meant 50K for the whole six month period :) Glad someone pointed this out :P

Cause sometimes, even 10K per month is just wayyyyy too hard.
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