Log in

No account? Create an account
06 April 2015 @ 02:02 pm
Six years!  

Six years ago today I started a writing chat room colloquially known as the War Room. Its purpose was to create a space where the writers I knew could log in and encourage one another to write. The idea is basically a chat room where you don’t chat, you just shut up and write, but in the presence of others, so that there’s some accountability. It’s a way of creating a work environment for a job that often expects you to get it done with nothing but your own self-discipline ruling you. We generally do 30 minute sprints, aka “word wars,” at the end of which we return to report our wordcount, admire one another, stretch a little, and do it again.

I had a book–one of the Walker Papers, maybe DEMON HUNTS–that desperately needed finishing, and I started the war room in the hopes that it would last six months or so, long enough to get through the book, at least, and maybe help a few other writers get through their projects of the moment.

Six months have become six years, and a startling number of the original Word Warriors still log in almost daily. There have been long stretches where I haven’t been able to be in there regularly at all, and it still kept going. We bounced through a bunch of locations before my friend Merlin offered us a Forever Home, and it still held on through all the uncertainty. We have new writers come in regularly, often with an air of excitement.

I’m really proud of the War Room. I’m really happy to have created a virtual place where writers can come to do their work. I’m really grateful to all of the writers who log in, who encourage each other, who share advice and woes, and who (most of the time) shut up and write together.

So Happy Birthday to the War Room, and thank you to Di Francis, Laura Anne Gilman, Michelle Sagara, Mikaela Lind, Karina Sumner-Smith, Chrysoula Tzavelas, Earl Miles, Robin Owens, Patricia Burroughs, and at *least* half a dozen more people I’m forgetting while I’m writing this post, for all of the words and the writing and the wars. I’m so glad you’re in there with me. ♥

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

joycemocha on April 6th, 2015 01:38 pm (UTC)
Um...how does one join? Don't know how soon I can join in due to the moving process, but I am trying to write a novel while moving...and deadlines are looming.
Chris Coenclarentine on April 6th, 2015 02:21 pm (UTC)
+1^^^ - I've had one online writing group like that crash out from under me, and would love to find another.
kitmizkit on April 6th, 2015 02:48 pm (UTC)
Check out toonowrimo.livejournal.com/profile for joining-up details. :)
joycemocha on April 6th, 2015 03:07 pm (UTC)
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on April 6th, 2015 06:33 pm (UTC)
It doesn't seem to tell how to join, just gives a link to where you can enter a password if you got an invitation.

Am I missing something?
Merlin Of Chaosmerlinofchaos on April 6th, 2015 09:29 pm (UTC)
There is a post (linked from the profile) that contains the password, but you have to be a member of the toonowrimo community. If you're not, I think you have to wait until mizkit confirms your membership to get it, which if she's already gone to bed then it'll be in the morning.
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on April 7th, 2015 12:04 am (UTC)
Ah. Got it. Thanks!
Merlin Of Chaosmerlinofchaos on April 7th, 2015 12:36 am (UTC)
If you can read this post: http://toonowrimo.livejournal.com/449220.html

Then you'll be able to get access.
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on April 7th, 2015 01:07 am (UTC)
I read the post, but when I followed the link to the new room it wouldn't take the passwords listed on the post. Sigh. I must be doing something wrong.
Merlin Of Chaosmerlinofchaos on April 7th, 2015 01:09 am (UTC)

That's because the post is old. That post lists a username AND password

Now it's just the password

(So only take the part after the slash).
Merlin Of Chaosmerlinofchaos on April 7th, 2015 01:18 am (UTC)
I added a comment with full instructions, but it got marked as spam. I don't think it will be visible until Catie marks it as visible.

Summary here: After you visit the word wars site, click create new account. Set up a user name (this is your visible chat name) and a password. It needs your email address for password recovery. For the invitation code, put the part that's listed as a password on the original post.
Merlin Of Chaosmerlinofchaos on April 7th, 2015 01:21 am (UTC)
Also I'm around for the next couple hours. You can tweet at me (@merlinofchaos) if it's still not working.
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on April 7th, 2015 02:08 am (UTC)
Ah--I'll try that in the morning when my brain isn't going "buhbuhbuh" quite so loudly. Thanks!
Merlin Of Chaosmerlinofchaos on April 7th, 2015 02:17 am (UTC)
Sorry! It's all my fault. At some point after the chat had been up for awhile, I decided I wanted a little bit more accountability. Also the ability to keep a particular color on usernames because I like consistency.

So I built the chat into a CMS which has a login system, and communicates behind the scenes with the CMS. In theory I could add features to the chat (mostly the ability to make chat-only posts or something) but I haven't really seen much need for it.

Anyway when we converted we got everyone converted over but never thought to go back and edit the original post which was linked in the profile. So this isn't really your fault, this was me not thinking.
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on April 9th, 2015 12:33 am (UTC)
No worries. I am quite at home with not thinking.
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on April 7th, 2015 02:07 am (UTC)
Nope. Still not working. It says something must go in the user name field, but it won't take the user name listed before the slash or my own user name.


Nevermind. Thanks for trying to help, though. I'll just sit here in the corner and encourage myself. (Wait, that came out wrong...)
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on April 6th, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC)
What a great idea! My writing partner and I sometimes do an informal version of that, but we don't tend to write at the same time of day (she's a 3 hours time difference away and writes mornings not evenings, usually). Love it!
Merlin Of Chaosmerlinofchaos on April 6th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
LiveJournal has no Like button (demonstrating its age!) so this comment will have to serve in that capacity!
Catherinesharpwords on April 7th, 2015 08:46 pm (UTC)
Happy belated birthday to the war room! I wouldn't have written or learned as I have without it. It's top of my acknowledgements list should I ever actually get published. :D
Ellen Millionellenmillion on April 7th, 2015 08:47 pm (UTC)
I love the War room, and would not have finished my Nanowrimo novel or several other projects without it. Happy birthday, War room!