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Sunday, March 20, 2011

DIY MFA: Writing Sprints and a Marathon

Today I wanted to give you all an update on DIY MFA.  Over the next two weeks , I'll be doing a few lead-up "DIY MFA Orientation" posts, explaining some background (especially important if you're new to DIY MFA and didn't participate in the fall).  A week from this Monday, I'll be opening sign-ups for DIY MFA 2.O and I'll be announcing a sooper-seekrit, sooper-exciting giveaway.

But first off, I wanted to talk about two things that I'm really excited about but are new to DIY MFA this time around.  These are: writing sprints and a writing marathon.

Every Saturday during April, I'll be doing DIY MFA Writing Sprints.

Here's how it works:  I'll be blocking out a chunk of time (between one and three hours) each Saturday in April to make a mega-push on my writing.  Sure, this might mean making some sacrifices--like waking up an hour, or two, or three earlier than usual (ugh)--but we writers need to get used to making sacrifices for our work.  These sprints will be good practice.

I'm telling you about these sprints because I'd love for you to join me!

I'll be making some iggilicious badges that you can post on your blog to show off your awesome weekend accomplishment.  Also, you can use the twitter hash tag #diymfa to share how long or how much you wrote.  If you don't tweet, you can also share your results in the comments for that day's DIY MFA post.  Cheer-leading other DIY MFA tweeps is strongly encouraged.  The idea is to create an online community of DIY MFAers writing together and encouraging each other even if they're in totally different locations across the globe.

On Sunday May 1st, to celebrate the end of DIY MFA, I'll be doing a Writing MARATHON.  This idea was inspired by Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones but is a little bit different.  Rather than committing to a specific time/place, writers can commit either to a full marathon (~6 hours) or a half marathon (~3 hours), then write those hours whenever or wherever during that day.

I myself will camp out somewhere in NYC and write ALL DAY.  I'll post where I'm writing so that folks in NYC can come by and join even if it's just for a short sprint.  Also, like with the sprints, people are encouraged to tweet their progress and encourage each other to make it through the marathon.  At the end of the day, we'll have a post-marathon, post-DIY MFA twitter party!

So my question for you is: are you in?

12 comments:

Kerryn Angell said...

I'm in!

"Sure, this might mean making some sacrifices--like waking up an hour, or two, or three earlier than usual (ugh)--but we writers need to get used to making sacrifices for our work."

That pretty much snuffs out any excuses I had! I began doing my own 'Writing Hour' during DIY MFA in Sept and loved how much writing I achieved and how much I enjoyed the hour. I'm even tempted to commit to the full marathon but I better not run away with these things too early. One of my "resolutions" this year is to make sure all my goals/commitments are Realistic and Achievable.

Najela said...

My answer for you is, Heck yes! I can't wait for this.

Kiernan said...

I'm new to DIY MFA, but I am definitely in. It's so easy to just waste time, instead of dedicating yourself to the work. I'm hoping that knowing I've committed to a bunch of other writers in cyberspace will keep me focused. :-)

Ghenet said...

Both of these sound great. I'm in! :)

J.C. Martin said...

Oh, I am SO in! The writing sprints sound like a fab idea, and I'm definitely up for a half-marathon (not a full one, mind you--I live with two young men, so weekends are spent doing a lot of cleaning and cooking! :(

Madeline Bartos said...

Whoa, this seems too cool. I'm in! If I dedicate enough time, I think I'll be able to write the entire first draft for a new idea I got in April. :)

Kerryn Angell said...

Ooh, I'm excited to see new faces for DIY MFA this time around. :) I haven't attempted anything writing sprint like in a very long time so it'll be interesting to see how I do and how I recover!

Gabriela Pereira said...

OMG, I'm so glad that there are people out there interested in this idea. I was secretly scared I'd be sitting all alone in cyberspace, writing my heart out. Yay for writing-sprint/marathon buddies!

K.V. Briar said...

I'm new, but count me in!! I'm going out of town the last week of April, but the first three I'll definately sprint with you!

Cindy said...

While I found out about v2O too late to do much cheering, I do plan to cheer y'all sprinters and marathoners on... Not sure if I will make the sprints happen for myself though since I'm committed to NaPoWriMo (poetry) and Script Frenzy (100 pages worth of graphic haibun) for the month of April so I might be out of fodder... I will at least try to sprint!

Gabriela Pereira said...

Cindy - Don't worry! You can write whatever you want for the sprints (poetry or whatever else you're working on)! The idea is to build some good writing habits, no matter what you're writing.

Tioka said...

Count me in for the May 1 Marathon.

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