Happy Halloween! I’m taking a break from American Horror Story this week. It’s not only All Hallows’ Eve, but it’s also the eve of Digital Writing Month!
What is Digital Writing Month?
Digital Writing Month, or DigiWriMo for short, is a month-long challenge in which participants pledge to write 50,000 words. Participants can “reach [their] goal in whatever form [they] see fit.” Given the title of the challenge, producing writing related to digital environments seems like the most appropriate way to fulfill the 50,000-word pledge. DigiWriMo organizers explain that forms of digital writing participants might consider producing include “blog posts, text message novellas, code poems, Twitter poems, wiki novels, some creative wizardry of text and image, and more! You do the inventing.”
Why Does DigiWriMo ring a bell?
This is the first incarnation of DigiWriMo, but the concept of writing 50,000 words in one month might sound familiar. DigiWriMo is inspired by other, month-long writing blitzes, all of which take place in November. These initiatives include NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as well as AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month). Since many participants use social media, especially twitter, to circulate their writing and cheer on other writers, the acronyms also double as hashtags.
Speaking of acronyms, AcWriMo is the fresh face of AcBoWriMo, or Academic Book Writing Month, which I participated in last year. I wasn’t writing a book in the traditional sense, but since I was finishing my dissertation, a document that some say is a prototype for an academic book, I decided to participate. In fact, many participants were producing various kinds of academic writing other than books, and so this year, PhD2Published has retooled the project to reflect this diversity.
What is The Ambulant Scholar doing for DigiWriMo?
I’ve decided to go all-in. I’ll be writing 50,000 words in 4 weeks or, more accurately, 26 days. I’ve learned that it’s important for my physical, mental, and intellectual health to take one day off a week. This means I’ll need to write between 800-900 words on my “working” days to reach 50,000 words. With that daily average in mind, I’ve decided to focus my energy on the following types of digital writing:
Blog posts at The Ambulant Scholar. I’ve written a lot about books, but I haven’t been able to write much about backpacking or outdoor pursuits. I plan to remedy that this month. I also will continue the “Blogging my Research” series I started this October. [And yes, I’m including this post in the word count!]
Assignment sheets, presentation slides, and other teaching materials.Any documents that I post on Canvas, my LMS (learning management system), for students in my composition and business writing classes are fair game.
Web copy for the FMU English Department’s website and blog that I’m developing. I’ve already started this project but hope to have it functional by the first of the year.
Web design features for the departmental site and blog that I create using HTML and CSS. I have taken a number of training courses in HTML and CSS, but that was long ago and I’m quite rusty. DigiWriMo provides a nice incentive to practice writing in a different (i.e., “mark-up”) language.
Tweets. I’m an avid tweeter, but this month, I’ll be helping my business writing students utilize social media—and twitter, in particular—to develop a professional digital presence. I’ll likely be tweeting a lot, although not necessarily all from my @ambulantscholar account.
Are you participating in DigiWriMo? Share your plans below (and your strategies for “counting” tweets if you’re including this kind of writing in your DigiWriMo plans).