What is the NaNoWriMo Global Write-In Crawl (GWIC)?
TL; DR: The Global Write-In Crawl (GWIC) is an international, volunteer-run event held over the chat app Discord where writers from all over the world are invited to socialize and participate in “stops” aka writing sprints hosted by different regions. It’s a fun way to meet other writers and push yourself to get ahead on your NaNoWriMo effort.
The 2022 Event runs from November 3rd until the wee hours of November 7th so there’s plenty of time to hop in and participate in a sprint or two!
For more info on how to join the Discord server and the full schedule of stops adjusted by time zone, visit this page on the NaNoWriMo forums: Global Write-In Crawl 2022 Invitation
Or follow the event’s Twitter at @TeamGWIC
Need more info? Here’s the longer version…
November is National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo, a fun an exciting challenge where users all over the world try to write the first draft of a novel– or at least 50,000 words of one– in 30 days. Because life has a nasty habit of getting in the way of one’s creative pursuits, one of the most common bits of advice NaNoWriMo veterans recommend is getting ahead early to build yourself a cushion of words in case something comes up later in the month. The tradition has become to designate the first weekend of NaNoWriMo as Double Up Weekend where everyone tries to write double their usual amount and the non-profit behind NaNoWriMo offers double the prizes to anyone who donates to their creative mission.
But this year, Double Up Weekend combines with another fun NaNoWriMo tradition: the Global Write-In Crawl!
What is it?
Begun in 2020, the Global Write-In Crawl (or GWIC as it’s more commonly known) is a virtual train ride with stops every couple of hours at regions all over the globe. At each “stop” the host region runs writing sprints (which are short timed writing bursts) with breaks to socialize in between. While there are 30 stops with writing sprints running near continuously over the course of several days, anyone can jump in or out at any time, participating as much or as little as desired!
Can short writing bursts like that really make a difference in your total word count?
- Well, in 2020, 308 people across 26 regions participated in the GWIC writing a total of 753,911 words written.
- 2021 saw 274 GWIC participants, 84 regions and 1,595,497 words.
- With how the event keeps growing, imagine how much we’ll all write this year!
How does does it work?
(aka new things are scary and after all this writing I don’t have enough brain left to figure this out HALP!)
- Join the GWIC Discord. For privacy, I can’t link you directly to the invite but you can find the link to join here. (The GWIC Discord is the blue one. The TMNT themed one is the NaNoWriMo region I run, the Northeast New Jersey Nenja Dojo.)
- Sign up. Once in the Discord server, navigate to the #word-count-tracking channel. In there you’ll find a Google Form where you can submit your NaNoWriMo username and officially sign up the fun!
- Visit the current stop. While there are lots of channels for chatting, the real magic happens in the Station Writing Stops section. Your regional hosts (often with the help of a bot like Sprinto to keep time) will lead everyone in sprints in the #station-bot-sprinting channel while you can chat between sprints in #station-chatter (text) or #station-voice-chat (audio).
- How does a sprint work? When the station host (or bot) tells you it’s time to start writing, you write as much as you possibly can until it’s time to stop! Then you report what you wrote to see how it stacks up to others (or keep it private if competition doesn’t motivate you).
- Participate in as many or few sprints as you wish!
- Report your count. Once a stop is over (or you decide you’re done for now), return to the #word-count-tracking channel and visit the other Google Forms linked there to report your total word count for that stop.
And that’s all there is to it! Share things that inspire you, make some writer friends from around the word and get a TON of writing done over the course of this limited time event.
Other fun things:
- Collectible tickets. Each stop has a special customized ticket that you can claim so long as you participate in even a single sprint during that stop. Collect them all! (Pictured above are two of the tickets I earned for writing at stops in Western Massachusetts and Philadelphia earlier in the event.)
- Regional Brochures. There are information channels for each participating region that acts as a brochure where you can learn a bit about the history and culture of the region you’re writing with.
- Writers, Socializing. Lastly, there are plenty of channels set up for chatting, sharing pictures of pets and other fun ways to get to know your fellow writers no matter how far away you live from each other!
And that’s it! A fun and friendly way to not only get a lot of extra writing done and get ahead on your NaNoWriMo novel but also get to know more about the world around you and the other writers joining you on this challenge!
I’ll be popping in and out of the crawl all weekend so I hope to see you there!