Digital writing is emergent writing. It mutinies at the imposition of form, the edicts of the grammars of old. It rails to change the rules. It raises the flag of anarchy. The council of digital writing is one of spontaneity, rambunctiousness, the aloof horror of invention, the frenetic joy of dismantling what came before, and the abdication of the author. It is audacious, demanding that we writers free it from the prison of specific rigor. It emerges. It revolts. Continue reading
The Internet is teeming with digital words just ripe for repurposing. In this exercise, participants created a veritable pumpkin patch of words and phrases to be used in a found Storify/Twitter poem. Here’s how:
- Beginning at the top of the list of the list below, they responded to as many of the prompts below as they could, posting each response to Twitter as individual tweets, using #NoWDigi.
- They had only 10 minutes to tweet as many responses to the prompts! It didn’t matter how crazy or unusual the response might be.
- Once that 10 minutes was over, participants had 20 minutes to collect the #NoWDigi tweets on Storify, and arrange them into a poem.
- When the 20 minutes was up, they posted a link to the Storify poems on Twitter.
When working with digital writing, collaboration can be both synchronous and sequential. During this activity, you’ll be co-writing parts of a short story with the group at your assigned table (if you are online, choose any table, introduce yourself to the group, and keep up), and collaborating with the larger group to complete several short stories at once.
Here’s how it works:
- Each table will begin their short story within the appropriate Google Doc (Table 1 using the Table #1 Doc, Table 2 the Table #2 Doc, etc.);
- All in the group will collaborate for 10 minutes — no more, no less — to write the opening paragraph of the short story;
- At the end of that 10 minutes, the group will “pass” their document to the next table (e.g., Table 1 passes their #1 Doc to Table 2, Table 2 passes their #2 Doc to Table 3, etc.);
- For 10 minutes, the group collaborates on the short story passed to them, writing as much as they are able in the allotted time before “passing” the story to the next table.
- This process continues in rounds of 10 minutes until the documents return to their original owners, who then must write the conclusion.
- As with all things digital, the rules are emergent. Writers may alter the way the game is played where appropriate.
All “passing” is virtual, and will be facilitated by links embedded in each document. Communication and collaboration, however, are very real, and will need to be negotiated within each group, whether on-ground or hybrid.
When the stories are finished, there will be time for each group to revise, if they wish, before the works are published.
To find your table’s Google Doc, click here.
To get us started with the Night of Writing Digitally, we’ll be writing a collaborative hybrid poem inside of a Google Doc. Those of you who joined us for Digital Writing Month midnight launch will recognize this exercise. But tonight, there’s one added element: the folks on the ground at Marylhurst University! There’s no telling how being within earshot of one another will affect the collaboration.
Here are the rules:
1. We must complete this poem in 30 minutes, start to finish.
2. Each contributor must contribute one word — no more, no less.
3. Each contributor must move one word — no more, no less.
4. Each contributor may contribute or remove one punctuation mark.
5. No word may be deleted, except by its author, who may revise the word at will. Continue reading
Welcome to the Night of Writing Digitally! This unique hybrid event combines an on-ground celebration of writing with an online write-a-thon to create an experimental place for synchronous digital writing, collaboration, and general word-related fun.
If you are online, there are a lots of ways to join in the festivities. To start with, you need dinner, snacks, and a cozy spot from which to write, write, write. So, get yourself all snuggled in, and then get involved with some of the suggestions below:
- Report for the Twitter Roll Call! Announce yourself on Twitter using the hashtag #NoWDigi. Tell us why you’re joining the fun, or what you’re working on, or what your favorite candy is, or what celebrity you most resemble… Anything juicy will do to get the introductions started.
- Use #NoWDigi as your hashtag for the evening (you can also add #DigiWriMo, if you wish). Take pictures of your writing area, your dinner and dessert, your favorite books; write spontaneous haiku; make observations about your own writing and the night’s experiments… Post anything and everything on Twitter!
- Our first writing exercise will take place after 10:00pm ET / 7:00pm PT. Keep an eye on the DigiWriMo blog for each new challenge throughout the night. All of these activities are voluntary, but don’t let nervousness or uncertainty get in your way!
On Saturday, November 17th from 6:00pm to Midnight (Pacific time), DigiWriMo and Marylhurst University will host the Night of Writing Digitally. This hybrid event is open to anyone with a computer, an internet connection — and plenty of chutzpah and stamina — who likes to write long into the wee hours.
If you’ve enjoyed the digital writing challenges of DigiWriMo so far (remember the novel-in-a-day? Twitter vs. Zombies? the opening night collaborative poem?), then you’re going to love what we’ve dreamed up for Saturday night!
We’re taking the notion of collaborative writing one step further: throughout the night, virtual participants will have the opportunity to interact and work with people on-ground who will also be working in groups during the event. You can join a specific group and stick with them all night long, or float between virtual tables, poking your nose in wherever you like.
As well, all writing events will be synchronous. So order up some pizza, get cozy with your laptop, warn your significant others, and buckle up for the busiest night of digital writing you’ve ever seen.
Kickoff will be at 9:00pm ET / 6:00pm PT, and we’ll start with a Twitter roll call. To participate in the night’s activities, jump in, announce yourself, and start following some new friends. You’ll want to stay attentive to the DigiWriMo web site and the #digiwrimo hashtag all evening for announcements of writing exercises, photos of the on-ground event, and invitations to contribute your own photos, videos, and more.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to reach out to @slamteacher on Twitter. We can’t wait to see you Saturday night!
Sean Michael Morris is Managing Editor of Hybrid Pedagogy. In this piece, Sean offers a eulogy for the author, and inspects what happens when we enact digital writing.
The Specter of the Author
“I find nothing so singular to life as that everything appears to lose its substance the instant one actually grapples with it.”
–Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables
The author is dead. She is become as a specter. Faceless, genderless, subject not now only to scrutiny within her own text but to exorcism from it. That text never again will be her own, but a relic of her fondest desire, her wish toward something that mattered, something that made her matter. Yet, she becomes no more than a wisp behind the words, a half-embarrassed face in the mirror, bodiless, wordless.
Authors drain all their lives into their words. They die into them sometimes, and then resurrect themselves within the fashion of letters, phrases, and sentences that describe what they know, what they’ve seen, how their bodies have felt, what their ears have heard, and also what they cannot know but pine to know. Anyone who has committed to paper the story that woke him at night understands the plight of author, desperate for vivid, livid language to deposit that dream, that narrative, that true true story into the mind and heart of a reader. Anyone who has stared unblinkingly at the deep, dark line of the cursor for minutes and hours, deliberating and waiting on the next word — which. will. be. the. right. one — would happily share a beer, a shoulder, a cry with any other author. For the writing process, in the end, is always the same. Write what you know, and hope your readers will know what you’ve written. Continue reading
Part flash-mob. Part Hunger-Games. Part Twitter-pocalypse. Part digital feeding frenzy. Part micro-MOOC. Part giant game of Twitter tag.
This weekend your word count goes rabid!
Band together your most trusted Twitter allies to defend against a virtual Zombie horde. Collect canned goods, store water, watch your hashtags, and sleep with one eye open. The rules will be deceptively simple; however, DigiWriters should plan to ply their creativity against those rules. We don’t want to change the game, but we want the game to be as beautiful as possible. Think of the game as a haiku: a carefully structured form, that nonetheless allows for flexibility, invention, and beauty. This is digital writing at its most suspenseful! Continue reading
What do you and 99 other DigiWriters have in common? Well, other than the toils and hardships of making 50,000 new words appear out of the ether, you all have the opportunity to join Digi the Duck and the entire creative team behind DigiWriMo for a spectaculendous, marvarific, super-inspiring, all-ages live event in Portland, OR: The Night of Writing Digitally!
For one night only — November 17th from 6PM to midnight — Marylhurst University and the English and Digital Humanities degree program will host an event of delicious proportions!
Throughout the evening, we’ll not only provide all the sustenance you could ask for — fresh, catered food, gallons of coffee and tea, a table weighed down with word-inspiring candy, and Portland’s world-famous Voodoo Doughnuts — but you’ll be treated to special writing challenges and motivational speeches. What’s more, you’ll get to meet DigiWriters of all ages and walks of life with whom you can collaborate, commiserate, and celebrate. Continue reading
On November 3, 2012, the bravest digital writing experiment of all time took place: over 60 writers attempted to write a 50,000-word novel, collaboratively, in one 24-hour period. Following the tremendous, if slightly surreal success of DigiWriMo’s midnight launch collaborative poem exercise, the army of DigiWriters pushed the limits of what’s possible in communal, digital writing. Are two heads (or five hundred) better than one? How many cooks is too many cooks in the kitchen? Was the adage about monkeys and typewriters finally proven right?
24 hours. 50,000 words. Plot, characters, setting, action.
How many words will you contribute?
To get us started with Digital Writing Month, we worked up a collaborative digital poem. Poetry is especially susceptible to the digital, as semantic and lexical connections made in poetry can be reflective of the connections made between words and people on the web. In this exercise, at least 60 participants joined forces to create a work of words and connections that turned out to be unique and surprisingly lovely. And, because it was a collaborative work, everyone got to count all the poem’s words in their word count for the month.
Here were the rules:
1. We must complete this poem in one hour — from 12:00AM to 1:00AM EDT.
2. Each contributor must contribute one word — no more, no less.
3. Each contributor must move one word — no more, no less. Continue reading
Starting at midnight tonight (Eastern time), Digital Writing Month goes into full swing! We’ll be starting off the month with a special midnight launch (9:00 PM for all you Pacific coasters), which will feature:
- A special writing exercise designed to jumpstart your word count;
- A bleary-eyed but excited Twitter chat under the hashtag #digiwrimo;
- A chance to register for our free live event coming up on November 17th;
- A peek at the community who will challenge, support, and commiserate with you all month long.
But that’s not all! This week is full of serious kick-off activities, including: Continue reading
Digital Writing Month has people all over the country are preparing for their challenges. In case you need a little inspiration, here are a few folks who are rarin’ to go!
- Abby Mullen will be working on her Preble’s Boys project;
- Ryan Hunt will be examining social media and its role in society;
- Sione Aeschliman will make use of HubPages and Scivener during her challenge.
A Few Questions about DigiWriMo
1. Do I have to write 50,000 words? Really? Can someone even do that in 30 days?
You do not have to reach 50,000 words. No police officers will show up in the middle of the night, Kafka-style, if you don’t reach the goal. No one will look down at you, or shake a finger your direction, or decide not to share their chocolate milk at lunch. The real goal is to write, to discover writing anew, to invent it in ways you haven’t done before, to allow yourself to set aside your editor, your critic, your perfectionist. Stop asking your writing to behave, and give it permission to go a little crazy. Continue reading
In this post, our fearless leader, Sean Michael Morris, offers up some ideas for getting ready, as well as some insights into what to expect from your first DigiWriMo!
1. Get Creative!
Digital writing isn’t like other writing. Anytime we sit down to the page to express ourselves, tell a story, or make poetry, our first challenge is to determine what we want to say. But with digital writing, the challenge doesn’t end there. Because it’s not just about what you want to say, but how you’re going to say it! Will you write your novel in Twitter, 140 characters at a time? Will you and a friend collaborate in a Google Doc? Will you get your word count up using Tumblr? Or will your words consist of the invisible text of behind-the-scenes code? With digital writing, the medium is half the message! Continue reading