The Amwriting FAQ
#Amwriting is a Twitter hashtag created by Johanna Harness on August 3, 2009. The hashtag is a shortened version of "I am writing." It is an ongoing chat, which means you are not expected to stay tuned-in constantly or read every tweet. (This would be impossible.) The chat happens in the background of your writing day. It is a virtual watercooler for writers, a place where you can take a break and talk to your colleagues about your current writing projects (and theirs) before getting back to work. It's perfectly fine to pop in and out of chat as you write, so no one thinks anything of it if you disappear into your writing.
#Amwriting is an open and inclusive community. The writers care about one another. As the group has grown, outsiders have posted a great number of links and spam posts to the tag, but the ones that get traction are from people we know. We like to see one another succeed and we support each other in all the steps along the way. The best way to start using the tag is by supporting others. Offer encouragement. Get to know people. To that end, we have a membership directory open to anyone who uses the hashtag. Read though it! Find out what other people write.
For more information on becoming a member of any Twitter community, see my advice in "Get Out There And Do Not Tweet."
#Amwriting is one of many writing hashtags on Twitter. @InkyElbows keeps track of various chats and also provides information about chat clients that might be helpful to you. For ongoing chats, see her list of slow chats. For chats occurring a various times during the week, see her "week at a glance" list.
We often do #amwriting sprints on Twitter. You are always welcome to do a call-out to others to write with you. Some people do #1K1HR sprints, which means you write either one hour or until you reach 1000 words. Some people do word wars, so you can compete to see who can write the most words in a short amount of time. Some people give writing challenges, so you try to include specific words or phrases in the next hour's writing. When I do a call-out, I usually call them #amwriting sprints and say, "Write/revise/edit and report back in 1 hr. All are welcome." Reporting back can be in any form you like: words written, pages edited, or even just a subjective, "made a lot of progress" or "too many interruptions, so I'm trying again this hour." If you are participating, it helps to say you are before you begin. (You'll feel more of a commitment to the words if you know you're reporting your progress.) Because we have participants from all over the world, it's easiest to announce your sprints without the hour. Just say you're sprinting for 1 hr (or however long) at :00 (or whatever minutes past the hour).
This FAQ has been maintained at Johanna Harness' author website since the group began in 2009. The link here is bit.ly/amwriting.