We are a writing community aiming to increase our writing productivity. It’s often too easy to let writing fall to the side, and to later regret the words we never wrote. We offer twelve challenging pledge levels for those who are serious about increasing their word count or writing habit over the year.
Membership is closed for 2023! If you are interested in joining for 2024, please visit the community on Dreamwidth and watch for updates later this year.
2023 Word Count Pledges
About Word Count Pledges
Members are expected to keep track of and report the number of words they write over the year. Writing projects include (among other things) novels, fanfics, poems, songs, essays, and short stories. For more information on what kinds of projects we count please see What Words Count.
2023 Habit Pledges
About Habit Pledges
Members are expected to keep track of and report the number of days they spend working on recorded writing activities over the year. Recorded writing activities include (among other things) drafting and revising, outlining and brainstorming on paper, or completing character sheets. For more information on what kinds of activities we count please see What Activities Count.
Seeing my name up there on the progress spreadsheet every month with other GYWOers keeps me from feeling alone in what is often a solitary pursuit.
The moderators are always so encouraging and inspiring, taking part in this challenge the past couple of years has been incredible!
This was my first GYWO, and it’s definitely going to be an ongoing thing. I chose a habit pledge, on the grounds that some days were going to be better than others as far as time to write. Although I didn’t make my goal, the simple acts of filling out the spreadsheet, and knowing that I’m not alone, were so affirming.
I have been participating since 2011 and have seen my annual word count grow from less than 100k to more than 200k annually thanks to GYWO.
The encouragement and kindness I’ve found in the GYWO community has been invaluable. The challenges spaced throughout the year have also been a lot of fun and helped me write more than I thought possible. I actually met my pledge this year and I couldn’t be more pleased with myself.
I will be joining you guys again next year as I’ve written more words this year that I ever dreamed possible and I hope to finish this year with 250,000 words!
The habit pledge is the best thing to ever happen to my writing life. It feels so manageable to write 10 days a month. I started the year super concussed and not sure I was going to be able to write much at all. I still struggle with concussion brain but I ended up finishing my pledge a month early. Thank you GYWO for setting up a structure for my brain to heal, you are the greatest.
I had zero expectations when I came into this and I found myself giddy when someone posted a new article for us to partake in. Writing is such a solitary act and it’s great to be able to talk with other writers, whether it’s trading tips on editing or commiserating over words just being hard.
The spreadsheet is the most wonderful thing that helps me see my progress. It’s helped me accept that I’m a sprinter not a marathon writer. It’s been amazing to see how many words I’ve written in past years.
If it wasn’t for half of the spreadsheets and challenges that exist within Get Your Words Out, I don’t think I would’ve written as much as I have this year and figured out how best to track/motivate myself.
Not doing well on the word count pledge actually helped me identify some pain points about creativity, self-worth, and how my own brain meats can feed into self sabotage. And to not hate myself for said pain points.
I’m super happy with what the Habit Pledge did for me this year. On days when in the past I would not otherwise have written, due to exhaustion or lack of creative juice, I could tell myself, do some editing for 30 minutes and then you’ve at least done something. That tricked my brain into actually doing more, and I managed to finish stuff.
Checking in every month reminds me just how much I’ve managed to do, and the glow of accomplishment on completing my goal is incomparable.
What i especially love about GYWO is the variety of things offered: If you like challenges, they have those. If you like wars/sprints, they have those. If you want prompts, there’s a regular compilation of prompts and writing links in addition to the prompt challenges. If you want to learn anything and everything about writing craft and/or as Julia Cameron calls it “filling the well”, you can join the book club and/or read up on the regular contributor essays for whatever thing you want to know. 🙂
This was my first time doing GYWO and I was sort of flying blind into it—without any idea how much I typically can/do write in a year. I was really pleasantly surprised by (1) how awesome and helpful the GYWO tracking tools are for understanding my writing process, (2) how much making the pledge has helped me be much more intentional and focused about my writing goals, and (3) how supportive and inspiring the community is.
The accountability aspect is amazing. Before GYWO, I wrote 40-60K in a good year. Since I began signing up in 2016, I have written 95K or more (sometimes MUCH more). I don’t always meet my goal, but knowing I’m going to have to report my word count at the end of the month keeps me in front of my computer screen and writing.
I haven’t always met my word count goals, but going back and looking at where my writing was when I started and where I am now, there’s such a vast improvement which I have to credit to this community. Giving me goalposts to reach helped motivate me to practice and to challenge myself further, including doing NaNoWriMo, diversifying the kinds of things I’m writing by challenging me to write in different genres.
The thing I love the most and find the most motivating about Get Your Words Out is the community aspect of it. You always know there are other people working on something and that there will be someone there if you need help or to talk something out or to have impromptu word wars to boost your count or help you get a story done.
Signing up in 2017 was really a great decision for me as it really kept me on track with projects and I was tons more organized with my word count.
Previous to joining up to GYWO I’d barely written anything for about 3 years. But the sense of community, the motivational posts in my feed and the much needed accountability of checking in every month has been amazing. I’m not sure if I’ll meet my target of 75K but I won’t be that far off and I’ve checked in every month.
I love and am so grateful for this community. At the March check-in I was thinking about giving up for the first time in my GYWO history and thanks to the support and encouragement I found here, I wrote 47,000 words in April and more than doubled my word count for the year.
Self-motivation was incredibly difficult in the face of time-sucking and energy-sucking RL complications. Finding GYWO gave me the extra push I needed to keep trying.
On the days when writing is hardest, GYWO encourages me to try to get at least a few words down. And as we all know, writing even just a few words leads to a few sentences, a few paragraphs, a few scenes, a few chapters. For me, it’s led me to the original fiction novel I’m now in the process of developing.
For anyone looking to write consistently, to tackle projects that seem to large, or simply to put one word after another on the page to see where it all leads, I recommend GYWO.
I discovered that, while 5000 words seems like a huge amount, the counts add up fast, especially if I don’t stress over the total and just go with the flow. I feel as if once I started challenging myself, the feeling just stayed there. Instead of feeling irritated that I have to write every day, I feel annoyed when something prevents me from writing every day.