I still remember the day of the race. The air was clear. I felt relaxed. I was relatively fresh as I had been tapering for this day for a while (or so I tell myself). The co-president of the Keyboard Bangers Club, Traci Noelle, had come up with the idea early this week, and after a brief meeting (2 tweets & 2 DMs) we were ready to launch. Traci made this lovely little banner to help recruit the racers on twitter.
We knew there were roughly 6 decent feeds to post this in, so that following morning we started recruiting. Now, we realize it sounded a bit strange to post something for fun to do on twitter without having to buy anything (an ebook, an inkshares preorder, a how-to-book, a book advertising platform,a buy followers platform, etc) or needing to give us your email or FB info (a typical clear scam sign to build FB friends or a big email list) in the ways scammers do. All we simply asked was just to tweet or DM us and we would sign up you up.
Initially, the response was lukewarm. It felt a little like selling lemonade in a lemon orchard. People had responses like:
1)@_________: Hey I am awesome and can do 15K a day, I don’t want you to feel bad.
@Matt_M_Leonard: Um, okay. You can still join in. Show us your skills.
2)@_________: I am busy promoting my new book, it’s called ______ and it is full of ______ and I think if you buy it on Amazon, you’ll see it blows Game of Thrones and Harry Potter out of the water.
@Matt_M_Leonard: So, is that a yes to race, or a no?
3)@_________: Hey, do you want to see naked pictures of me and my friends?
@Matt_M_Leonard: Hmm… your picture seems to be on 18 different accounts, typing the same messages to everyone. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and imagine you were a result of a cloning experiment in the 1980s. Do you want join the word count race?
Eventually we had 9 sign ups to race on Thursday night. Three of them must have had pre-race jitters and didn’t respond to my DM’s that afternoon. Then two of the remaining 6 had to start their race early due to their schedule, but they dutifully sent in required screenshots (because we are doing this for fun). For the rest of us, we lined up at 8pm CST and typed away for an hour.
I knew I wasn’t the fastest typer, but wow, I was pretty must destroyed in the race. Maybe Katherine and I focus too much on the words we were using or the sentence structure. Terri and Ian pretty much left us in the dust. (Terri was the odds favorite with the Las Vegas bookmakers)
WHAT I LEARNED
Ian was kind enough to actually send me his screenshots of what he wrote, and I think the secret was that he didn’t care too much about making mistakes or having repetitive sentences or the fact that it was all in present tense. He just kept the words flowing no matter the cost of the prose. He can surely edit and refine in drafts down the road. In the exercise of word counts, he clearly won. So I learned to focus on keeping the sentences flowing and ignoring the backspace key as I found myself deleting entire sentences to keep structure and prose at a certain quality. Whenever I used backspace, it kind of stopped the stream of consciousness that typing a story quickly requires. Secondly, I had no outline. I had a story outline for the entire novel, but no plan to tackle the chapter I was in. Notes could have helped prep me better. I believe this is how Terri said she approached the race.
So Race #1 of the Keyboard Bangers Club is now complete. DM me or Traci if you are interested in the next one. We are not scammers like 90 percent of the twitter writing feeds. We are just unpublished writers who want to socialize with other like minded people in a fun way. You’ll never have to send us your email or give us your FB profile to participate.