I found #writersdash on Twitter, what is it?
The Writers’ Dash (#writersdash or #dailydash on Twitter) is a 15-minute free writing exercise held on Twitter, Facebook and Second Life® every weekday. At 5:30am & 5:30pm Pacific Time we share the word prompt on our social media channels; the live event begins in Second Life® at 6am & 6pm PST. Write whatever comes to you. Don’t fixate too heavily on what you are writing and disengage your inner editor – the key is for you to get the words on the page first; you can worry about editing later. If you are attending the live event in Second Life® there will be an opportunity for you to show your work to the other participants after the 15 minutes are up. If you are unable to attend the live event you can share your work on our blog. Just look out for the prompt post and leave your dash piece as a comment.
Do I have to do the Writers’ Dash in Second Life®?
No, you can do it at home, if you prefer. We share the prompt word at 5:30am & 5:30pm PST on Twitter and Facebook and start the timer in Second Life® at 6am/6pm PST every weekday.
How do I join the live event in Second Life®?
You will first need to join Second Life® through the Second Life® website. Go to http://www.secondlife.com to start the process. It’s free to join.
Click on the JOIN NOW button and this will take you to the Registration screen. Here you simply fill in your personal details and choose a name and look for your avatar. Don’t worry too much about your avatar’s appearance as there will be plenty of opportunity to tweak it once you are inworld.
Once you have completed your Registration, you’ll be asked to download and install the Second Life® viewer to your computer. You will then be taken to a screen that allows you to choose which community gateway to enter. This is important as we want you to go through as smooth a transition as possible. Please choose the Caledon (Victorian Steampunk) Community Gateway. Once you have chosen the gateway you will find yourself appearing inworld at the University of Oxbridge in Caledon. Now begins your brief induction.
Follow the signs and read the information boards as you come to them. There is also a brief Second Life® tutorial provided on screen. Try and absorb as much information as possible but be mindful that you can always return to Caledon at a later date if there is something you feel you missed. At the very least try and understand the most important concepts such as how to move, how to talk and your camera controls.
Once you have completed the Orientation Tutorial you will need to find your way to Milk Wood. This is the sim that is home to Virtual Writers. At the bottom of your screen you will see a search tab. Click on this and look for Milk Wood. Now the teleporting fun begins. Click on ‘Teleport’ and you will be moved from your present location to our welcome area. Make sure you save the landmark so that you can easily return there.
We look forward to meeting you at one of our various daily writing events. Don’t forget to click on one of the group joiners so you can stay abreast of happenings in the writing community. You can also join Virtual Writers through the search facility. Simply put Virtual Writers, Inc. under group search, click on the group name to bring up the profile screen. Then click ‘View Full Profile’ followed by ‘Join’.
What is Virtual Writers?
Virtual Writers is a popular online writers’ community committed to showcasing established and emerging writers in a range of interactive and immersive environments. Here we learn to experiment with digital, social and virtual world platforms to push the creative envelope and develop a strong, unique voice.
We host online writing events, workshops and interactive readings and provide a wealth of opportunities for writers to meet and share resources.
Our main online writers’ space is in the form of a digital community where users move, communicate and socialise using mouse, microphone and keyboard controls. We find this type of virtual environment ideal for busy writers as it enables them to attend live events without the need for travel. The writer is able to promote his work, meet with publishers, literary agents and other authors all from the comfort of an armchair.