Through the Looking Glass- We Are Outsiders

My sister and I have been working on Pacemaker for over 4 years now. What started as a very basic way to manage a Masters thesis word count has become so much more!  Over the years, diverse groups of people have discovered the tool and, through their feedback and support, Pacemaker has metamorphosed into what it is today! We’re seeing authors, translators, students, professors, hobbyists, to name a few, using the Pacemaker tool to track everything from their software coding, Duolingo lessons and school assignments, to NaNoWriMo novels, comic strips and even prayers!

However, as much as we fashioned Pacemaker from our own academic experiences, we recognize that we are outsiders to the literary professional world. We couldn’t tell you how to publish a book or how to edit a magazine article. Learning a new language? We’re no experts! We couldn’t even tell you the best way to get from point A to point B in your process. What we can do though, is show you a couple googol ways to get there!

Sometimes it feels very much like peering through the looking glass, and stepping into a fantastical world of creativity that we would never have access to on our own. Lucky for us, the natives in this world have been exceptionally friendly, and have guided us through the creative terrain to help us create a tool which is both proactive and reactive! And we see tangible possibilities for other developments on the horizon- fitness tracking, money tracking etc. We are so grateful that: Pacemaker is being molded by YOUR experience and desires. Click To Tweet

That doesn’t mean we come to the looking glass empty-handed though! Outside perspectives can be healthy, and help shine some light on certain things to which familiarity may have blinded insiders. So don’t worry, we’ll never journey with you empty-handed. We’ll strive to bring the following to the looking glass with us every time:

  • Fresh Eyes – connections with other issues, fields and domains. Together, we have backgrounds in international law, software development, public administration, communications, international relations and more.
  • Willingness to listen – we know we aren’t experts in your craft. We listen carefully and then ask “What if?” and “Why not?”. We don’t know what’s a stupid question yet 🙂 so we’ll ask it anyway.
  • Willingness to spend hours understanding everything you may take for granted in your industry – sprints, timers, publicizing your book, the importance of NaNoWriMo and camp NaNoWriMo, the translation industry, the life of a freelance literary professional etc. These are all new and fascinating to us, and we’re eager to learn more!
  • Critique! – This may make some folks uncomfortable but we hate waste, and when we see it, we’ll call it out nicely 🙂 but we will listen to learn when we are way off.

Thank you for being our looking glass guides over these years! We hope that at the end of each foray, you can say you’ve helped us help you!

Remember, User suggestions drive Pacemaker updates! So, if you see something you'd like added, say something! Click To Tweet If it’s feasible to do so, we’ll implement it right away, other suggestions take more time, and others need a bit more refining before we can commit. But we take every suggestion seriously! E-mail us, get in touch on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr (we try as much as possible to be where you are on the internet), or contact us directly using any of the options on our Contact bar at the bottom of each Pacemaker page.

 

Let’s talk about the Writer’s Games!

You’ve never participated in a writing challenge like this before!

We were recently introduced to a writing group called the Writer’s Workout and once a year they earn the workout in their name by hosting the Writer’s Games! Now this is not your grandmother’s light-walk-after-tea-which-is-good-for-your-constitution kind of workout. OoOoh no. This is the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) of writing workouts! It’s a high-octane, so-fast-you’ll-miss-it-if-you-blink-or-overthink-it kind of workout!

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For the 4th year in a row, the Writer’s Workout is hosting their annual Writer’s Games- an exciting, fast-paced writing competition designed to challenge you as a writer and help you develop your writing skill! Over the course of 7 weeks, participants will produce 7 short stories in 72 hours. Yes, you read that right! Each week, participants will receive a topic on which they must write, edit and submit a short story within 72 hours!! A panel of judges conducts a blind review of every single entry- feedback which you’ll receive and participants are never pitted against each other as your score is based solely on how well you handle the week’s prompt.  Each winning entry will be featured in the Writer’s Games anthology which will be published and sold later this year- on top of some other great prizes!

There’s even a Team challenge if you’d rather not go it alone!

Registration for the individual Games will run from March 15- April 30 2017, and the Team portion will begin signups in July, so there’s plenty of time for you to get acquainted with the rules of the Games and get signed up!

If you’re looking for fierce but friendly competition, or just need a kick in the pants to get your writing habit going, or going again, sign up for the Writer’s Games!  There’s a real chance you’ll  see your name, IN PRINTTHIS YEAR!

Here’s some important info to keep in mind:

The Who: The Writer’s Workout

The What: The Writer’s Games 2017

The When:

Individual Games Registration: March 15- April 30
Individual Games begin: May 5
Group Games Registration: July 1
Group Games begin: August 4
Anthology published: exact date tbd Fall/Winter 2017!

The How: Visit the Website or Follow the Writer’s Workout and the Writer’s Games on Twitter.

Join for the Games, you might just end up staying for the community!

Call for Spreadsheets!

Hello all,

Our Work Planning Tool is in its final stages of development before we open the beta!

We are elated that so many of you have signed up to participate in the Work Planning Beta and have provided feedback on what we should build into the tool, and how it should work. Many of you have also sent along copies of spreadsheets you’ve built or modified, as examples of how you used to plan your writing and track your writing progress before finding tools like Pacemaker.

Studying your spreadsheets has been invaluable in understanding what functions are important to you when it comes to planning and tracking your writing over a period of time.

call-for-spreadsheetsSo in these last few weeks before we open the beta, if you haven’t already, we’d love if you could send us an example page of a spreadsheet you use, or have used, to plan your writing or track your progress.

Whether simple or complicated, they give us real insight into your needs as writers, and  this greatly helps us translate that information into a tool which gives you peace of mind and a greater sense of control over your projects and time!

 

Help us help you by sending those spreadsheets to us at pacemaker.project@gmail.com. We can’t wait to see them!

2017 begins with Pacemaker Premium!

Happy New Year Everyone!

We’re starting the New Year off with BIG news! Come February 1st 2017, users will be able to add premium features to their accounts with a Pacemaker Premium subscription!

Pacemaker Premium accounts will include:

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  • Private Plans – Only you and those you share your plan link with will be able to view your pacemakerplans!
  • Challenges – Create and host a Group for a writing challenge or just communal writing activities. Track stats and progress for the entire Group- perfect for classrooms, writing groups, NaNoWriMo and friends!
  • Plan Descriptions – Add a bit more detail to your plans with rich text descriptions for your projects!
  • Unlimited Plans – While Free accounts will have up to 2 plans, Premium accounts can create as many pacemakerplans as needed!

Many more features such as reminders and the ability to archive, group and categorize plans by color or other criteria, will also be added throughout the year. And stay tuned for more information on how Premium users will be able to directly influence what we build next!


Pacemaker Premium will launch on February 1st, 2017 and cost $8 USD/month or $72 USD/year.

HOWEVER, as a special thanks to all our loyal users, we’re offering discounted introductory pricing to all who pre-order during the month of January. Each user who pre-orders Pacemaker Premium will:

  • Lock in the promotional price of $5 USD/month or $45 USD/year for LIFE! That’s right, as long as you maintain a Pacemaker Premium subscription, you will only pay $5/month or $45/year!
  • Be able to gift your friends, family or followers this promotional pricing until March 31st 2017! This means anyone you refer to Pacemaker Premium will also receive the Promo price for life if they subscribe using your referrer link by March 31st 2017!

Learn more about Pacemaker Premium and pre-order today!

As always, we are so grateful for your support! Pacemaker’s Premium features will give you a more personalized experience on the site, which we hope will translate into a more productive writing year for you.

The best is yet to come in 2017, and here’s to that!

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Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament- Plotters vs Pantsers

We’re one week into NaNoWriMo and the Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament!

Now, we could’ve been nice and created an Open Pacemaker Challenge Group where we encourage participants to compete only against themselves. INSTEAD, we decided to start a bit of a fire… and then fan the flame!

We’re pitting Plotters against Pantsers to see who’ll come out on top!

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Each member of the Team with the higher total word count at the end of NaNoWriMo gets a delightful new pin to proudly display on his/her profile.

( See what we did there? 🙂 )

Over the past seven days each Team has enjoyed a few moments in the top spot.

Surprisingly (at least to us) there have always been more Pantsers than Plotters BUT, the Plotters seem to be producing more words per person than the Pantsers on average. We have a sneaky suspicion that the Pantsers are playing a bit of a numbers game BUT only time will tell, it’s still very much anybody’s game!

SO! Are you a Plotter- meticulously planning out the details of your novel pre-NaNoWriMo so that you hit the ground running, map in hand, November 1st? Or are you a Pantser, literally flying into NaNoWriMo by the seat of your pants, no plan, just a wing and prayer?

Whichever way, there’s a place for you in the Pacemaker NaNoWriMo Tournament! There’s still plenty of time to join. Pick a side and make your word count, count!