3000 characters per day.
The idea for the World Cup came up in 2013 in one of my writing workshops. One of my students said that she did not like anything she wrote and that is why she wrote little. The only thing I could say to her was that if she wanted to be a writer she had to write. Another of my students had read an academic research that said that if you did something for sixty days in a row it became a habit; with the group we wanted to test what happened if we wrote every day for that period of time. We set the goal to write 3000 characters per day, the equivalent of one page, on a shared file, so that we could read each other's work.
The aim of the game, which we named Le Championnat, was always to encourage the habit of writing. Since 2013 it has been played four times a year in my workshops and that is how many students began to write the first outlines of texts that later became books.
Of course that having the habit is not everything and that there is an aspect of writing that is lonely and depends on the muses. There are no foolproof methods either. Every creative process is full of difficulties. But my experience is that the mix of competition and solidarity, of individualism and group pressure that occurs in these championships can be very productive.
In March of 2020, when the quarantine due to Covid-19 was announced in Argentina, with Catalina Lascano we decided to open this competition, which we named the Writing World Cup. In just three days, nearly 3,000 people from 37 countries signed up, and many people said they felt encouraged to write during those two weeks. Two months later, we repeated the experience and invited writers from around the world to suggest a writing prompt for each day. For the third edition, we inaugurated the Kids category and added a Poetry World Cup. In total, more than 15,000 people from 50 countries signed up for the three 2020 editions.
Today we are a team of more than 60 people. The plan, to the extent that we can sustain it, is to organize several editions a year improving and innovating along the way, and that the World Cup also becomes a platform and social network of knowledge and experiences about writing for all those interested in one way or another.