What's this all about?
I’ll write whatever you want – and you can watch me do it.
**BREAKING NEWS - UNTIL THE END OF THE CAMPAIGN, ALL PERKS ARE NOW DOUBLED IN VALUE. THAT'S RIGHT - YOU GET TWICE THE AMOUNT OF GOODNESS FOR EVERY PERK LISTED ON THE RIGHT. ALL THE MORE REASON TO MAKE A PLEDGE!**
My name’s David Varela and I’m a writer. I’ve written films, plays, games, poems, global ad campaigns, and all sorts of other strange things – but now, for one week only, I’m taking requests. I’ll write what you tell me to.
You can also watch my writing process in action – live, via webcam – and you’ll be able to see every keystroke as I type it on our website.
For 100 hours, my every word is yours. I’m taking a vow of silence and I won’t have any private communications – no texts, no tweets, no emails. Every word is public domain. And everything I write is copyright-free.
What’s the good cause?
All this is to raise money for Arvon, who run residential creative writing weeks for schools and community groups and are building a collaborative writing platform for young people. You can see their work at http://arvonfoundation.org/.
How much do you need?
This Indiegogo campaign is purely to cover the basic overheads of accommodation and the cost of bolting together the website. I’m not getting a penny out of this, and unless we can cover the basic costs, neither will Arvon. WE WANT TO FAR EXCEED THE INDIEGOGO TARGET – THAT IS THE BARE MINIMUM WE NEED TO RAISE, SO KEEP DONATING.
And if anyone wants to volunteer their web development skills, get in touch. We’re aiming to pay a reasonable fee, but pro bono offers would be much appreciated. The more we can reduce costs, the more money we can use to help kids.
How exactly does it work?
Choose a perk on the right hand side of this page and make your donation. When all the donations are in, I’ll be in touch to ask for the specific details of your request – I’m very versatile, so be creative. Then, during a week in December, I’ll write you some wonderful words and make them instantly available on our website. You can even watch the magic as it happens and heckle me/send messages of support.
And feel free to order multiple perks. Want two compliments? Pledge $10 and leave me a note.
Where and when?
The plan is for me to stay at Arvon’s writing centre in Lumb Bank – former home of Ted Hughes, just down the road from Sylvia Plath’s final resting place. It’s an isolated farmhouse in Yorkshire, and when I’m up there (December 17th-22nd) it’s going to be cold and probably snowbound. It’s very likely that this whole thing will turn into an online recreation of The Shining.
Is there anything you won’t write?
As this is raising money for children’s writing development and literacy, I’m steering away from anything entirely depraved. No porn. Sorry. Also, I can’t write anything that will violate someone else’s copyright, so don’t ask me to type out War and Peace. Oh, and nothing libellous. That would be bad.
What if you have too many requests?
It would be a nice problem to have. I’m not planning to sleep much so I should be able to get through a lot of writing. If I do end up having to choose which requests to fulfil, priority would go to those at the higher funding levels – so be generous.
Will you write my company’s transmedia strategy?
In a word, yes. However, expect to pay the kind of rate you’d be charged by a business consultant. Just because this is for charity doesn’t mean you can get a cheap deal. And bear in mind that everything I write will be public, so non-disclosure agreements will be tricky.
What’s this ‘copyright-free’ malarkey?
Everything I write in this week will be released under a CC Zero licence. That means you can all copy it, remix it, and do whatever you like with it, and you won’t even need to credit me. I’m a firm believer in Creative Commons, so I’m putting it into action here. I’m also really hoping I don’t come up with a million-dollar idea this week by accident.
Do we get to see you naked?
No. There will be a webcam, but it won’t be in the bathroom. You might get some hot dressing gown action though.
And who wrote that catchy music in the video?
That’s Tom Cusack. Much of his music is available for free under a Creative Commons Attribution licence over here.