Writershaming FAQ: how to use writershaming

Hello! This is the basic “how to use my site” document for writershaming. Now, I know that all the cool kids are making demonstration videos for this sort of thing these days… but frankly, I don’t have the time to make one and you don’t have the time to watch it. We’re supposed to be writing here. Like, right now. This very minute. So this’ll have to do.


Logging In

To use writershaming, you’re going to need either a Facebook or Twitter account. Why? Because writershaming is a social app, first and foremost, and you’re going to need a social media account to get the most out of it anyway. (And also because authentication is complicated and boring and I don’t really see the need to reinvent the wheel in this case. But I digress.)

The quickest way to log in is to go up to the Login dropdown on the menu bar in the upper-right hand corner. Click on … via Facebook to log in using Facebook; click on … via Twitter to log in using Twitter. (If you’re on mobile and big massive buttons are more your style, you can also go to this page to do the same thing.)

Once you’ve selected your service, you’ll be redirected to either Facebook or Twitter to sign in to your account there. Approve writershaming’s access to your basic profile information (click here if you want more details on that). You should then be redirected back to the Dashboard.

The Dashboard

The Dashboard is where you can manage your writing projects and modify your profile information. As long as you’re logged in, you can return here by clicking the Dashboard link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

  • Viewing your writershaming public profile

    To view your public profile just as it’ll appear to any visitor to the site, click the View Public Profile link underneath your name at the top of the Dashboard. More on this further down.

  • Adding a project

    To add a project, click the big blue Add Project button. This will bring up a pop-up window that’ll ask you to fill out the following fields:

    • Title: The title of your project.
    • Project Stub: This will essentially be the URL / web address of the project’s detail page. This should be automatically generated for you as you fill in the title, after which point you can customize it as you please.
    • Estimated Total Words: The total number of words you expect to be in your project when complete. You can modify this later, so for the time being just guess. (As a general rule of thumb, novels are anywhere from 40,000 words or up, while short stories are generally 7,500 words or less.)
    • Plot: A brief description of your project’s plot. Optional.
    • Make Project Public or Private: You have the option to keep the new project private — i.e. only visible to you when you’re logged in — if you want. (Say, for instance, you’re creating a future project you intend to get around to, but don’t want anyone to know about it until you’ve actually started on it.) You can always modify this later by editing the project. Leave it alone if you’re fine with the project being visible to the public. (That is the point here after all, right?)

    Once you’re done, click the Save button. You should see the new entry added to your Dashboard’s list of projects.

  • Editing a project

    You can edit a project’s info by (big shock here) clicking the Edit button at the bottom of the project’s card. A pop-up very similar to the one you used to create the project will show up on screen. While most of it will be old hat to you, there are a few new fields here:

    • Project Status: This is… well… the status of the writing project. You can label a project in any of the following ways:
      • Not Started: Project hasn’t been started yet.
      • Planning: You’re researching the project, but haven’t actually put down any words yet.
      • In Progress: You’re actively working on the project.
      • On Hold: You’ve had to hold off on the project for one reason or another. (I’m sure you feel very guilty about it, though.)
      • Complete: Project complete! Yaaaaaay!
      • Canceled: You’ve admitted defeat and put your dreams on hold… or maybe you’ve realized this project wasn’t such a great idea anyway. Either way, you don’t have to explain yourself… at least to me. (quitter)

      Note that updating a project’s word count will automatically switch its status to In Progress, no matter what.

    • Notes: Any additional, non-plot-related notes you want people watching your progress to be able to see.
    • Delete Project: For when you want to blot a project from memory. Or you’ve accidentally created the same project twice or whatever. Note that, as the field’s description says, this cannot be undone. Once a project’s deleted, it’s gone forever. Period end. Even I won’t be able to recover it.

    Click the big blue Save button when you’re finished to save your changes.

  • Updating a project’s word count

    To update a project’s current word count, click the big blue Update Word Count button at the bottom of the project’s card. You’ll get a simple pop-up window with a single field that lets you update your current word count. Click Save to commit your changes.

  • Viewing a project

    To view a project’s page exactly as it looks to the public at large, click the View button at the bottom of the project’s card. You can also click the project’s title at the top of the card. Note that this will only be available if the project is set to public / is visible to the public at large.

  • Modifying your public profile’s URL

    At the very bottom of the Dashboard, you’ll notice a small panel titled Profile URL. This setting allows you to customize what URL your public writershaming profile appears at — in other words, the {{whatever}} in http://www.writershaming.com/users/{{whatever}} — if you care about that sort of thing. You can’t have the same URL as another user, so URLs are generally awarded on a first-come first-serve basis. (Please note that I reserve the right to quash or reassign URLs as I see fit.)

    To customize your profile URL, change the value in the text field to whatever it is you want. Then click the Check Availability button. If the new URL is available, a nice little green message will appear along with a Save button. Click the Save button to commit the change. Otherwise, you’ll see a red box informing you that the URL is already taken.

Public Profiles

Public writershaming profiles are simple pages that essentially list a user’s name and current writing projects. See above to how to get to your own public profile from the Dashboard. Click the Share or Tweet buttons at the bottom to share this page via Facebook or Twitter, respectively.


Each writing project has its own public page as well, accessible from a writer’s profile via the See Details link at the bottom of a project’s listing. This will show visitors the plot of the story or any notes you’ve entered. Click the Share or Tweet buttons at the bottom to share this page via Facebook or Twitter, respectively.

Logging Out

To log out of the site at any time, click the gray Logout link in the upper-right hand corner next to your name.


Problems? Technical glitches? Contact me here. Please include the word “writershaming” in the subject line, and let me know what browser and operating system you’re on.

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Last modified January 16, 2016.