Go! Go! Go! (Writing Sprints and Why They're Cool)

First week of November is down, so I'm sure a lot of you are starting to get the hang of NaNoWriMo (if that's something you can ever really do). I really hope you're having a good time, and not stressing out too much. And I wish you the best of luck. Really. Or, maybe you are having none of that, and choose to write at your own pace, thank you very much. I still wish you luck, because regardless of how you're writing the novel, chances are, you'll probably need it.

In fact, if you're like me, one of the hardest things about writing is to actually find the time and the will to sit yourself down and write. Believe me, I know how it is.

That's where writing sprints can help.

In case you were frozen for the past number of years and are completely unaware of what this term means, the idea of a writing sprint is pretty simple. For a designated amount of time (30 minutes or 60 minutes are pretty standard), everyone participating tries to drop everything else and get out as many words as they possibly can.

Cool, right?

Of course, it's not only about how many words you manage to type out, and it's definitely not about the quality of those words. Writing sprints are about writing. 

There are plenty of reasons why writing sprints are helpful. They can really take your fast drafting to the next level.

Here's why:

They don't take very long.

Do I have the time to take a day out of my life to sit at home and type out on my laptop for hours upon hours? Not unless I want to be killed by Nick and have forty-seven missed calls from Maria. No, thank you. But a half-hour? Hour? In the evenings, that's not too bad. It makes writing time (especially when you've got a one-month 50k deadline) feel a lot more manageable, when writing a novel can be overwhelming.

They get you to write without looking back.

Think of that sentence you just wrote as Lola, and

It's so easy to fall into the trap of questioning nearly every word that comes out of you. Does this sound right? Does 'trod' even make sense in this context or am I making my protagonist sound pretentious? Why can't I decide on the spelling of gray grey gray a color that is a mix of black and white? Save all that for December. Don't be afraid of sucking. That's why we revise.

It's much better to write. Whether or not it is perfectly clear and grammatically correct can be worked out later. When you're sprinting, you tend to pay less attention to errrors and grammr mistakes and justkeep on rolling, even if that means your sentences get kind of long and it sort of seems like you're rambling a little.

You can fix it later. You can revise your errrors and grammar mistakes later. and Tthat's when you can worry about trimming sentences.

For now, just write. That's what sprints are for. To get you to write.

They are motivating!

Try joining other friends in a sprint. Or make new friends by joining in on other sprints. Knowing that other people are all going to be typing like mad is a pretty good way to inspire you to write something.

For you competitive types, turn it into a word war. And get that satisfaction of them cringing due to your sprinting fingertip agility.

If you aren't already a sprinter, it's definitely something to try. You can always put on one yourself, just by setting a time. If you'd like, invite others to join.

But if you aren't the organizing type, that's no problem. There are plenty of twitter accounts that announce sprints throughout the day you can catch. For example, take a look at @NaNoWordSprints even if you aren't keeping track of your word count for NaNoWriMo. (Veteran sprinters: feel free to share your favorite sprint accounts.)

 Regardless, the point is to just keep writing!

Good luck to all you NaNoWriMers, and make sure to keep an eye on all the YAvengers posts, which will really help you get through this month.


1 comment:

  1. I agree, word wars are awesome! I've taken part in three this November, and I'm not even doing Nanowrimo... *does puppy dog eyes* I want to word war with Agent Coulson... *sniffles* but word wars via blog are notoriously hard... :'-(