Hello, yes, I am not a fan of exercise. There is, however, one form of sprinting I can get behind.
What is a writing sprint?
A writing sprint is a timed activity in which you write without distractions. Follow that up with a short break, then sprint again. Repeat for as long as you desire. Similar to the Pomodoro productivity technique, which breaks work into 25-minute segments separated by 5-minute rests using a timer, writing sprints can be customized to fit whatever time you have available.
What are the benefits of writing sprints?
- Increases productivity
- Keeps you from editing while you write, a classic thorn in the heel of most writers
- Forces you to get words on the page, no matter their quality (big believer in shitty first drafts here)
- Helps to break through “writer’s block”
- Helps to establish a routine for writing
How can I find or start a writing sprint?
I find Pomodoro works great when I’m on my own (you can use any timer app or install a Pomodoro extension on your browser), but sprinting with friends really kicks it up a notch. I’m a part of a sprinting group on Facebook, for example (Nanowrimo runs sprints on Twitter). One person posts when they’re about to begin the sprint with something like, “starting at (time)” so everyone can get in sync. People comment if they’re joining and, when the sprint ends, discuss how it went. The encouragement helps provide motivation and the company grants accountability.
Discord has been an excellent tool for connecting with other writers during the pandemic. My writing group has invited “Writer-bot” to our server which allows you to earn XP by telling it your word count each sprint. Gamification baby!
Sprinting is an essential part of my writing routine and is especially helpful if I’m struggling. Every-time I see someone try it for the first time, they’re astonished with the progress they’re able to make.
Have you tried sprinting?
If not, I’ll get you started…
… GO. You’ve got 10 minutes!