I perpetually struggle for time. I missed my writespiration by a day last week, and I am writing this post far too late on Sunday night. Time is a constant problem for me and most working authors I know. Which is why I’m going to tell you about sprint writing.
How do I balance, full-time employment, with being a mum, wife, keeping a house, trying to stay fit and healthy so I don’t have a heart attack, write novels, and keep a blog? Basically, I can’t.
Much as I’ll swear blind I’m superwoman, apparently, I’m not. Go figure.
My delightful off sprung has decided sleeping is for the week. Oh, how I adore his wide-eyed insomnia-riddled brain. We’re zombieing our way through sleepless night after night. Which means I’m flagging more than usual.
Blogs are late or, non-existent and so is my motivation. So my writing BFF Ali and I have been trying something new together. Sprint writing.
If you haven’t tried sprint writing before, what are you even doing with your life?
*Pulls reader into her arms*
“Come here my pretty, let me rock your writing world.”
How do you ‘do’ sprint write?
- Get a timer or stopwatch.
- Choose a time you want to sprint for. Note – for best results choose a time UNDER 20 minutes. This is for various reasons. I’ve tried half hour and hour long sprints, but I’ve found I slow down part way through, I start to edit and my mind wonders. The shorter the time, the harder and faster I can sustain the burn for! I usually choose 10-15 minutes.
- Write. Hard and fast. Let your keyboard burn like the steroid injected sun’s belly. Fuck the editing. Stop for nothing, throw the men overboard, and write. If you find yourself worrying about editing and corrections, flay yourself with a keyboard and write on baby.
- Repeat – for best results, repeat 15 minutes sprints 4 times. (Yes, yes I am brewing a novel-shaped recipe!)
- As an added incentive – find the most insane word-nerd maniac you can and chain them to the desk opposite you for eternal sprintery. A buddy applies that little bit extra pressure to keep you focused. Share word-vomit counts at the end for accountability.
But why should you bother sprint writing?
Over the course of a normal hour, I will write 6-700 words, maybe. You know, in between the Facebook stalking, Instagram photo taking and all manner of other demon-like distractions.
BUT. In the course of a 15-minute sprint, I can write 350-400 words. Multiply that by 4 sprints in one hour (ok just over an hour when you take a couple of minutes break) and at worst I have 1400 words, at best 1600. Over double my usual rate of writing. Even with editing, this is still a faster pace than I can normally achieve.
The best bit is, you’re too busy raising keyboard hellfire to get distracted by social media. Bitch please, you don’t have time to watch your ex-boyfriend’s neighbors cat face plant the swimming pool. There are no social media slaves here. This distraction-free writing at it’s best. Sprint writing = productive writing.
You need to sprint write.
I’m competitive. I like to beat myself, constantly. So each sprint I want to write faster. I set target word counts that are just a few words out of reach, and then type at the speed of Captain Pickard’s warp 7.
What I love most is that it is perfect for people with no time.
Tough, that’s no excuse for not writing.
What’s your work break like? I get a half hour lunch – that’s two sprints. 700 words before I even get home and get my laptop out. 3,500 words over the course of a weeks lunch breaks… that’s a chapter and a half of a novel…! I dare you to tell me you don’t need sprints in your life!
Sprint writing has helped me increase my standard typing speed. It's the same reason marathon runners to hill sprints. #amwriting #IARTG #writingcomunity Click To Tweet It helps you speed up over the longer stretches too.
It will help you write faster too.
Try it out. Let me know if it works for you. How do you find more writing time in your day?
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