Writing Sprints: The Savior Of My Writing Process
I have written articles about how I have a lot of anxiety about the amount of time it takes me to physically type words. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that sometimes I get so frustrated I don’t even bother writing that day. I’ve figured a way around that. There are these magical things called writing sprints. I have to thank a few friends for helping me discover that they work for me. Every few years I try them, and it works for a bit then my lack of progress gets the best of me. I have been thinking a lot lately though that it’s okay to write a little bit each day because at least I’m writing. My teachers always used to say, “Write the story that’s grabbing your attention right now.” I never used to do that because I would have separate novel ideas for each writing class because they didn’t want us to cheat on page count.
Writing sprints help solve that problem. A writing sprint is when you set a timer and write until the timer ends. Once the timer ends you can see your progress during the time. I find it’s easier to have a group of people to sprint with because then once the time ends you can share a small bit of your writing. This can be encouraging because you know you can immediately see what people think about your current work-in-progress.
I also love writing sprints because everyone I have done them with uses writing sprints as just a way to get motivated. This means you can read, edit, do homework, write, or do whatever else you need to do. I like to use it for writing because I already have a schedule for everything else in my life. I tend to let writing and reading fall to the wayside unless someone is expecting something from me. Writing sprints allow me to work on personal projects which have been therapeutic for me. It has kept me focused for short periods of time so I don’t feel like I’ve wasted five hours staring at a blank screen. Sprints also allow for a built-in break because you get to stop when the time ends. I don’t have the normal anxiety I get when I write without a timer because I normally finish the scene after I’ve stopped the timer anyway in order to give myself a stopping point. Then I can start on the next chapter the next day.
I also think it helps if someone is waiting to read my projects in a literal sense instead of the fans I will have one day if I become a famous author. This helps me because I know someone else cares about these characters besides me. My love of writing kicked into overdrive when I started co-writing with my best friend when I was fourteen so it makes sense that my process responds better to quick feedback with breaks in between. I’m excited about these new discoveries about my writing process, and I’m excited about what the future will bring.