Sunday, April 29, 2012

Word Sprints Help You Finish Your Book

Lets face it. Everyone who begins the journey of writing a novel is in for a rude awakening when they finally sit down to write the story that has been hounding them for years. While the process of writing may or may not be difficult for you. Most people find getting the words on the page quickly is more difficult than they thought. Writing is not a craft so much as it is the art of taking the ugliest lump of clay and turning it into a work of art. I believe that the most important part of the writing process is getting the bare bones down on the page. Because without a foundation there is no chance of improvement. So what do I suggest?


I know what your thinking. I don't want to time my writing. Its my craft or some other nonsense like that. Well let me tell you this. By doing word sprints for one month I guarantee you'll make more progress in your writing than you would in a standard month. That is unless of course you already know how to turn off that pesky inner editor that we as writers are always battling while writing our drafts.

Simple Guidelines
1. Start slow by only doing short, quick sprints. These should clock in around 5, 10, or 15 mins max.
2. After each sprint do something else for the same length of time (or longer). Doesn't matter what. As long as it's away from the computer. I know that we all like to get lost in the internet but this is counterproductive. If you stay on the computer you are bound to forget about the next sprint you have planned. And we cant have that.
3. Turn that inner editor off. No inner monologue here. Just words on the page. I mean it. If you write the worse sentence of your life chances are the next one will be better so just roll with it. Again, this is why it is important to start off with shorter sprints because you have less time to think, pause and edit. No changing misspelled words, fragments, pov mistakes. Nada, Zip, Zilch - no editing. JUST WRITE.
4. Make it public. Either through messaging or social media. This holds you accountable and makes it worth your while, when you can post a 300 word count in a mere five mins. Seriously, I know that number sounds scary but trust me. It can and mostly likely will happen if you stick with it.
5. You can follow me on twitter- @JaceMcCoy to join in on my sprints. Not only is this a great way to connect but it's fun to see the word counts roll in.

After each sprint do something else that is productive. My personal favorite is some housecleaning, or perhaps a quick run to the store. It's funny how idea's for your ms seem to manifest while staying productive.

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