Ready, Set, Go! #writingsprints

Hi, SEers. It’s Mae Day on Story Empire. Can you believe October is in full swing? In a short while, we’ll be handing out Halloween goodies to ghosts and goblins during trick-or-treat. I hope you’ve been having a Spooktacular month. If you want to add to your fall fun, be sure to check out Story Empire’s Something Wicked Blog Tour which kicks off October 21 and runs all week.

The other event looming on the calendar is NaNoWriMo. Earlier this month, I shared some tips on “crushing” NaNo.” If you missed that post, you can find it HERE. I intend to participate this year and hope many SE readers will as well. I look forward to hearing all about your experiences, perhaps even buddying up on the NaNo website. Look for me there as “MythMaven.”

If NaNo is a marathon, then the best way to prepare for it is by doing sprints. Writing sprints! Have you ever participated in these? You can sprint alone, sprint with a buddy, or sprint with a group. If the goal of NaNo is to write, write, and write some more—without time to dwell on structure and editing—then the ideal warmup is to do the same in smaller allotments. The great thing about sprinting is that you determine the amount of time.

silhouette of woman sprinting against a backdrop of blue mountains

A few handy tips:

Know your project before you start

Stick with the same project rather than switching from one to another as you move through sprints

Find a place without distractions

Find a buddy to sprint with (not necessary but it is fun to compare results)

Turn off your cell phone!

Yeah, I can hear you now. You plan to set a timer on your cell, right? Well, what about all those pings and alerts for notifications, or unexpected text messages, even phone calls? You don’t want to be in the middle of a sprint and have the ringtone for Star Trek TNG  (in my case) blaring from your cell. Nothing will kill momentum quicker than an unwanted distraction. You’re better using an old-fashioned method (kitchen timers work well).

Sprint for ten minutes, fifteen, twenty,  even an hour. Lunch break, coffee break—the choice is yours. You might want to start small and build up. Sprints are a great way to flex your writing muscles and limber up for the big event come November.

Have you ever participated in a writing sprint? What do you think—do they sound like fun? Let’s talk sprinting and writing in the comments below . . .

Ready, set, go!

Bio box for author, Mae Clair

48 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Go! #writingsprints

  1. I’ve been on a long siesta from writing for many reasons. I may just start this writing sprint to get me back into a groove. NaNoWriMo is not for me, at least, not yet. Maybe one day, my life will be a little less busy and I’ll be able to squeeze it in. Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Writing sprints are not something I have ever done. My writing usually includes so much time consuming research and I can’t help but edit as I go along. It isn’t that conducive to the sort of writing your are describing above. I think it is to early in my writing career for me to do this. I have not considered joining in a specific writing month and will support others who are doing it, and plot along in my usual slow way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I edit as I go to, Robbie. NaNo is really hard for me as a result, but when I can get in that mindset, it works. I managed to do it once and am hoping I can do it again. I’m with you on the research. It’s highly time-consuming. Fortunately, the project I’ve chosen for NaNo, only requires a minimal amount, that I hope to plug in later. Fingers crossed!

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  4. Great post… Love your tips, Mae. One I really need to focus on is sticking with the same project. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to projects. I really need to learn to tunnel my vision to one… Working on it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m pretty fortunate when it comes to staying power. Years ago, I developed the knack for sticking with a project until I finish it. Before that, I was all over the board. Every now and then I still stray, but learning discipline has really helped.

      I’m glad you found the tips helpful, Kev. Our goal on SE is to share what has worked for us and help others. Happy writing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t done a writing sprint in a while. They are fun and extremely helpful. There is a site called tomato-timer.com that I have used before.

    Looking forward to participating in NaNo this year. I’m taking a day of vacation on November 1 with the intention of getting off to a good start!

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    • I just looked up tomato-timer. Very cool! I had no clue about that site, Joan. Many thanks for sharing. It’s perfect!

      I’m thinking about taking a day or two off during the month of November to build some word count. The year I “won” I think I took off the first two days and it really did help with the momentum. Like you, I’m really look forward to the fun! Wishing you an awesome launch on 11/1!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The 90-day Alpha/Omega Beginning to End Short Story contest sponsored by RRBC was definitely a Sprint for me. Writing three short stories in 90 days, plus editing and making book covers was not an easy task. But, I made it across the finish line. You are SO tempting me to join NaNoWriMo this year. Yikes!! I can’t believe I even said that! We shall see. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • All three of your short stories were incredible, Jan. Each and every one of them touched my heart. I didn’t realize they were borne during a deadline. You rocked it!

      And I bet you’d rock NaNo, too. I so hope you decide to give it a try. There are a number of us participating. The more the merrier! We can support each other.

      If you decide to give it a go, you can sign up here:https://nanowrimo.org

      I’m MythMaven on the site and would love to buddy up. If you join, please be sure to let me know, We (and all the others) can crush NaNo together! It’s an adventure I think every author should experience at least once!

      Liked by 2 people

  7. I always read your blogs and feel like such a plodder! I’ve never tried sprints, and they sound fun. But my brain just doesn’t work that fast. I’m more like an old plough horse or the tortoise in the race. Slow and steady. You sound more like a thoroughbred–fast with mane flying. Enjoy NaNo.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I did do them last year. I participated in a 7am writing group on twitter – which was an hour writing sprint twice a week (it has changed since then) and I did the sprints the NaNoWriMo people hosted live on YouTube. I really wanted to do one of the local ones hosted by my regions organizers but they were always too far away. They are a lot of fun! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, Tessa, that sounds awesome! You’ve really had a lot of experience with them. The first year I did NaNo I considered doing some local write-ins. I ditched my Facebook account over a year ago, so I’m not certain I can still find them. I’ll need to look on the NaNo site. I completely forgot about local/regional sprinting. Thank you for the reminder. It does sound like a lot of fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have done several writing sprints. When doing them regularly i find my word count increases. I am one that needs to have noise when I am writing. I have the TV on, mostly a music channel, and I keep my cell phone in DND mode. This allows emergency calls from my select few that may need me.

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