I was reading over Twitter about a year back and I came across the account from Jane Espenson (@JaneEspenson). Her career has the power to make me cry with envy. As a producer she’s worked on such shows as Buffy, Battlestar Galactica, Caprica and Once Upon a Time. She’s doing amazing things with her current project Husbands. And there she was! On Twitter!
Almost at once she sent out a tweet, asking anyone who saw it to participate in a writing sprint with her. I thought it was a wonderful idea! Just one problem. What’s a sprint?
It turns out a “writing sprint” is when a group of writers gather together, either physically or in cyberspace, to totally ignore each other and everything around them. We do one thing, and one thing only – we WRITE, at least for that designated amount of time. The typical sprint is anywhere from 15-30 minutes. After that you break and compare word counts, which hopefully will motivate you to focus while you’re writing.
I found out quickly I’m not a great fan of writing “sprints”. For me 15 minutes is just getting started. Even an hour is a drop in the bucket. And while I love being in such illustrious company, Ms. Espenson can only host a sprint when her schedule allows. So we both have to hopefully be on at the same time.
I went in search of another group. Fortunately, I found a great one pretty quickly on Facebook – Endurance Writers. Now THESE guys speak my language!! Forget this 15 minute stuff – they’re hardcore. The shortest “sprint” I’ve ever seen this group schedule is 2 hours, with a 7 minute break in between. The longest I’ve seen is 6 hours, with different members hosting part of the session. It’s fantastic!! Not to mention productive.
This group has decided to find out if we can re-enact Nanowrimo this month. Since it’s 30 days long in November, it will extend 1 day in both directions, beginning January 31st, and ending on my birthday, March 1st. I didn’t have to think long before I agreed to join. Writing with others is a fantastic motivation, but when they try for a word count of 50,000 in 30 days, it’s possible to make serious progress.
To that end I’ve included a new word count widget on the sidebar, which will track my progress this month. Wish me luck!