Saturday, November 14, 2009


You know about me and no, I'm not talking about sprints of the running variety.
Lately, I've been seeing the term sprinting springing up everywhere in relation to writing.
I happened to be on Twitter 2 weeks ago on a Friday night, about to start writing, when I noticed RWAus and a few Aussie authors were doing a 15 minute sprint.
Basically, it involves writing as fast as you can in that time frame, non stop.
Similar to pacing yourself against an egg timer, I'd say, which I heard recommended by Stephanie Bond once.
The interesting thing is, I've been doing natural sprints for the last fortnight.
I have a short deadline.
I have loads of words to write.
So I write: early morning, toddler nap time, late at night.
The result?
Huge increase in productivity. Not just from the actual time spent writing, but sprinting increases your speed. Truly!
Go ahead, try it.
I've written 14000 words last week, over 10000 the week before.
It has been a long time since I've done that, because I'd slowed my writing, aiming for 4-8 pages a day. Now, I'm doing 6-8 in one sitting.
Along with faster fingers, I think your mind loosens, gets in tune with your story, knowing you need to pour the words out to meet your self-imposed time limit.
Practice your sprinting.
You'll be pleased with the results.


Caroline Storer said...

Umm interesting...lately I've been more of a slow not even that...more a grindingly slow plod. So I'm going to have a go at this sprinting lark...starting tomorrow...I mean I need to warm up first don't I? I'll keep you posted as to whether I've broken my own metaphorical "four minute mile". Take care. Caroline x

Nicola Marsh said...

Give it a go, Caroline.

Writing for short bursts (well, my bursts are usually an hour), daily, for a week or two in a row, should increase your speed.

Let me know how it goes!

Lacey Devlin said...

Wow I've never come across the writing sprint. Perhaps because my brain shuts down after it reads the word "sprint". I think it's the trauma of all those beep drills in physical education class... the scars run deep :P

I can't wait to give it a go! Thanks Nic!

Margaret Mayo said...

I think I need to try this, Nicola. I'm a bit of a plodder, I keep reading back what I have already written and correcting it as I go along. I'll try sprinting on Monday.

Caroline Storer said...

Hi Nicola. Update! Thanks to your "sprint" blog which motivated me no end I managed to type 2935 words today and broke the apathy that had been with me for the past 2 weeks. Thanks! Take care. Caroline x

Nicola Marsh said...

I'm like you, Lacey.
Mention exercise and I tune out...writing sprints are the only kind I can manage!

Nicola Marsh said...

We all work in diffent ways, Margaret and after 70 plus books, you're way definitely works for you :)

Always fun to try something different though.

Nicola Marsh said...

Caroline, that's brilliant!
Well done, so glad it helped :)