Writing a book takes a lot of different skills: the ability to plan and stick to the plan (and know when to chuck the plan when it’s not working). The ability to silence the little critic in your head and listen only to the muse, sometimes for years before getting any direction. Probably the number one skill it requires is the ability to show up to the page day after day, regularly, faithfully, even when it’s not fun or sexy or even seemingly productive.
Sure, sheer willpower will get you there. But for the rest of you who are mere mortals like I am, there are tools. One fabulous tool is the inspiration (and smidge of pressure) of publicly declaring your goal and then going for it with others striving for similar goals. Enter the word sprint.
Word sprints work simply: follow a hashtag on Twitter. Writers looking to “sprint” (write for 30 minutes) will tweet using the tag. At the end of the half hour, everyone will compare word counts. It’s not really about how far you get and whether you “win,” though. It’s about the fact that you just got closer to a finished book with a little help from your friends. Check out hashtags #2k1hr (or #1k1hr), and #WriteClub. Sometimes the #amwriting crowd will sprint too. This one isn’t on Twitter, but works in a similar way: http://750words.com/
Writing can feel like a solitary endeavor but there is a lot of support if you know where to look. Happy sprinting.