I discovered something life-changing this week.
On Wednesday, I experienced an epic level of writer’s block. The second I tried to write anything, it felt like my brain literally turned to mush. So, instead of focusing on my WIP, I switched gears and focused on the business side of my writing.
Once a week, I like to take a day where I watch writing webinars or videos that are either focused on craft, marketing, advertising, or the business of writing. Lately, I’ve been trying to work my way through the 2020 InkersCon lineup. Since Wednesday was such a horrible writing day for me, I ended up watching two InkersCon videos – both on craft. One of those videos was about sprinting.
This particular video caught my eye because the description was about how to increase your word count. This was something I knew I was going to need help with if I was going to stay on track to meet my self-imposed deadline for finishing my WIP by the end of September.
I have never been so grateful for a webinar in my life. So far, every InkersCon video I’ve watched has been gold, but this one definitely has had the largest impact on my writing.
So what is sprinting, you ask? Sprinting is where to take a dedicated block of time and you simply write with no distractions. Turn off your phone, clear your desk, close the door, set a timer, and just write.
I use the timer on my phone, so I can’t turn my phone off, but I did make sure to put it in do not disturb so notifications wouldn’t come through. I also utilized the focus feature on my word doc (something I didn’t even known was there until the sprinting video).
Something about turning off all distractions and only being able to see the words in front of me without any formatting or navigation bar just allowed the words to flow. I was also, for the most part, able to turn off my internal editor and just let the scene flow through me.
Since I have a kid at home and several other potential distractions, I set my time for 30 minutes. I ended up doing three 30 minute sprints that day, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. In the first sprint I was able to write over 1100 words. The second and third sprints I got well over 1300 each time.
So, not only did sprinting allow me to make up for my horrible lack of word count the day before, but it also taught me a lesson about my ability as a writer. I learned that I can write anywhere from 1100-1300 words in half an hour – something I’d never paid attention to before. Now, if I’m struggling to come up with my daily word count, I know that I can break it up into 30 minute chunks to make it more manageable and still make my word count for the day.
That change in mindset has been illuminating. I can’t wait to continue utilizing the sprinting method moving forward.
Happy Friday Y’all!
Love, Cadence <3