I’m a distance runner
That’s a label that took me a while for me to wrap my arms around. I always hated running. Like with a passion. Like I walked at least part of the way every time a gym teacher or coach told us to run a mile. There was the time I ran a mile for the Presidential Physical Fitness award, but that’s a different story for a different day.
Suffice it to say, I hated running. Then a whole bunch of things happened (I still blame one of my heroes), and I went from never running more than a mile in my life to running three miles, and then more until six months later I ran my first half-marathon at 41 (about 3 weeks before I turned 42).
Now, when I run, it’s almost never less than three miles. Often I run a steady pace but there’s a benefit to sprinting. One format I do is sprint 400 meters (1/4 mile) and then walk (sometimes jog) 400 meters. I repeat that usually 4-6 times. It’s called speed work and has several benefits.
But wait, this is a spec fiction site for spec fiction writers
I’m getting there. I’ve found out that what I learn at work or in the name of fitness often applies to writing. Vice versa. I’ve picked up some good work habits from writing conferences, posts, etc.
Like running, I’m in it for the long haul in writing but sometimes I need to work fast.
One fantastic thing about the writing community is the camaraderie. And one of my favorite aspects is cheering on other writers and having them cheer me on. Especially during NaNoWriMo but also throughout the year, I’ll participate in word sprints. I’m actually taking a break from a session to write this post or more accurately I’m write this post during a session. Anyway, the point is to write as many words as possible in a set period of time. We usually do about 20 minutes but sometimes 15 or 30. I’m in the editing phase so I’ll go by pages edited. It’s amazing how much easier and more fun it is to write and edit scenes in short focused bursts with friends cheering me on.
Have you ever done word sprints? How do you improve your writing productivity?