Writing Sprints: I’m a Believer

6B2B0212 (2) copy~ By Jeff Salter

I used to look askance at the sprints – large and small – which I saw people chatting about. My initial reaction was: Writing is a solitary endeavor, so just do it by yourself and keep it to yourself. But after I accepted an invitation from a colleague for a small group sprint one evening in late May 2013, I was hooked. In that hour, I had produced nearly 1600 words on a story which I otherwise would not have gotten back to in who-knows-when.

Chatting about that experience (and perhaps several afterwards), I kind of stumbled into a separate group (previously begun by one of my Astraea Press colleagues) which she calls the Write-A-Thon. In that space, she – and, now, many others of us who’ve gotten involved – post our progress on certain projects, our daily word production (if notable), and (of course) our word counts from various sprints, including the main weekly one (to be explained below).

For a look at my earlier thoughts about sprinting, please take at look at my blog from August 2013: http://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/sprinting-with-my-fingers/

Sprints as a Writing Challenge

The Write-A-Thon group/thread had been going on for quite some time, I believe, before I paid any attention to it – for the reasons I indicated above. But I was so jazzed by my experience in that very first small group sprint that I was yakking about it on the AP group for several weeks. Around Aug. 1, I believe, our weekly sprinting adventure had been invited to migrate to the Write-A-Thon group/thread as a convenient venue.

We don’t have an official name, but since I became involved I’ve been calling it the “Yee-Haw AP Weekly Sprint”. [No particular reason] Some participants use part of that name, but I suspect many people think of it as the Write-A-Thon Sprint

7 thoughts on “Writing Sprints: I’m a Believer”

  1. That’s an impressive number of words, Jeff. And I agree the sprints are great fun. Like Patty I love the camaraderie of the group, and like you find stories going of at very strange tangents sometimes 🙂

    1. thanks for visiting, Sherry.
      Well, we have a very affable group over at AP anyhow.
      And even though our sprints often include folks not affiliated with AP, it’s still a very tight group. Lots of mutual encouragement … including at times when no sprints are underway.

  2. The YeeHaw Writing Sprints are so much fun – not only because I see the word counts go up, but because of the crazy conversations that usually follow. Nice job keeping track of the stats!

    1. Right you are, Patty. We do sometimes have some wild threads — post-sprinting.
      Of course, a few of the participants are just plain wild anyhow!

  3. Thanks, Melissa, for letting me guest here again.
    Seems like years since I used to pop in fairly often with a guest column (or writing prompt).

  4. Debra Sennefelder

    Thanks for sharing your experience with sprints. I’ve only done two and I enjoyed them. I definitely got words that probably would have taken days to write.

    1. Keep with it, Debra. As I noted in this column, one of the HUGE bonuses for me was discovering that with my “inner editor” turned off for that hour, my characters were free to surprise me with quirks and plot twists that I could not have hatched-out if I’d been sitting there staring at the screen.

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