Monday, November 3, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Sprinting 2k a Day

I got off to a great start for NaNoWriMo this year. Because the event kicked off on a weekend, I started writing at midnight on Halloween and hit my word count goal (2,000) before I even went to bed. Saturday was a really busy day for the family, so I only added another 1,000 words or so, but still--3,000+ words on day one of NaNoWriMo is a great start.

Sunday was a day I had set aside writing time, so it wasn't hard to hit my count for day two, either. But I was already starting to worry about hitting those 2k a day counts during the work week.

Right now, my writing routine is to get up at 5:15AM and get about an hour's worth of writing in before everyone else gets up and we start the work/school day. But I haven't had to be really efficient with that hour in some time now, so I'm not regularly coming anywhere close to 2k during an average weekday writing session.

So, during my writing time on Sunday, I practiced with a few one-hour sprints. Here's what I was able to get done:

Sprint 1: (10am-11am): 1276

Sprint 2: (2:30pm-3:30pm): 958

Sprint 3: (3:45pm-4:45pm): 1142

Overall, I was pretty happy with the results. Sure, I'd love to hit 2k in an hour and nail my word count for the day first thing in the morning, but I now that's not going to be realistic most days. If I can get 800-1000 words down to start the day however, I can get a shorter session in at lunch and then another sometime at night to try and hit my goal.

I find that if I approach writing sessions as defined blocks of time, I'm much more productive than if I just sit in front of the computer for hours on end. So whether I have an hour or just fifteen minutes, having that end time pushes me to focus more and just get the words out.

Sometime next week, I'll post about how the morning sessions are shaping up. Stay tuned!

By the way, if you're reading this and you're a NaNoWriMo participant this year, add me as a writing buddy! You can find me at: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/secret-identity. Happy sprinting!