Part of making this work means expanding my narrow (self-imposed) definition of a sprint as an hour spent trying to get as many new words on the page as possible. Believe it or not, it's hard to let go of that definition because using a sprint in that way works, especially when the task at hand is a blog or new words on a first draft.
So why adjust? Because the first draft is just that -- a first draft. There's no room in my narrow definition for revisions or polishing or adding graphics to a blog -- the kinds of things that turn a first draft into a final copy.
Let me clarify: this is a problem I created for myself. When I took Ramona's workshop on sprinting, she never said I could not edit, revise or otherwise occupy myself with relevant writing tasks during my sprinting time, and, in fact, she advocated the use of a sprint journal, which I completely disregarded in my haste to get to the keyboard.
So one logical next step is to follow her lead and use a sprint journal to guide my sprint time. Here are two others I've come up with:
Lose the stopwatch mentality. Perhaps because I attempted my first sprint on a day when I had almost
Some days -- many days, in fact, I come pretty close. Sometimes, I even go over. But not every writing day lends itself to a frantic pace, and some days, it's downright counterproductive. The "run, run, run faster, run faster" voice in the back of my mind sometimes makes any sort of running impossible. Creativity needs to be coaxed, not bludgeoned, and some days it's a jog rather than a sprint. And that's okay.
This has also freed me up to experiment with the sprint and to use it for more than just new word creation (again -- my narrow definition, by choice, not the sole definition of a sprint). Yesterday, for example, I decided to spend 90 minutes on the revisions I've been putting off for two years (yes, you read that right). More of a jog than a sprint, it nevertheless got me moving in the right direction and it left me with a sense of accomplishment because I had done what I'd set out to do. I still hate revising, but I'm a little farther along that bumpy road thanks to my sprint-and-a-half.
As I'm sure you can tell if you've been reading this blog since May, I'm thrilled to have added sprinting to my writing tool belt. Finding an hour a day to devote exclusively (and usually without interruption) to my writing is pretty easy. Now it's all about maximizing that hour.
What piece of advice have you modified to fit your needs?