Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sprint Plus One

For two years now, I've been trying to sprint with Ramona each day. It's been a fabulous addition to my writing life, with the unexpected benefit of nurturing connections with other writers who are doing the same, and the very much anticipated benefit of squeezing more writing into a full schedule.

My sprints aren't as dedicated as Ramona's -- I'm not a morning person, so the early birds who sprint at 7AM have finished their sprints before I've even started mine. But, I check in late, after I've finished my hour, happy to be part of the group, and motivated by the thread that I know is there even if I haven't yet arrived.

In addition, I'm more loyal in the summer. During the school year, sprints sometimes get edged out by class planning and teaching, both of which require a portion of the same creative energy that I give to my writing. I'm working on finding my balance, but some days the sprints win and other days, it's the classroom stuff.

After spending the weekend at Pennwriters and being reminded that other writers clock their progress, so to speak, in terms of words, not time, I decided that maybe I needed to update my plan. I love my sprints and the sprint crew, so I'm not ready to jump ship.

Still, there are days that I write, but don't "count" my writing as a sprint because of the way I've defined the sprint itself. Blogs, for example, have never been a part of my sprint time, despite the fact that they make up a substantial chunk of my writing time.

After some deliberation, I've decided to combine my sprints with my previous word count system. I used to keep track of words written each day, but once I started sprinting, word counts fell by the wayside. Over at Organizing by STYLE, I'm constantly talking about celebrating small steps and tracking progress, no matter how small, yet, here at home, I was completely dismissing progress that occurred on an almost daily basis. Silly at best and self-defeating at worst, it constituted a flaw in my plan.

So, as so often happens after Pennwriters weekend, I have a new plan. Sprint? Absolutely. Word count? Yep, that too. After all, when a person writes five blogs a week, she ought to "count" them, right?

It's about time to practice what I preach.

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