Planned Sprints vs. Spontaneous Sprints

With the amount of word sprints taking place out in the Twittersphere, I felt that we should make an important distinction between the two ways that sprints are executed: planned sprints and spontaneous sprints.

So how exactly are word sprints made? (By the Sprint Stork, of course!)

To break it down for you, I’ve created a crash course detailing the differences between planned word sprints and spontaneous word sprints – and why they each have their advantages.

Planned Word Sprints
Planned sprints are events that are held at a predetermined date or time. These sprinting events are usually advertised prior to the actual sprint via tweets and blogs. All this pre-sprint broadcasting allows the host time to draw in a large number of participants. This can be great if you’re one of the many writers who are more motivated to write during sprints if they know that large amounts of people are working alongside them. And with so many people writing all at once, communities tend to spring up around these events (particularly regularly occurring events), giving writers an easy way to connect.

Planned sprints are wonderful if you like to plan your writing/sprinting sessions out ahead of time. You can look forward to an event all week and prepare what materials you would like to work on during the sprints.

Often times, planned sprints will go for long stretches of time – meaning multiple sprints. The great thing about this is that you can participate for as many sprints as you like. And for whichever ones fit into your schedule.

Examples of regular sprinting events:
#WriteClub (every Friday – click here for more info)
@VirtualWriters sprints (daily on their Twitter account)
@TheSprintShack (every Saturday – click here for more info)

Examples of one-time planned sprinting events:
Write Club’s NaNo Kick Off Sprinting Event – #WriteClubNaNo (click here for more info)

But it can be hard to wait all week until #writeclub – or what if your daily @VirtualWriter’s sprint isn’t enough? What if you have more to write? That’s where spontaneous sprints come in.

Spontaneous Word Sprints
Spontaneous sprints are announced by the hosts a few minutes (or a couple hours) ahead of time. They are perfect if you want to sprint NOW.

Due to the, um, spontaneous aspect of spontaneous sprints, there are typically fewer participants. For some writers, this is a plus, allowing them to easily interact with other writers (between sprints, of course!) without getting lost in the flood of sprinters.

The paramaters of spontaneous sprints – what time they start at, how long they go, how long breaks are between sprints – vary and are at the discretion of the person hosting the sprint.

You can find (and jump in on) spontaneous sprints by searching for these specific hashtags on Twitter:

Also, you can follow Twitter users that frequently host spontaneous sprints. We do this over at @TheSprintShack, as does @NaNoPals.

What if there aren’t any sprints going on when you’re in the mood for one? Consider hosting your own! Stay tuned for more on hosting word sprints.


Do you prefer planned or spontaneous word sprints? Do you write better in a small group of writers or a large one? Who hosts your favorite sprints? Tell us all your sprinting preferences in the comments below!


8 thoughts on “Planned Sprints vs. Spontaneous Sprints

  1. Pingback: Find Your Perfect Word Sprint |

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  3. Pingback: Editing While Sprinting (and NaNoWriMo’s “Now What?” Initiative!) | The Sprint Shack

  4. Pingback: Sprint Watch! Where to Word Sprint this Camp NaNoWriMo | The Sprint Shack

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