I love a good challenge. Tell me I can’t eat four donuts in a minute, and I’ll do my darndest to prove you wrong. The cinnamon challenge? Done it (failed it, but done it). Who can do the most push ups: me or a body builder? You know I’ll at least try.
So when it comes to my writing, it only makes sense that word sprints are an effective motivator. I only have 30 minutes to write as much as I can? I’ll write the most words anyone has ever seen! What? It’s a #wordwar – there’s a winner? I WILL BE VICTORIOUS.
But why I participate in word sprints goes deeper than my competitive nature. It comes down to the fact that I have a HUGE problem with procrastination. I mean, just sitting down to write this post took about three hours of preparation (read: Netflix and aimless tweeting). I finally had to start a word sprint to get the first sentence down. But once I set a time limit, I zoned in on the words.
When I sprint, I put on the metaphorical blinders and write like nothing else exists. And when procrastination does rear its ugly head (“I wonder if my friend texted me back” or “Oh, I should really organize all these paper clips…”), I can look at the clock. “Only eight more minutes until this sprint ends? I can do that. Eight more minutes of writing and then I can check my Facebook.” Having an end in sight helps me to postpone distractions. And often times, once I’ve focused my energies on my writing, I’ll lose the desire to goof off – all of a sudden the words are pouring in and I have to get them down! Then I keep going and soon enough the sound of my text notification fades into the ether.
That’s what it comes down to for me. I word sprint because it offers a low risk way for me to get into writing mode. “Just 25 minutes? I can do that. Bring it on.”
And it doesn’t hurt that I get to write alongside all you awesome word sprinters ;)