After only a few months of hosting word sprints on the Sprint Shack’s Twitter account, I’ve had the pleasure of sprinting alongside a huge number of awesome writers. I just love seeing all the participation and the support we give one another! And I know my co-founders feel the same way about hosting sprints. We wish we could sprint around the clock, but we often have to sign off to take care of real-world obligations (like walking the dog, work, or…you know…eating).
However, just because we are done sprinting for the day doesn’t mean you have to be. What if you want more sprinting? Or maybe our sprinting never matches up with your availability to write. Or maybe you want to be the one calling the shots and deciding when a sprint will start and how long it’ll go for. Well, that’s the great thing about word sprints! Anybody can host them.
For those who have never hosted a word sprint, here’s a crash course in hosting so that you can start up your own word sprint whenever you like!
Word Sprint Hosting Basics
It’s really not hard to host word sprints, I promise. If you find yourself with a chunk of writing time and crave the company of other writers, all you have to do is send out a tweet. There are a few basic things you’ll want to include in the tweet:
– Start time and length of the sprint
– #wordsprint hashtag (or whichever sprinting hashtag you prefer – or even a couple of them!)
Here’s an example tweet I’d send out announcing a word sprint:
“Anyone up for a #wordsprint? Let’s go for 20 minutes starting at :30! #writingsprint”
It’s a good idea to send out this initial tweet 10 or so minutes before the start of your sprint time in order to give others a chance to get ready to write.
It also doesn’t hurt to send out another tweet re-stating the start time and length of the sprint (and always include a sprinting hashtag!) a few minutes before the sprint starts. I like to do a five minute warning.
When the sprint starts, send out a tweet telling people to start writing. Let them know when to come back (the sprint end time). Here’s another example:
“GO! #wordsprint until :50!”
Some people like to issue a #writingdare or writing prompt for the sprint session. Whether or not you give one when you start the sprint is up to you!
Now, this next part is very important – probably the most important part of hosting a word sprint: Write.
Yeah, I know it should go without saying, but the whole point of sprinting is to write. When hosting a sprint, I find myself more easily distracted than if I were just participating in a sprint hosted by someone else. This is because, often times, people tweet you saying that they’re jumping in late or leaving early – or some people are asking if you’ll be hosting more. And they should send these tweets! That’s part of the sprinting experience. But it’s on you to convince yourself to shut out all those distractions and write until your word sprint ends. You’re hosting a sprint to get some writing done, after all! Save the socializing for after.
At the end of your sprint, send out a tweet letting people know that the sprint is over and it’s time to report their word counts. Whether you choose to do anything with these numbers is up to you – if you’re hosting a #wordscrim or #wordwar, you’ll want to announce a winner after people have reported their word counts. Otherwise, congratulate yourself and your fellow sprinters on a job well done.
And there you have it! That’s all it takes to host a word sprint. Pretty simple. Now go out there and word sprint 24/7!
We’re always happy to have you sprint alongside us at @TheSprintShack, but don’t be afraid to host your own sprints if we’re not online or if you want to be in control of your sprinting experience! Got any questions about hosting word sprints? Or just about word sprints in general? Leave us a comment below!