I am pleased to be the guest of Lois Hoffman, aka the Happy Self-Publisher, today to discuss writing routines. Check out Writing in Increments.
On New Year’s Day of 2012, I created the Sacred Writing Time Pledge. The Pledge was born in response to a writing group colleague who bemoaned her lack of organization, willpower, family cooperation, and other reasons (aka excuses) that prevented her from being the steady, daily, productive writer she wanted to be.
Writers write. Writers who get published complete work and submit that work to agents and editors, or they choose to self-publish. That’s how it works. The way to write for publication is to commit to it. That means nothing–and no one–stands in the way of your writing goals.
Don’t allow reasons (aka excuses) to gain power over you and undermine your goals. I’d like to invite my writing friends and colleagues to take the Sacred Writing Time Pledge for the first time, or renew from last year.
Note: In the past, the Sacred Writing Time Pledge included place for the writer to ask his/her family to sign, too, and back up the writer’s commitment. This year, I’ve simplified the form because you do not permission, approval, or backup to pursue your writing goals. Just do it.
The Sacred Writing Time Pledge, 2017
I ____________ do solemnly swear to devote time each day to Sacred Writing Time. That means no one and nothing disturbs this time, including myself. I will work toward my writing goals and will accept nothing less than the best I expect of myself.
Signature _______________________________ (date) _______
Best of luck to all of you in your writing endeavors for 2017!
Why do I promote the one hour a day plan so strenuously?
In October, I participated in a workshop series at the Havre de Grace, MD, public library on preparing for NaNoWriMo. A month of intense writing with a high word count goal can’t be undertaken willy-nilly. My talk covered the range from psychological pep talks, the mid-month slump, and learning to love your crock pot.
Writing for an hour a day may not require the extremes of November, but if you are carving out a new hour in your day, your daily schedule will shift. If you have the hour available without much pain to the rest of your life, great. Either way, today’s post will address how to best use the hour once you’ve found it.
What is a writing sprint?
A sprint is a set amount of brief, uninterrupted writing time.
Fun Facts about Sprints
~ The purpose of a sprint is get words on paper–fast.
~ A sprint is announced via social media, such as Twitter and Facebook.
~ Someone will announce a sprint for a certain time, i.e. “Who wants to sprint at 11:00 a.m.?” and invite others to participate.
~ 1 hr/1K is a common sprint, meaning the goal is to write 1,000 words in 1 hour.
~ Ironically, the key to a successful Sprint is turning off or away from social media during the sprint.
~ People who join in the sprint often report in after it’s over and announce their progress.
~ The value of a sprint is two-fold: to get words to paper, and to be inspired by a feeling of community.
~ Ironically, again, the community is usually a virtual (online) one.
~ Think Usain Bolt working on a WIP. That’s a sprint.
Have you ever sprinted? Is/was it valuable?