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Discussion Starter #1
Are there any beginner authors who practice "writing sprints"?

A writing sprint is a method to increase your "words per hour" and the way it works is
you choose a time and place with minimal distractions and write non stop for X minutes.
The idea is to get to where you can write non stop for an hour to maximize your efficiency.
This is important for those who have a day job and other obligations.

I've literally just started writing less than two weeks ago and started with doing 5 minute
sprints at least once a day.  I've been been slowly increasing my sprints to 10 minute stretches.

I've already seen my words per hour improving, so I can recommend it.
 

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I practice my sprints occasionally and I've found a lot of Chris Fox's advice to be helpful.
Especially creating a turtle shell. Gotta put away distractions to get things done when you're so used to checking your phone and browsing around the internet.

I'd like to get to the legendary 5,000 words per hour but I tend to max out at 3,000 currently.
It doesn't help I do a lot of my writing on traditional pencil and paper and then transfer it over to Word by manually typing later but sometimes that's the method that's speaking to me.

Keep up your sprints, we can only get faster and faster!
 

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I've experimented with differing lengths of sprints.

15 minutes is my sweet spot. I can get about 4k written for a day before my brain becomes the consistency of oatmeal.
 

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I find 15 min sprints with 5 min breaks is my sweet spot too. I aim to do one to two hours, once or twice a day, and can usually hit 4k a day this way. Definitely working on upping my wordcount, but right now it's working well for me!
 

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Whenever I'm having a bad writing week, I push aside my normal way of working and concentrate on sprints -  usually 30 minute writing sprints, followed by a break.  They're both a great way to up your daily word count as well as help you break through any blocks that might be standing in your way.
 

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When my writing is at my best and most productive is when I'm doing disciplined writing sprints. My preferred is 20 minutes, but 15 also works.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So I did my first 20 minute writing sprint today  and my words per hour went down from before.  I then did a 10 minute sprint and got the best words per hour Ive ever gotten.  Not sure what to make of that...
 

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AllenOwen said:
So I did my first 20 minute writing sprint today and my words per hour went down from before. I then did a 10 minute sprint and got the best words per hour Ive ever gotten. Not sure what to make of that...
I'm a big planner, so I have to have my overall outline as well as each scene pretty well mapped out before I start my sprints. I typically start a writing session by reviewing what I wrote last session, and writing descriptions of upcoming scenes (some are just one sentence, some are several paragraphs depending on how detailed I need to be upfront). Then I set the timer and write! That's how I personally get between 500-700 words per 15 min session, on average.

Maybe you need more pre-planning? Or maybe you just work better with 10 min vs 20 min sprints. It took me a while to realize that 15 minutes was the perfect length for me.
 

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I like to go for at least a half-hour, because it usually takes me a good ten minutes to get going, and if I've set the clock for any less time, I find myself always looking at it and worrying that time is going to run out before I get any words in. But I prefer an hour, because if the sprint is going well I hate to stop too soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
WriterlyLD said:
I'm a big planner, so I have to have my overall outline as well as each scene pretty well mapped out before I start my sprints. I typically start a writing session by reviewing what I wrote last session, and writing descriptions of upcoming scenes (some are just one sentence, some are several paragraphs depending on how detailed I need to be upfront). Then I set the timer and write! That's how I personally get between 500-700 words per 15 min session, on average.

Maybe you need more pre-planning? Or maybe you just work better with 10 min vs 20 min sprints. It took me a while to realize that 15 minutes was the perfect length for me.
Well, I've only done one 20 minute sprint and several 10 minute sprints. I need more data. So I'll try more of the 20 minute sprints. And I probably needed to do more pre-planning, or rather more detailed pre-planning.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I should also say to anyone who reads this thread, and isn't doing writing sprints, I highly recommend them.
 

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I've started doing springs by word count now instead of time. I'll do 500-word bursts first thing in the morning, at lunch, before my wife gets home from work, before bed, etc. Sometimes they take me ten minutes. Other times they're around thirty or forty. I'm hitting my weekly word-count targets far more consistently ever since I started this.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
WriterlyLD said:
I'm a big planner, so I have to have my overall outline as well as each scene pretty well mapped out before I start my sprints. I typically start a writing session by reviewing what I wrote last session, and writing descriptions of upcoming scenes (some are just one sentence, some are several paragraphs depending on how detailed I need to be upfront). Then I set the timer and write! That's how I personally get between 500-700 words per 15 min session, on average.

Maybe you need more pre-planning? Or maybe you just work better with 10 min vs 20 min sprints. It took me a while to realize that 15 minutes was the perfect length for me.
So I did more pre-planning and tried another 20 minute sprint; my words per hour are now the same as for a 10 minute sprint. Thought you'd like to know.
 

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I tried doing sprints, and it doesn't work for me. I tried with a group I'm in who does regular sprints, 15 minutes at a time. Forty minutes later, I check back in, 2500 words done, miss the whole point of the sprints and chat thing. :(  I do better just sitting down and writing until the muse runs out of words.

There are a few threads here about sprints and various methods of doing them. Searching the web about the subject with kboards tacked onto the search terms should find them (the search here is awful).
 

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AllenOwen said:
So I did more pre-planning and tried another 20 minute sprint; my words per hour are now the same as for a 10 minute sprint. Thought you'd like to know.
That's awesome! You just doubled your output :) Congrats!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So part of the point of writing sprints is to get into a sort of "flow" state, where you write non stop, no fixing typos, etc.  for x minutes.  I'm up to 20 minutes, and I don't get distracted at all.  That came easily, in fact.  My problem is I'm lousy at typing.  Other than using a typing training program, which I am doing, will my typing speed improve over time?  I'm at 35-40 words per minute right now.
 

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AllenOwen said:
So part of the point of writing sprints is to get into a sort of "flow" state, where you write non stop, no fixing typos, etc. for x minutes. I'm up to 20 minutes, and I don't get distracted at all. That came easily, in fact. My problem is I'm lousy at typing. Other than using a typing training program, which I am doing, will my typing speed improve over time? I'm at 35-40 words per minute right now.
Practice does help, but you reach a point around the ~80 WPM mark where you won't get faster unless you specifically try.

35-40 words per minute is actually a good rate for sprints when it comes to writing literature, at least in my opinion, as you're trying to write something coherent and part of a larger narrative instead of "just writing."
 

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You better have your scene/chapter mapped out already if you're doing a sprint. What's the point of writing tons of words fast if you're not using most of them?
 
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