I’ve been sprinting a lot lately. And am I getting in shape? Well, no, but I am cranking out the word count.

What does a writer mean when they say they “sprint”?

I hadn’t heard the term before, even though I was actively participating in the sprinting.

So a sprint is a timed writing session you do with another author or authors. You set a time and see who can produce the most words in that time. But it’s not really a contest, it’s about accountability.

When the time is up everyone announces their word count and praise for all ensues.

How does it help?

Well, as much as I love writing it can be draining, and writer’s block loves to get in the way. When you’re sitting alone at the computer it’s so easy to hop on Facebook or Pinterest, or start up a video game (In my case I’ve been binging on Plants vs Zombies) and then the hours just slip away. Or life gets in the way. It’s easy to say “I’ve had a long day, I’m going to skip writing tonight”.

Doing sprints with another author makes you accountable for your word count. It forces you to focused on writing, even if it’s only for 20 minutes. It’s something. And the more frequently you do it the more likely you are to keep doing it, and slowly that novel doesn’t seem so unachievable.

Thank you to all the authors who have been sprinting with me in the last few weeks, and for those who have been sprinting with me for months. I’m very grateful to have the sprinting partners.