Camp NaNoWriMo will start up again in earnest on July 1. I am hoping that I will do better this time than last. In April, I had overextended myself with building up the blog, hoping to launch the book (which never happened) and my dear dog passed away. Which pretty much washed out camp.
One of the greatest things I discovered during NaNoWriMo last November were the word sprints. For those of you who may not be familiar with them, let me tell you about what those are, and how you too can participate in word sprints!
I discovered them quite by accident during the final week and a half of NaNoWriMo. I was already been following NaNoWriMo on Twitter, and one night they tweeted about the word sprints. I went and clicked on NaNo’s official Twitter handle for the word sprints, @NaNoWordSprints and basically just jumped right in.
The idea is pretty simple. You type as many words as you can when you see the tweet telling you to start, and then once you see the tweet reminding you that time is up (usually anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour), you send a tweet with your word count for the sprint. It’s actually rather addicting, which is why, once NaNoWriMo ended for December, others took over doing word sprints on Twitter. I used the hashtag wordsprints and came up pretty quickly with a fellow WordPress blog, @TheSprintShack (and their blog is here: http://sprintshack.wordpress.com/). They run sprints at a certain schedule, which you can check out here: http://sprintshack.wordpress.com/upcoming-sprints/.
There are a few others I’ve encountered pretty recently, since I’m now in first draft mode once again, so I’ve been checking around. One I found was @FriNightWrites (another fellow WordPress blog, http://frinightwriteswriteclub.wordpress.com/) and their “rules” are on the blog. They’ve warned us all already to refrain from using too many “Fight Club” jokes 😉
Then there is @NaNoPals (http://nanopals.blogspot.com/) who I accidentally found last week. I don’t know how many sprints they actually will host, especially with Camp coming up very soon, but I know I was sprinting with them the other night, so there. And just the other night, I found @JuNoWriMo (http://junowrimo.com/) who, as you might have guessed, runs a Writing Month in June.
I’m certain that this is not even nearly a complete list of word sprints hosted on Twitter. But what if you go to Twitter and search for word sprints but can’t find them? Make up your own!
I use a Pomodoro app to do my own word sprints if I can’t find any on Twitter. If you have a smart phone, tablet, and I believe they even come as a program for the computer, you can download a Pomodoro program. Very briefly, it’s a work timer, based on the idea that people are most productive if they work for 25 minutes and then take a five minute break. I downloaded Pomodoro Lite from the Google Play store for my android tablet, and even though it’s a lite version, honestly, for word sprints you don’t need anything fancy. It looks like a tomato timer, and you just tap it to start counting down the 25 minutes. Once time is up, it will count down the five minute break as well.
I am seriously looking forward to getting my words down this July. And seriously not looking forward to the nightmare edits in August 😦 But Word Sprints have been a godsend to me in tight spots like these!