I’ve been around Twitter for a while. I’ve seen so many people hook up and do writing sprints. And I always thought…how nice, but no way. The pressure must be terrible. They must be watching the clock, wondering how many words they can get…will it be enough words…what if they only get two?
So I never participated, until last night.
I have been having problems putting butt in chair. I don’t always open that word doc. I am easily distracted by snacks, pets, TV, and, heck, I’ll even clean to put off the inevitable typing words that might suck, words that might not make sense, words that might not tell the story lurking in my mind.
Cause that’s really what this procrastination is…fear.
My fear of failure is not a secret. I scream about it at the top of my lungs. So I am working of trying different things to get over it.
Last month I began jotting down my WIP word count at the end of each day, not to reach a certain number, but to see the number go up. I found myself writing so I could write a higher number.
But that wasn’t enough…
Last night, when the fabulous Jolene Haley (go follow her!) asked who was up for sprinting, I said YES before my uncertainty grabbed hold of my brain and pushed me away from the challenge. If I have learned one thing, it’s to MOVE FASTER THAN YOUR FEAR! JUST DO IT!
I didn’t set a word count goal. That would have been too much for me, causing possible meltdown or spontaneous combustion. But I started at the set time and wrote until the end time. I did 250 words in 20 minutes.
I looked at the clock a lot at first, counting down the minutes. I mean how can twenty minutes GO SO FAST? Panic crept in, then I thought of the others in the group who would be back on Twitter to post their results. I thought of how we were all just doing our best and that any new words were good words. And my panic subsided.
I’m not a sprinter. I can’t just write without thinking, writing and writing to add a bajillion words, which is why I don’t NaNo. I stop and think. I stop to check my notes about my characters and worlds.
But I wrote. At my own happy pace.
Second round brought 450 words in 30 minutes.
And…WAIT I HAVE 700 new words?
Then we did 10 more minutes…well, I did 15, because the scene had to be finished and added another 250.
After each round we had a break. After each round we all celebrated each other’s accomplishments, no matter the word count. Goals were reached. Gifs were posted. Friends were made.
My next new thing is to go to the library for an hour during the day to escape the distractions that plague me at home. There’s no eating, laundry, dog who wants to play, or cleaning at the library. As long as I can stay away from ALL THE BOOKS…
If you get stuck, open you eyes to all the possibilities, try things you would normally run from. Scene by scene, chapter by chapter, word by word, we’ll get these things drafted.
I tried something new. And it worked.
And it didn’t kill me, which is most important, because a couple people might miss me.