Let’s face it, writing any time can be a task. It’s tedious, time-consuming and there are no promises of reward. Writing is a risk. Regardless of the lack of payday, some of us love it. Some of us live for it!
It’s much more than pen to paper or fingertip to keyboard- it’s exploration…wanderlust… We read to feel the characters, visit new lands, and place ourselves in another alternate reality. Writers write for those very same reasons. I know I do. So, what better thing to do during the pandemic than shut ourselves in our caves and scribble away the stories that play in our minds like a movie???
Lately, I’ve been doing writing sprints to get a first draft for a new novel onto the page. By setting deadlines and committing, it became a habit and I finished the first draft- about 54k words- in 14 days. Does it shine? No! Is the storyline and premise there? Yes! For a ‘barf draft’, that is what matters. I got that sucker out of my brain and into actual words on the document. Writing was the easy part. Now comes the toughie- the endless rounds of edits.
To develop a writing habit and complete the first draft, this is how I managed my sprints:
- I put aside time prior to writing to outline and develop the concept so I knew what to write. This included maps, drawing characters, writing the synopsis, blurb and chapter summaries. I had visual diagrams as well as my notes on a spreadsheet. (I’ll get more into this process in a future blog.)
- I got a large whiteboard and jotted down my 70k word goal and my weekly writing goal of a minimum of three chapters per week. This way it was in my face and, by seeing it all the time, it motivated me to write more and to beat my own goal in a way.
- On the whiteboard, I created two columns, one where I listed the chapters. In the other column, I’d keep track of the word count I accomplished in that chapter/day. The more chapters I crossed off and listed a word count besides, the excitement grew. To see the progress daily inspired me. (see my crazy whiteboard below)
When I typed ‘the end’ of my barf draft, I felt so accomplished! But I knew the journey had just begun. Lucky for me, although I truly love the writing part, I don’t mind revisions. After all, the end product isn’t for me, the writer- it’s for you, the reader. You matter.
So, during your down time, design your goals and do some writing sprints too. I didn’t time my sessions like sprints are designed for. I did it a little different- I set a weekly/daily goal then I made sure I reached that goal. For now, word count and perfection isn’t what’s important yet. Execution is a well-crafted plan. *well-crafted plan in the works!
Thanks for reading! Join me in two weeks where I’ll fill you in on my process and how it works! Please support me on Patreon where you’ll get access to exclusive content.