I owe NaNoWriMo an apology, even though I never told it that I thought it was stupid. Why try to rush, and books should take time, and yeah you can produce 60K in a month but it’s all going to be crap. Right?
Then I discovered #wordsprints on Twitter. In a nutshell: you carve out a small block of time (10 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, etc.), then write like crazy. You focus–no distractions. And what happens, at least for me, is magic.
I’ve written three books. I have a process. And always, my average daily word count has been around 1K (daily goal is 1200 words). I’ve always wished I could write faster, and have the creative process go faster, because I am fueled by progress. I also tend to revise pretty heavily as I go, because the idea of ending up with 70,000 unrevised words makes me miserable. I edit (substantially) in huge sections so that at the end, I don’t have months of revision left to go.
Enter word sprints. As you (probably) know, if you know me on Twitter or read this blog, I’m querying a YA novel right now. As party of my busy bee plan (which makes the waiting bearable), I knew I needed to start another WIP. I had written a first chapter last year–a story about a witch and a little girl who forge an unlikely friendship. I decided to go with this project, since it was MG, and would be quicker to finish, and because I loved the story idea. About halfway through, I discovered sprints, and my daily word count went up like CRAZY!! I mean 5,000-6,000 words per day, and with SO LITTLE TIME actually invested (3-4 hours per day)! I couldn’t believe it. How could I possibly have been writing so inefficiently all this time?!