The Silver Lining | March Madness: Check-in Day 19!

Hello WIPsters! I can’t wait to hear about your progress this week. But first, I’d like to give away another prize from our huge prize arsenal today! Today’s winner is…

Candilynn Fite!

Congratulations,Β Jennifer!Β Stop by our goal-setting post,Β and choose your prize from those still listed. Email Denise at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com with your choice and we’ll get it out to you as soon as possible.

And if you didn’t win, there are still LOTS of great prizes to be won, so keep checking in each day…

Two weeks ago I discussed scheduling. Last week setbacks. Continuing with the “S” theme, today’s topic is SPRINTS. As in writing sprints.

Dear WIPsters, these are my savior. They encourage me to write when I’m too busy, too tired, too excited by a fun twitter conversation. They force me to focus. They hold me accountable.

So what are they exactly?

15 minute intervals of focused writing. No Internet. No television. No day job work. Strap that child in a high chair and ignore her. (Okay, maybe not that last one.) I user timeanddate.com/timer to set a 15 minute countdown clock.

But what fun would a sprint be without people to hold you accountable? The key for me is that two of my critique partners, Chandler Baker and Jen Hayley, are on gChat all day with one. Throughout the day, one of us will initiate a sprint. If it wasn’t me who initiated, then often it pushes me to get a bit of writing in when I otherwise wasn’t planning to. Plus we hold each other accountable by reporting our progress after each sprint.

I tend to be more productive in each 15-minute sprint than I am during a solid two hour block of writing. Therefore, if you’re having trouble making progress, I suggest you split up your writing into small increments throughout the day and see how it helps.

Do you write in large chunks or small chunks? Once per day or throughout? And how is everyone doing on your progress?

I finally made it past the chunk of chapters I was stuck on for a while and the next few chapters should be smooth sailing. Yay!

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20 Responses

  1. I haven’t been the best at checking in every day this year between work and life setbacks, but I wanted to pop by and say that I got my edits completed and sent in for my novella for Red Sage, While You Were Away (only a couple days late). Now I guess I have to set a new goal. Don’t know where to go from here. I’ve got a noirish urban fantasy partially completed that I think will sell mainstream, book two of an epic fantasy romance I need to finish editing (and the third book to write), and then a middle-grade I’m writing mostly for my daughter. Choices, choices. Since I’m already in editing mode, I’ll probably go back to the epic fantasy, but the noir is calling with a seductive femme-fatale voice. But she’s not bad, she’s just written that way. πŸ˜‰

    As for the question, I write in large chunks. It takes me a while to get into the groove and once I’m there I won’t even feel hunger until I stop for a second and find I’m getting dizzy.

    • Congrats on completing your first goal! That’s awesome! I love the idea of a noirish urban fantasy as well but it’s super cute you’re writing a MG for your daughter.

  2. I’m on my third chapter so I’m still on track with my goals so far.
    I used to write in big chunks when I had all the time in the world. Now I write in small chunks, around my kid’s schedule.

  3. Wow! I won today! I think. My name is up top, but in the graph below it says congrats, Jennifer. I’ll wait to hear back before I email Denise. πŸ˜†

    First, Congrats to D.J. for your finish on the edits!!!

    As for me, I write / draft mostly in short chunks of time. As for revisions (which I’m doing now), I like to work in big chunks of time. My goal when I sit down at the computer is to tackle 10 pages. I try to take care of any errands, housework, meals, and dog-duties before I open the wip. Most times I get the 10 pages done, and if I have extra time / energy, I keep pushing forward. As for today, I’m all set to tackle those 10 pages!

    I’ll check back later about the Candi / Jennifer / prize question. Until then…

    Write on, Wipsters~

    • Yes, you’re the winner, Candi! I’m just not a very good organizer this month and making way too many mistakes – but thank you, everyone, for bearing with me!! 😯

      • Lol, of course, Denise!! You’re the most awesomest for organizing this entire kit & kaboodle!!! You and all the hosts are simply wonderful! I just wanted to make sure before I emailed you. πŸ˜€

    • Sorry Candilynn, I didn’t proof read before I posted. My bad. Congrats on winning!

      That sounds like a good plan though, taking care of important stuff first. I generally let that slide…

  4. I was in Seattle most of yesterday, but I’m pleased to say I got 8 out of the 9 things on my to-do list done before I left! Unfortunately, my list grew while I was gone. Sigh. I plan to take an hour this morning to do the “essentials” and then get to revising by this afternoon. Maybe. Hopefully.

    I love your word on sprinting, Shana. Even while I’m revising, I find a dedicated short bit of time is far better for me than a distracted longer period.

  5. I tend to write in an 50 minutes segment of time. That seems to work for me. Though if I’m totally into a scene? I can go over an hour. And if I’m not ‘feeling’ it? Fifteen minutes can feel like an eternity!

    Speaking of, I really need to be doing more of this with my own critique buddies.

  6. The sprinting sounds like fun, unfortunately for me I’ve only got the one chunk a day when I can write. It’s that small window when I’ve got the little one down for a nap and everyone else is at school/work. And it’s that time, so I’d better get a move on!
    Congrats to Candilynn!

  7. Glad you made it past that “stuck” point, Shana! Yay!

    I haven’t done sprints for a while — thanks for reminding me about them! I’ve definitely found them effective. πŸ™‚

    I’m a bit blurry-eyed at the moment, trying to convince myself it’s an appropriate time to be awake (yay for nightshifts, lol). But I hope to get a little writing done anyway — a couple sprints will be perfect! Even half-asleep, I can focus for 15 minutes at a time, right?

    Congrats to Candilynn. πŸ˜€ Happy writing, WIPsters!

  8. It is 4 pm here on the west coast and I’m just starting my writing. good idea to write for 15 min sprints. hopefully it will get me into what I’m writing and I will continue beyond the 15 min mark.

  9. More plotting and planning and brainstorming for my NaNo next month. And with each step I take, the puzzle pieces fall more into place …

  10. Congrats to Candilynn! (Yes, I’m quite sure you’re the intended winner!) That’s always a nice morale boost, isn’t it?

    The past couple days haven’t been very profitable for me, word-wise, but I’ve still pried a few out of my head and onto the page. I’ve done a couple #1K1HR sprints on Facebook with fellow writers from the Seekerville group, and they’ve definitely helped. Thursday promises to be an unschedule day when I should be able to get a fair amount of writing time, so here’s hoping. Right now, though, I’m heading for bed. Starting fresh tomorrow, on the first day of Spring, should be motivating, right?

  11. Congrats! Candilynn! Awesome!
    As of this check-in, I’m at 22,298 words and pretty happy! I’ve been really into my own head, so I haven’t checked in as frequently as usual, but I did an evaluation of what I’ve written and what scenes still need to be written.
    Pretty happy with my progress so far! Thanks #WIPMM and the Write or Die app!
    Kat

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