It just occurred to me that I haven’t blogged in a while. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve been so busy writing my novel for National Novel Writing Month, but the truth is I’ve been mostly glued to my television set since Election Night. And I did fall behind in NaNoWriMo a little because of this, but I’m happy to report that once I was reasonably certain who our next President would be, I was able to do some catching up fairly quickly.
Yesterday, in fact, I participated in my first writing sprint. It took place in a Discord server. If you’re not familiar with Discord, it’s an app that allows users to chat via text, voice, or video. We used the text chat, and a bot timed our sprints. We ended up doing three 15-minute sprints which resulted in me writing a total of 1,108 words, with an average of around 369 words per sprint. The others in the chat did much better than me, but one of the things I learned about myself is that I don’t type very fast.
According to the bot that was timing the sprints, I type around 26 wpm, whereas most of the other sprinters typed around 40 wpm. Part of the reason for that is that I have a crappy keyboard in which some of the keys have to be hit harder in order to work, but I suspect a lot of it also has to do with the fact that I can’t let a typo stand without immediately backspacing and correcting it. No matter; I still ended up writing more words than I probably would have that day, and as of right now my total NaNoWriMo word count is a healthy 12,238.
So if you haven’t already, I highly recommend you participate in a writing sprint, or even better, more than one! It’s fun, it’s social, and if you’re in a slump it may very well help you increase your daily word count so you don’t end up falling too far behind. If you don’t have any NaNoWriMo buddies who are planning a sprint, you can always try planning your own and see if they’ll join you. But I highly recommend joining writing groups at nanowrimo.org, especially your home region group. You can also browse the forums in search of writing sprints to participate in. If you’re on Twitter, that’s another great place to look (try browsing the hashtags #NaNoWriMo, #NaNoWriMo2020, and #WritingCommunity).
Good luck, and happy writing!