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I’m excited for another year of NaNoWriMo starting in less than a week. At the same time, I’ve been feeling bummed because two weeks ago another college course started; a compressed course for Accounting II. This means, finding time to write was feeling impossible, let alone punch out 1,766 words a day for NaNoWriMo.

Yesterday, Monday 10/26/15, I took stock of my circumstances and the goals I wanted to accomplish in the different areas of my life. I planned out my book reading, my spiritual reading/service, family time, and writing (among other things).

One of the books I started reading is, ‘5,000 Words Per Hour: Write Faster, Write Smarter (vol 1)‘ by Chris Fox.

Screen Shot 10-26-15 at 01.17 PMIMAGE SOURCE: Amazon product page for book

Granted, I’m not the fastest typist by any stretch. When doing discovery writing I average 40wpm and when following an outline I’m closer to 60wpm. But Chris’ first chapter talks about doing ‘mini-sprints’.

  1. The first step, is to set a timer for 5-minutes, start it and write with abandon.
  2. Do not edit yourself, just keep writing for the full duration.
  3. Do this once a day, for a week.
  4. Then next week increase to 10-minutes, once a day for a week.
  5. The following week increase to 15-minutes, etc.

Yesterday, I chose to do several 5-minute sessions in-between meetings at work. Of the five(5) sessions I wrote for, much of what I wrote was discovery writing, so I was a bit slower at the keyboard. Even with that, after only twenty-five(25) minutes in my day (between meetings) I had written over 1,000 new words for the day, at an average pace of 48wpm!!

Many books on writing talk about setting a goal of 1,000 words a day. Many authors wish they could do this amount each day. Yet here I had done it in 5-minute mini-sprints during my normal work day. Oh my!

I’m feeling more confident now that if I can keep up the mini-sprints throughout November, I’ll hit the 50,000 word goal. To improve my success, I’m going to do more planning over the next few days, so I’m experiencing less discovery writing throughout NaNoWriMo.

This exercise proved to me that when squeezing writing between other activities, suddenly making time to write with a busy schedule becomes a doable activity. Maybe mini-sprints will help you too.

Give it a try and keep on writing!!