Yes, word sprints are not new under the sun. I admit this. But, this approach is sort of new. Being someone with a diagnosed issue with ADHD I was having some issues sticking to a writing plan, schedule, or anything else for that matter. A while ago I'd come across a great site FlyLady. Her philosophy was that you can do anything for 15 mintues. This is true! I'd managed to get my house clean in this manner, it works!! Well, one day I'm sitting and staring at my work in progress wondering how in holy heck am I going to get the words on the page? Then it hit me, we writers can sit and do thirty minutes that's all we need is thirty minutes. So I challanged people to a word war. So we'd start at :00 or even :30 depending on what time the challenges started that day, and just write like crazy, after rest for thirty minutes. *ZING* it hit me. A sort of FlyLady way of writing. Thirty minutes on and thirty minutes off. It worked.....it excited me......I racked up the wordcount, turned off the editor, and just wrote! Managed over 12,000 words one day and I felt like I was on top of the world!
So, how to get the word out there? After all, writing alone is great if you're one of those guys that has a liver that'd seen better days, a hermit, or just a recluse in general. Twitter! I have Twitter! So I went shamelessly to my Twitter feed and started challenging the writers on my TwitterFeed to "word warmongering". People started taking me up on it. Once I explained that we were doing a half hour on half hour off system they actually liked it. What better way to be able to feel like you're writing, but not working on writing? One of my fun followers @notveryalice and I were talking about it, and I had kept referring to it as word warmongering. Well, as hashtags go, wordwarmongering was rather long and a little unwieldy. Now, a conversation never ensued, but @notveryalice just jumped in with the brilliant hashtag #wordmongering kind of a squooshing together of word warmongering. We started running away with the hashtag. Like any other "grassTweets" movement it's been a little work. The constant plugging on our Twitter feeds. But it's never been work cheering on the mongerers (as I call all of our WONDERFUL participants).
Ultimately #wordmongering has become an awesome way to get words to the paper and let your fellow writers know that even if you have a word count of 15, that's 15 more than you had before the half hour sprint started. Yes, we call them "word count challenges" we post our word counts at the end of the half hour, but it's not a win or lose thing. The whole situation is a win! It's a win because you came together with other writers and all you expected was thirty minutes. You didn't have to worry about how much you got done in just that thirty minutes. There's something freeing with doing things a little at a time. Just like that old adage of how you're supposed to eat an elephant. One bite at a time. Productivity comes when you release HUGE expectations. Just write, write like Forrest Gump runs (as I'm always telling my mongerers!). It's amazing what will happen if you jump on the train......there you are, with your fellow Tweeple that have accepted the thrown down gauntlet and you post your word count.....you have just managed to get something more out of this little bit than you orginally thought. "What? I got more than I did last time!" you might think to yourself. It happens, yes, we all have our up moments and our down moments, but at end of the day it's all about getting those words onto the screen, page, parchement, skywriting, however and whatever it takes for you to work best.
So if you see @MonicaMarieV on your Twitter feed don't think that she's talking crazy talk when she's talking about #wordmongering. I'm just working on helping out others like me, if I get some word count along the way so be it! *SHRUG* The bottom line is don't be shy! Come on over and say "Hi" to me.....participate in a couple of hours of writing where you only actually write for an hour......converse with other authors that are finding this way of working an awesome boost to their word counts and their love of being productive. We're a real fun and diverse bunch and we don't mind another friendly face! See you mongering!