I actually did a lot of writing sprints before I knew what they were. A friend and I would find a writing prompt, usually a word or a song lyric we liked, and then we would write for a set amount of time and swap what stories came out of those sprints. Writing sprints are very commonly used by NaNo participants to bolster their word counts.
A writing sprint is where you write for a set amount of time. Generally, you do not edit during this time, you just hunker down and get those words on the page. During NaNoWriMo, these sprints can be essential to ensuring you get your word count. I personally like sprints that are 20-30 minutes long, but you can do sprints that are 10 minutes or 15. I’ve seen some people even do 45 minute sprints.
Sprint with friends! Hop on twitter, email a friend, invite them over. When I sprint with friends, I find I’m more motivated to get that word count going. We will usually share our word counts when the sprint is over. I am the competitive type, so it often has me typing like crazy to try and get the most words on the page for that sprint. There are also apps you can use like wordWar by Dr. Wicked. You can join competitions in progress, or get a Pro account and start your own “word war” with friends.
Twitters sprints! You can check out NaNoWordSprints throughout November to sprint along with others working on their NaNo Novels. You can also check hashtags like #wordsprints or #writingsprint to find others on websites like Twitter and Tumblr, who are sprinting.
If you need a sprinting buddy for November, please let me know, and I will give you my email for sprinting. Or check me out on twitter @TamingTheMuse. I will definitely be doing some sprints next month!