As writers, we’ve got many tools in our arsenal to get the words flowing, no matter what may be happening in our outside lives. And one of the most valuable- the one that’s saved my ass time and again- is the lowly sprint.
See, it’s easy for us to put conditions on our writing. We can only write when conditions are perfect- no glare on the monitor, no kids begging for snacks, no appointments, looming in the wings- or in the case of disabled people like me, no health issues flaring, demanding attention and coddling. But the problem is, while some degree of control over your environment is needed to facilitate a more fluid writing process, perfectionism easily bleeds into procrastination. Don’t have an hour before that appointment? Well, guess you just can’t write today.
Sprinting is a way of short-circuiting your brain’s procrastination habits and low-motivation periods, by creating habits in which you encourage yourself to focus- but only for short periods of time. It’s easier to commit to putting words on the page when you can break that daunting task from something huge(Finish the whole chapter. Write thousands of words.) into something manageable(write however many words you can in the 20 minutes you have before the kids get home from school.)