doubled your goal

Double Your Word Count: A Sprint Game

I cannot take credit for this idea–I read it somewhere on the NaNo forums last year, and since they’re wiped yearly the post I saw is long gone. Someone awesome who isn’t me came up with this, but I love it and want to share it.

Here’s what you do:

Set a timer for 5 minutes and sprint. Record your word count–I played this morning and got 188 words.

Okay, double that to set your goal for the next sprint, 10 minutes. I needed 376 words; I actually wrote 481. Go me!

Double that (my new goal is 962) and do a 20-minute sprint. Oops! I failed the first time, and only wrote 870 words.

If you fail at the goal, you have to try again instead of doubling. My second try: a measly 737. I was getting tired.

I took a break and did some tumblring, then tried a third time.

After a while, I realized I hadn’t actually started my timer, when I thought “Shouldn’t it have gone off by now?” and saw it sitting at 0:00.

But I’d written 1,443 more words, bringing my total for the day to almost 4K. Success, even if I wasn’t actually playing the game anymore.

(If I had reached that goal, the next step would be to double it and do a 40-minute sprint–I’ve tried that twice before and never managed to make it. Fatigue sets in for me, and my most effective writing-time length seems to be 15-20 minutes max, if I’m going for speed. Give it a try, certainly, to see if it works for you!)