Friday Speak Out!: And We’re Off! On A Writing Sprint, That Is!

Friday, September 29, 2023
By Allison Chaney

In the labyrinthine landscape of the blank page, where the cursor blinks with expectant impatience, writer’s block often emerges as the Minotaur, nostrils flared and ready to attack if we dare attempt to pass into the land of wordsmithing. Fear not, dear scribes: the Theseus to this literary conundrum is at hand, woven into the elegant simplicity of… timed writing sprints.

Ah, the writing sprint—a concentrated burst of unbridled literary output that occupies a timed enclave. Some of us like a good 25-minute sprint, others prefer 10 or 30 or even a full hour. "Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good.” Wise words from William Faulkner. Words on a page, ladies! That’s all we need.

The Art of the Solo Sprint

Many of you may participate in sprints with a group of friends, or during many pen-warriors’ favorite time of the year, NaNoWriMo. But have you tried to write-sprint alone? For the solitary artisan (that’s any writer most of the time, right?), all that’s required is the gentle cluck of an egg timer or the digital glow of your smartphone’s countdown. If you haven’t tried this, I suggest you give it a shot. I like to start with a five-minute sprint, take a five-minute break, then go into a 25-to-35-minute sprint, pause, then start again. It does wonders!

A few writer friends of mine like to add an aural footnote to the experience. They record voice memos during their sprints! It can be a real game-changer. I, myself, prefer a soundtrack to accompany me down the finish line. Whatever works, I always say!

The Communal Hustle: Sprinting in Tandem

The writing sprint can also be a group effort—a high-energy experience shared in the casual hangouts of Facebook groups or the lively chat rooms of Slack channels. “I’d need that accountability sometimes,” says a screenwriter we’ll call Julie. “Sometimes I need to get out of my head, too. It can really be a team effort if you let it.” I couldn’t agree more! So, grab your friends and hit those keyboards together! Whether it's online, at your favorite café, or at a cozy gathering at home, you won't just be knocking out page—you'll be creating your own writer's community.

The Roadmap of Intent

In this spirited endeavor, strategy is key. Set your sights on the milestones you want to hit, whether it’s getting to the end of a chapter or repairing a broken character arc. As any seasoned traveler will attest, a map significantly diminishes the likelihood of aimless wandering.

Why wait for another fickle visit from the muse? Grab your timer, claim your space, and dive into the effervescent waters of productivity. There is no soirée like a writing sprint soirée, and the festivities commence now.
* * *

Allison Chaney is a screenwriter, novelist, and comic book writer known for her rich, relationship-driven stories featuring dynamic female leads. Her portfolio includes the comic book series
Love University and the cherished coming-of-age novel Forget Me Not. A Glyph Comic Book Award winner, Allison has also gained recognition through mentorships and industry initiatives. With a new feature film and an exciting biopic short film in the works, Allison continues to explore the ever-evolving world of storytelling. She also enjoys connecting with fellow writers and is open to mentoring authors interested in venturing into screenwriting. You can find her at or on Instagram @allisonchaneywhitmore.

Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!


Anonymous said...

I have read Allison’s works. She is amazing!

Anonymous said...

A great idea and a wonderful way to form a community!

Angela Mackintosh said...

Inspiring post, Allison! I love timed writing sprints, and this is a great reminder that we can do them anytime and enjoy the benefits. Communal sprints are also a lot of fun! Good luck with all your writing projects. Your comic book series sounds fantastic! :)

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top