“You can run a sprint or your can run a marathon, but you can’t sprint a marathon.”
Overview: I realised that word crawls exist. Go figure.
Suggested word count: 30,000
Actual word count: 38,481
Today’s contribution: 4,133
As I finished Part II yesterday, that meant starting with Part III today. It was weird leaving behind Part II, and thankfully I received a do-not-give-up! email from NaNo world that encouraged writers to look through the forums for motivation, mentioning words sprints and challenges.
I have heard of word sprints before but they never really appealed to me, writing for five minutes just to be interrupted by the alarm clock, and then what? With the plot and writing mind zone interrupted, I’m just supposed to be happy for reaching X number of words? But as I looked through the Word Wars, Prompts & Sprints section and the various threads there I saw the phrase “word crawl” pop up occasionally. Is that like a pub crawl, I wondered. The answer is, yes and no. Both are challenges that may render you mentally useless, but you can do a word crawl alone without people looking at you funny.
The word crawls are usually themed around popular books, TV programmes, video games or music, and progressing from one step to the next requires that you write a certain amount of words – hence name, word crawl. Similar to sprints in that both focus on word count, but the prompts in the crawl are not always time based. Sometimes the number of words to write are set, sometimes they depend on your own choices or previous accomplishments, like being told to write 15% of your daily word count or to write as much as you can in 10 minutes.
Of course I chose the Doctor Who themed word crawl first, and I had some easy fun while challenging myself and making a good start at Part III. It is best not to read ahead on the prompts to ensure that your challenge is random and fun, even if it means that you end up kicking yourself in the butt when [SPOILERS!] you choose the 12th Doctor and are prompted to write the number of words corresponding to your Doctors number, times fifty! [SPOILERS over Sweetie]. Finishing the prompts I managed to write over 4,000 words, and my only problem with them is that being new to writing sprints, I sometimes forgot to stop. I will definitely try some of the other crawls that are available, like the short Greek Mythology themed ones or the longer Hunger Games crawls, maybe even the epic all-episodes-from-season-one-of-Hannibal crawl.
While I am happy to have found these prompts to help me progress with Part III in a more fun way, and I made quite a good start, my little trip around the forums made me see things I never would have expected – people who have written a hundred thousand words, people who have written close to SEVEN hundred thousand words! Wha-at? How? Why?! I mean, no. Just no.
I might take an easy day tomorrow and just write enough to finish the first person from Part III as I have been writing a little more intensely as of late. I don’t want to loose the momentum but I don’t want to burn out either before the last week.