myWriteClub’s Word Sprints

Photo credit: on Flickr
So after over a year of not drafting anything new (because So. Many. Revisions.) over the weekend I finally started playing around with a new sekrit thing. For the longest time I’d depended on Write or Die to get me through first drafts, largely because I found I work best with a timer/word count system and something encouraging to me to stop thinking and keep writing. While I was in endless revision mode, however, I’d heard that my favorite writing buddy myWriteClub had launched a new writing sprint feature, so you can bet I was eager to try it out. 

So I did, two days in a row. And I have to say, I like it even better than Write or Die

Write or Die functioned with negative reinforcement—in that the screen would turn red and a loud noise would start up if you stopped typing for too long. And while this was pretty effective, it also meant I quickly figured out a loophole that made the negative reinforcement moot, anyway. Which is fine, because it still kept me typing, but anyway. 

myWriteClub’s word sprints, however, use positive reinforcement to encourage you to write more, and if you want, it also connects you to other sprinters to race against. 

So how does it work? 

First you log into myWriteClub and go to their sprinting page. From there you can join either a global sprint or a custom sprint. From there you type in the browser, which looks like this: 

The sprints start every half hour and go for 25 minutes, but you’re free to write before or after that—your word count will continue to grow. You get a green star for every 100 words that you write, and a gold star for every 1000 words. The progress bar also grows as you type until you reach 100 words, you get a star, and it starts over. 

I haven’t sprinted with anyone else yet, but if you do you’ll be able to see the other person’s word count grow, which could be fun if you’re competitive (you can’t see each other’s words, though). It automatically saves to dropbox if you have that activated, and otherwise just automatically saves to the browser—I was pleasantly surprised to find my words from the previous day still in the browser when I logged in the next day (according to the site, your words are stored on your computer and not on myWriteClub’s server, so don’t worry). Usually I write, copy/paste whatever I wrote into my Scrivener doc, then close out. There’s also a chat function which I probably won’t use because distracting. 

At some point I’ll probably try sprinting with others, but I still find it really helpful and motivational when writing alone. Between the timer counting down, which encourages me to write faster, and the progress bar and stars, the interface really helps me focus and get words down on the page. Which ultimately is the most important part. :) 

I definitely recommend myWriteClub’s word sprint feature to those who like a little competition and/or accountability. It’s a fantastic addition to an already awesome productivity site. 

Have you ever used myWriteClub’s word sprint feature?

Twitter-sized bite: 
Need some writing motivation? Check out @my_write_club's Word Sprints feature and start first drafting! (Click to tweet)

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