Yesterday, I posted about how far behind I had become in my novel: at that point, I had generally not done anything in three days. Not a word, not a peep, nothing tangible. Of course, I couldn’t go to bed with that on my conscience, so I endeavored to work at it a little bit before bed.
A co-Wrimo of mine, whom I know from yet another pursuit of mine, invited me to an IRC chat. For those of you who don’t know (people who are too young to remember 28.8 Mbps dial-up, for instance), IRC is a relatively old internet chatting technology. The acronym stands for “Internet Relay Chat”, and it was born in late August 1988 at , the University of Oulu in Finland, according to this top-rated site. At its height, IRC networks could have as many as 100,000 users on a daily basis.
Given the subsequent rise of Instant Messaging, SMS technology and other real-time chatting technologies, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that number has been dropping steadily since 2002. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Palm OS Treo and the Blackberry both came out in 2002.
Anyway, enough history. The point is, I joined this IRC channel where other Wrimos were congregating. We were a small bunch last night, but we did manage one word sprint. What are word sprints, you ask? Glad you asked! Sprints are timed events in which write as much as you can for a set period of time. The idea is to just go forward without thinking so much about the right turn of phrase; just get the story going already! NaNoWriMo has a Twitter feed that also hosts sprints, sometimes around the clock. Some are 15 minutes, others are 30 (like the one I participated in last night), others still are an hour. It doesn’t really matter, the point is to write uninterrupted for X amount of time. The reward is also knowing that you will take a break as soon as its over to take care of real life concerns. Of course, if you’re on a roll, you are free to continue. The hope is actually that you will make a breakthrough and find yourself running, turning the sprint into a marathon (or at least a 5K, if you’ll pardon the pun).
In any case, I managed a little over 800 words in my 30 minute run. That made me realize if I can write for about an hour straight, I am likely to reach my daily goal.
Currently, my word count stands at 5,672 words. I should have more than 10,000. That’s a rather scary number, but I can catch up in just 5 hours of writing. If I wrote 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off, it could be done in a day!
This will not be that day, however: I do have to work today, and do some serious laundry when I get back. Perhaps I can advance my numbers this morning, though. Off I go!