Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Words, Words, Words

The good news is that I’m writing. Words are coming out of my head, traveling through my fingertips and appearing on the page. The bad news is that those words are horrible.

My NJ chapter of RWA is holding JeRoWriMo this month. The challenge is 30K words in 30 days (or 28, considering it’s February). Only manuscripts count, but you can divide your words among more than one. I joined because I thought it would be fun and also because it’s great motivation to actually get me to write.

It’s definitely fun. The group is a very encouraging one and everyone is very supportive of each other. We have a slogan, which I can’t remember (bad Jennifer) and a mascot (Jerry the Rhino). We even get a prize of some sort at the end.

It’s also been very motivating. So motivating, in fact, that I spent the three weeks prior to the start of the challenge getting all my edits done, as many other projects as I could, and of course, stressing—basically because that’s what I do.

I warned my husband that I was going to do this challenge. He was very supportive. He broke the challenge down into doable parts: based on how many hours per day I have to write, it works out to 10 words every three minutes. He even was so kind as to provide me with sets of 10 words. They were all similar to this: “My husband is the most amazing, modest man I know.” Sweet of him, wasn’t it?

Well, on Friday, I was on such a roll that I wrote more than 3,000 words. It was awesome. I was creative and even better, I didn’t have to find time over the weekend to write!

Today was not so awesome. I still wrote a little more than 1,000 words, but they are not good. My husband’s words would have been better. You know how when you’re a teenager and you get afterschool jobs, and most of them are horrible, but you console yourself with the thought that at least you’re narrowing down your choices of what you want to do? Well, think of my 1,000 words today as words that I know I will not be using in my final draft. Hey, maybe it will make editing that much easier!

I find myself watching my word count as avidly as I do my email box. Write a few words, check the word counter, write a few more, check again. I know challenges like this are for quantity, not quality. And ultimately, at least it’s getting me in the writing groove.

I hope, by the end, I’ll have made progress on my manuscripts—I’m alternating between two. But if not, at least I’ll know what NOT to write about!


  1. Good luck with the challenge, Jen! When I did the NanoWrMo challenge in 2011, I felt a bit like you do i.e. some of it was okay, some was rubbish, but at least it gave me a good basis on which to work once the challenge was over - and that Nano story will be released later this month :-)
    P.S. I had to laugh at your husband's 10 words!

  2. Yep, he's definitely good for a laugh!

  3. I'm in awe that you are participating in this challenge. I don't think I could ever crank out that much on a consistent basis...bad or good.

    I am so impressed and proud of you for tackling this!

  4. Thanks Debra. I need to try different things to motivate me--fear works wonders! :)

  5. You can't edit a blank page, Jen. So any words you write will turn out good in the end. Keep going!

  6. Thanks for the support, Ana. Today was much easier.