I’m participating in my local writing chapter’s version of NaNoWriMo this month. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, is held in November each year and participants write 50K words in a month. It’s a huge undertaking and I’ve never done it before.
However, my local writing chapter has adapted it to JeRoWriMo—Jersey Romance Writers Month. Every February, we write 30K words. Still a huge undertaking, but doable, even if the month is shorter. Basically, it boils down to a little more than 1,000 words per day.
I love participating in the challenge because it gives me a clear goal every day that I have to hit. We email our word counts to our head cheerleader (who also happens to be one of my critique partners) and at the end of the month, everyone who has successfully completed the challenge wins chocolate.
Seriously—public deadlines, head cheerleader whom I know and chocolate at the end? It’s perfect for me.
This time around, my goal is to finish a manuscript I’ve been working on. It was at approximately 50K when I started, so it will be complete by the end of the month. Not sure exactly why I’m bothering, as absolutely nothing is happening right now with my writing, but hey, I can always store it somewhere and know it’s complete.
Writing during the week is pretty easy, as no one is home to distract me. On the weekends? That’s another story. This weekend, I hid, and I was able to complete each day’s goal, despite not being allowed to count the words in the multiple texts with my husband who was at the grocery store. Next weekend I’ll be gone, so I’m trying to write extra words before I leave. And by the time I come back, half the month will be over!
Forcing myself to write and to turn off my internal editor is a challenge, as it is for all the participants. I’ll have to go back in March and significantly edit what I’ve written, but I’ll be a lot further along than I was when I started. And working on this manuscript regularly allowed me to plot the ending, something I wasn’t sure of when I started.
So if you need me, I’ll be writing!