Thursday, April 5, 2012

My Letter from Boot Camp

Dear Mom,
I’m in Boot Camp.  I don’t like it here. They make us work very hard and yell at us all the time. I wish I had never signed up for this. Please send a care package, ASAP.
Your loving daughter,

No, I haven’t joined the army, but I have signed up for a “Writing Boot Camp” for the month of April. What is a writing boot camp? Well mine is one I found on the Savvy Author’s website. Basically, we group in teams of 4-5, commit to writing a certain number of words during the month, and WRITE. There’s about 100 people participating from all over the country. 

The kicker for me is that we each have report every day how many words we’ve written
Somehow, reporting the words is the magic wand for me. I had not written ONE SINGLE WORD on a new book since December 2011. But give me a hard deadline where I have accountability to a team (of complete strangers, mind you) and PRESTO: words start gushing on the paper. Plus there’s a Drill Sergeant who drops in to check your work when you least expect it. 

Pressure is evidently a key factor for successful writing in Janie’s world. 

Like the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I participated in last November, I have committed to writing 50,000 words this April. Basically, that’s the size of a Harlequin Romance Novel. (Yes, I’m writing another romance).   My WIP (work in-progress) is tentatively titled Love and Other Dangerous Stunts. My heroine in the book is a stunt woman. 

All this to tell you why I won’t be posting much original stuff on my blog this month, since a gal’s only got so much daily creativity and I’m going to apply mine to my WIP.   But I’ll have some “guest posts” from other blogs I like and I’ll still have the Sunday Showdown entries.

Meanwhile, if you want to check back to see how my writing is going (People might check?!?  = further motivation for me), I’ll have the obnoxious word counter widget going to the right.  It will tell how many words I’ve completed. And a cartoon like one of the following will let you know what my mood is. The pile of paper in the "novel" tray will grow as I write more words.

Ready to shoot myself or others

Don't bother me now, things are rolling!

So why Book #2? Well, I received enough positive feedback from the early readers of my first book (Unbreak My Heart) that I sent in a query letter about it to a publisher in March, while I continue to make edits.  Hopefully, they will request the manuscript in its entirety. But I found out it could take 4-6 months just to hear back from the query letter.

So I figure I better start something new while waiting to hear about that one. 

Most importantly I’m writing #2, because the same family member who said to me in a completely disparaging tone “So are you a writer now?” back in February read Unbreak My Heart a couple of weeks ago. Her response to the book: “You know what you're biggest problem is? You've only written one book. Go write some more.”  

I'll see you when I surface from Boot Camp at the beginning of May, with book #2.

(532 words, which can’t be applied towards my WIP counter)

1 comment:

  1. YAY Janie! You can do it! Keep up the good work!
    (I'll be checking back to read your Progress Meter.)