So, Amanda (from Amanda’s wrinkled pages) and I have been challenging each other to a type of literary throwdown. Last Thursday the challenge was to write 2000 words but there was no time limit, the next day 1000 words again with no time limit. It worked really well and helped both of us be less lazy with our writing and produce, produce, produce, so we decided to make it a recurring challenge. On Wednesday night, I tweet Amanda:
@amandahoving *see* you tomorrow. 2000 word throwdown by end of day?
To which she replies with this gem:
@jetchez Sounds good to me! Or…I’m up for 1,000 in an hour? Something to think about…Good night!
I thought, now that sounds like a challenge (and a brilliant idea!). And if you don’t know me, know this, I don’t back down from a challenge. So of course, I reply:
@amandahoving I’m in.
But then I thought, hey wouldn’t it be great for others to join? so I add:
Who else will join? 1000 words in 1 hour. Tweet ur start time/stop time/word count. #1kwordchallenge #amwriting.
See, because while I absolutely value staring into space and thinking (which yes, I do consider writing), having concrete words to work, shape, mold, and a goal to help you get through those spots in your WIP you’ve been avoiding is also pretty important, too. Take this last challenge for example. Without it, here’s how my day probably would’ve gone.
Order Americano. Sit down and open Twitter and WIP. Stare at WIP. Check out Twitter. Go back to WIP. Sigh. Edit a paragraph. Read the next. Sigh. Stare outside. Contemplate rainy day. Check out Twitter. Tell myself I’m wasting time. Go back to WIP, think, and painfully force 500 words.
But, what happened instead was this:
Ordered Americano. Sat down and opened Twitter and WIP. Remembered today is 1Kwordchallenge. Scrambled to figure out what I needed to write. Tried to identify my problem (fast, because I have to churn out 1000 words pronto!). Okay, realize characters seem kind of bland here and this scene kind of ends but doesn’t seem complete and decide to work off that point. I tweet Amanda, tweet challenge, and start. And then I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote….looked at clock, 25 minutes left, still needed 300 words. Wrote some more. Time ended and I had 1126 words. Just like that.
And now I have this scene that makes me smile because I think it’s pretty good, and pretty necessary and gives my whole WIP more direction. So, yahoo for the 1Kwordchallenge! It definitely helped push me onward.
And…we’ll be doing this each Thursday, so look for the cue on Twitter. To participate just tweet the following and add the #1kwordchallenge hashtag:
1. Start time: Tweet when you start and then get to it, write, write, write!
2. Stop time: Tweet when you stop. And make sure you include…
3. Word count: Hopefully 1000 words (yay!), but if not, no worries. Tweet what you have.
It’s that easy! Who’s gonna join us? Come on, WHO’S GONNA JOIN US, I SAY!
Bit o’ trivia: I tried photoshopping a literary rendition of Bobby Flay to accompany this post. But alas, I do not have the skills to photoshop what would undoubtedly have been an awesome picture.
Follow me on Twitter @jetchez