NANO-Lite, Just a Thousand Calories (…Words) a Day!

Jessa and Jessie go on another adventure together.

Jessa and Jessie go on another adventure together.

I have a love-hate relationship with the month of January. It has become personal that we make a lot of empty promises to each other.  I promise to love and cherish my body by eating right and going to the gym. January promises me new beginnings and the chance to fit into smaller clothes. The first week is all about the honeymoon stage when I believe we can conquer the world. But by the last day of the month, I’m seeking a divorce and taking the dog.

Every year I kept expecting one of us to change our ways. This year, I have come up with a new plan.

This time I have wrangled in a semi-impartial Third Party, in the form of fellow writer, Jessa Slade, who has accepted the daunting challenge of being my co-pilot for a Writing New Year’s Resolution. Since there are 31 days in January, our mutual goal is to write a thousand words a day. It seams so simple. It seams so realistic. It seems like I’m attempting a lighter version of NANO, two months late.

I never understood why NANO was in November. When people are already stressed out about the holidays, who has time to write 50,000 words? I apparently have a cap on drama and November is earmarked for only my family so at the end of the day, I have nothing left for my written pages. Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back to sending my characters on mythological adventures to learn the meaning in their lives and accidentally fall in love on the way.

What will happen if we accomplish our goals? I can’t speak for Jessa but I will be 1/3 done with a first draft novel that I have attempted to write 3 previous times. I’m hoping 2014 will mean that the fourth time is the charm. My previous attempts have resulted in incomplete stories, lackluster endings and backing myself into a corner where my story looks like a batch of necklaces tangled up together. My characters deserve better from me.

What will happen if I fail to reach my goal? Did you notice how I went from “we” to “I”? That’s because I’m doing a New Year’s resolution with someone who sticks to her commitments. I’m the weakest link of this duo. Thus, if I have any word count less than 31,000 by midnight on Jan 31st, I’m buying Jessa her favorite drink from the hotel bar at the 2014 Emerald City Conference, a popular writing conference where friendships and business contacts are made from the cushy stools of the hotel bar. I want to be there with her but if I fail, I will buy her a victory drink!

So here is my plan in a countdown nutshell. If you have any suggestions, your comments would be most appreciated.

5 Weekly Goal Reports due to Jessa Every Friday
4 Main Characters to put thru Emotional Roller Coasters
3 Times to gather in person at Local Coffee Shops to write side-by-side.
2 Writing Buddies to hold each other accountable
1 Month to Write 31,000 Words

Ready, Set, Go!


About Jessie Smith

Health Care Worker by Day, Aspiring Author by Night and 24/7 Staff for Riley (Corgie/Tibetan Spaniel Mix)

Posted on January 9, 2014, in Auth: Jessie Smith. Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Nano in November is nothing short of brilliant. A way to AVOID family over the holidays. Hope your words are flowing. Sorry I didn’t get a chance to post a comment earlier.


  2. You can do it, Jessie! (BTW, have you ever read Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem? He talks about the genesis of NaNo — I believe it was originally in July (some month other than November anyway).


    • Greetings EJ – I have not read that book but July would be so much more ideal! I love knowing behind-the-scenes stuff – Thanks!


  3. I am watching this Nano-Lite with interest. And if you BOTH make it, I will buy the drinks at Emerald City 🙂 Can’t wait to see these stories published!


  4. Looks like I better put ECWC14 on my calendar if you two ladies are going. I’m happy to drink with you to celebrate, because we all know that Jessie is going to make this goal. 🙂


  5. 1000 words a day – you can do it, Jessie!


  6. Jessie-love the idea of Nano lite. I mean,we’re supposed to be giving up our partying ways for another year, or at least until Valentines day…

    Maggie, step away from the wifi…


  7. Love this! Jessie, your posts are always so wonderful, humorous, and heart felt. I just know your stories will be the same. You can do this!

    Jessa, if she starts falling behind I hope you have your magic writer’s rope to tie her to the chair in front of a computer and shock her every time she stops typing. Oh, also put on that computer anti-social media program. The one where after 15 minutes on any social media, there is no access for the rest of the day.

    I’m looking for that program myself. I know it was on my computer but I got mad at it one day and damned it to hell. It is still here somewhere swearing at me. Hmmm…


  8. How’s it going, Jessie?? My friend Rachel and I made a similar pact. I am behind, of course. Let me know when you guys are writing and where….I may join you!


    • Join us, Morgan! I’m writing right now! I still have 500 of 1000 words to go tonight. I already know there are a few days this months I am going to miss so I’ll have to sneak in some extra word count somewhere. We can do eeeeet!


    • I thought I would be off with a bang but I’m still trying with the determination to finish the month at 31,000. We can do this! When Jessa and I lock down a writing date/location, I will send you an invite. 🙂


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