Last month I participated in two challenges: one for my mind and one for my body. The mental challenge was Jersey Romance Writing Month (JeRoWriMo) where the goal is to write 30,000 words in 28 days. The physical challenge was to attend 30 Jazzercise classes in 35 days.
I wrote 31,139 words in February! Woohoo!
But there are far more benefits to that accomplishment than just a badge to display (oh, and we get chocolate at the celebration in March).
- I am almost halfway through my current work-in-progress, THE QUARTERBACK ANTES UP, the second book in my new Wager of Hearts series. (The first book, THE CEO BUYS IN releases on July 21.) That’s a nice chunk of a book to be finished with in the second month of the new year since my deadline is September 30th.
- I was reminded of how much easier it is to write when you do it every day so your head is always in the story. Otherwise it takes a lot of extra time and effort to remind yourself of who your characters are and where they’re going. Daily writing means that I am ready to go the minute I sit down at the computer.
- When you’re writing at high speed, you can’t second guess yourself or go back and revise, so you turn off your inner editor. (The last chapter I wrote during JeRoWriMo was 57 pages long. Who needs chapter breaks when you’re having fun?) You just let the words rip! It’s a powerful reminder of why you started writing in the first place: to take pleasure in creating because you love your characters and you want to see what happens to them.
- The participants in the 30K challenge form a wonderfully supportive group with real bonds of comradeship. We cheer each other on, commiserate with each other’s woes, and get to know each other better. What a positive, inspiring experience to be in close touch with a whole group of writers, all working toward the same goal, for a whole month!
I was going strong for the Jazzercise challenge and had attended 15 classes in 16 days, when the flu struck me down. That was the end of my chance to win the T-shirt.
However, I still learned a very valuable lesson from the challenge (and I got the cool bracelet): It is easier to exercise six days a week than to work out four days a week. Why?
Monday through Friday and Sunday mornings, I got up, I put on my workout clothes, I fed the critters and I went to Jazzercise. There was no debate, no negotiation with myself about whether I would go Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday or whatever.
I got up; I went to Jazzercise. I didn’t schedule anything in the mornings; I went to Jazzercise. I didn’t decide I needed to sleep in one day; I went to Jazzercise. Studies show that we have a finite amount of willpower; this challenge removed the need for it because exercise became part of my daily routine, no thought required.
Not to mention the fact that I felt fantastic and energized. I could even see a difference in the way my clothes fit me. Now that I’m almost recovered from the flu, I can’t wait to get back to Jazzercise class.
So, while I didn’t get the T-shirt, I discovered something new about how to make staying healthy easier. You know what? That’s a win!