Blogosphere Monday: Just Jen

(This is the first in a new weekly feature where I link to other writing blogs that I’ve recently discovered and try to use them as a springboard for my own thoughts and notions.)

Jen posted the first comment in a thread I started over in the Nanowrimo forums about my plans to get to a six-week writing workshop next summer. She was very encouraging, and I noticed that she had a blog link in her forum sig. Since I’ve been wanting to check out more Nano-er blogs, I gave it a click.


The story of Jen’s Nano experience this year could probably be made into a book of its own, or a movie. You have the earnest author, a co-ML for a big city, attending her midnight kickoff party, excited and pumped full of inspiration. And then, just like any good Act two break, disaster strikes.

A fire. Panic ensues, Jen scrambles around trying to get her puppies out safely, checks on the neighbors, then collapses into tears.

You can read the full story, and much more, over at There’s a lot of running around, arguing with Walmart people about prepaid Red cross cards, finding places to do laundry, and finally showing up at Nanowrimo writeins ‘to get her mind off things.’

Jen didn’t make it to 50k this year, but it sounds like she’s learned a lot about herself, and set a very ambitious list of goals for her ‘2011 year of writing’, which apparently started on December 1st and continues until November 30th 2011. (She says that Nanowrimo feels like it breaks up her calendar that way, writing-wise, which I can understand.) I wish her all the best.

And what does all of this have to do with my own life and writing? I’m not sure. Certainly I don’t expect to have a fire in my future, though nobody really does when it comes to that – I’m glad that I finally got my renter’s insurance sorted out, and I’ll try to keep in mind what she mentioned about the virtues of having offsite backups of important computer files. More generally, though, Jen’s story may underscore that having a high wordcount isn’t the most important thing, either in life or in writing, and that there are other ways of persevering through hardship than sticking stubbornly to your original goal.

UPDATE: I’ve thought of something else from Jen’s blog that I can apply to my life and writing. She posted a list of her goals for her writing year 2011. Now, I’m still comfortable with making year-long resolutions on the typical calendar in general, so I haven’t got my 2011 goals list, but on Stringing Words we have monthly project threads, which have been very helpful to me over the past year and a half, and I guess for some reason I’ve been reluctant to share my monthly goals anywhere else but on SW. So, here’s some of my goals for December 2010:

  • Write 4 new blogisodes. 1/4 done!
  • Finish new chapters of fanfic crossovers ‘Dragon’s Prey’ and ‘Children of the Molecule’.
  • Write 16,000 words
  • Do last 3 fanarts for 2010 goal. 2/3 done!
  • Post 6 short stories up for critiques. 3/6 done!
  • Come up with 2011 goals list.
  • Review last critique of ‘The Long Way Home’ and revise accordingly.
  • Repost ‘Long Way Home’ and post ‘Won’t somebody think of the children’ for Nano swaps.
  • Resume driving lessons. Called my instructor tonight!
  • Submit 2 short stories for publication.
  • Comment or reply on 10 new writing blogs. 1/10 done!
  • Complete reading and feedback on ‘A kiss to build a dream on.’ (79/247 pages done previously.)
  • Complete proofreading ‘Runaway with me’ and reviewing for consistency. (3/21 chapters done previously.)

3 Responses to Blogosphere Monday: Just Jen

  1. Jen says:

    Thanks for the shout-out! Put a big smile on my face.


  2. Tiffany says:

    Last year was my first NaNo and Jen was my mentor. I can say that she kept me focused with her amazing word count and wonderful emails. I knew that if I had a question of any sort I could contact her. So this year I wanted her to mentor me again but she told me she would be mentoring the whole group with her ML duties so I didn’t feel left out. When the fire struck and her month turned upside down I completely felt for her but that did not keep her from being there still encouraging everyone else to their goals and updating status and doing everything she could to make sure we all still had the word counts needed. She is a true inspiration and I am so glad that she is getting the recognition that she deserves. You couldn’t have picked a better blog to spotlight.


  3. Jen says:

    Awww, thanks Tiffany! I’m glad I was able to be a help to everyone in St. Louis this year with all I went through. 🙂


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