New to the ROW 80 challenge

Monday, July 4, 2011

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Well, I haven't been a Monday poster for awhile, but today is the first day of Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days. You can be in the midst of a WIP, starting a new draft, working on revisions, or any combination of steps. Any project counts, even non-fiction. I just heard about it yesterday, so I'm not real sure yet what I'm doing with my goals.

It's very different from NaNoWriMo. Instead of focusing on a huge number of words in 30 days, the idea is to develop long term writing habits that take into account that most of us have lives we can't bail on. As it was described, NaNo is like a sprint, but writing a novel is more like a marathon. And many people, including myself, cannot write quickly or consistently.

I'd done pretty good with NaNo last November. Until Thanksgiving week that is. Then because everyone was underfoot due to first my son being sick and then my mother-in-law getting the crud, they didn't go to my sister-in-law's like they'd planned. That effectively derailed all my plans and threw off my stride for the next few months. Around February, I started to push myself back into a writing schedule, and at the beginning of summer I made some writing goals. I'm not great at following goals, but having reasonable ones pushes me to do more than I might otherwise.

My writing goal had been to write 60,000 words by Aug 31. I'm sitting at 9767. Yeah, I should be about double that by now. If I'd written every day, I probably would be right on track. It wasn't all on my novel, but I counted the words I wrote toward my article for the culture share on Juliette Wade's blog.

The nice thing is that ROW 80 will help me toward my summer word count goal. Here are my tentative goals for the challenge. I may adjust after I see what other people are doing.

1. Finish rough plotting my WIP (it's about half done). My sort of plotting--when I do any in advance--is essentially chapter goals. Any details beyond that are brainstorm ideas that may or may not get used.

2. Write a chapter a week. This may or may not be as silly for me as a word count goal. Some scenes write easily and some are really tough. I have one scene right now that is really long and still not done yet. It's also an emotional one, making it harder to write.

3. Write 60 minutes every day without getting on the internet. This is my BIC goal. It's easy for other distractions to take over my day. And an hour is a reasonable amount of time I can get my family to leave me alone for. Today will be hard with being a holiday, but I will try for at least a portion of that. I'd say 5 days a week, but it's too easy for me to lose momentum if I take a couple days off. Now if I get in a phenomenal day's work, I might take the next day off, but otherwise it's better to keep going.

If anyone wants to join this challenge, here are the rules and the theory behind it. There are check-ins on Sundays and Wednesdays. You can jump in at any time, even midway through the round. You are the one to set what your goals are, so it doesn't matter when you join.


Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

I've never heard of this, Jaleh. I'm going to check it out.

Happy 4th to you as well!
the character therapist

Angela Ackerman said...

I think this is a great idea, and it really encourages people to write in the summer time when it's so easy to do other things instead. Best of luck with it! Happy 4th!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Jaleh D said...

Happy 4th to you ladies as well! I'm looking forward to this challenge. It's both at my individual pace and has the group motivation effect that I'd liked about NaNo.

Lauren Garafalo said...

Welcome to Row80. I'm sure you'll find that you love it. I used the very end of Round 2 as practice and I think I'll always keep some similar habit. Good luck with your goals!

fallonbrownwrites said...

good luck with meeting your goals! This is my first round of it as well.

Rebecca said...

Your goals are really good. I especially like the writing 60 minutes a day goal. That's the kind of goal that works for me too. Best of luck to you!

Lisa Rose said...

Thanks for letting me know about this! I'm glad I know someone else doing it, it'll keep me from bailing out if (when) I get lazy :)

Joshua said...

Interesting. This sounds similar to what I started doing the last day of May. I made a Google Docs spreadsheet to keep track of word count and weekly goals for the WIP. Kept me on track. Ended June with a 13,900 for the month and 14,200 overall. This whole process is working fab. Hoping to have at least 80,000 by the end of August. I guess we'll see! Good luck to you!

Jaleh D said...

Thanks for all the encouragement and for stopping by!

alberta ross said...

all the best with this round - I have foundROW80 really helpful in getting into a habit of writing - keep smiling

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Interesting! Haven't heard of this challenge, somehow. I love the idea of developing habits, moving forward. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Jaleh D said...

Thanks Alberta!

That's funny, Elizabeth. I discovered ROW 80 from following your link to Catherine Pawsey's site from your post on the writing worksheets.

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