RoW80: Round 2 Goals


March 7, 2013 by KWills

So, the Friday report idea crashed on take-off.  I must admit, I wasn’t surprised.  I don’t do so well with self-motivation, which is a big problem for someone who wants to be a professional writer.  I have tried brute-forcing the issue, telling myself I “must” do things.  I tried getting cross with myself, bribing myself, even tricking myself.  All to no avail.  It was like trying to get over a wall by standing on my own shoulders.

I found that I had better success when reaching for a public goal, so I thought I would start this blog.  Only, I believed that no-one would read it, and that I was still, essentially, talking to myself.  Challenges like NaNoWriMo and FAWM helped, but I needed a way to harness that challenge energy for my own goals.

Then I found RoW80: A Round of Words in 80 Days.  I discovered that I wasn’t the only person on the planet who was bad at sticking to goals.  Who’d thunk?  Someone else with my problems had thought of a way to get over that wall: get other people to help.  Rather than waiting for a big challenge to come round, Kait Nolan encouraged us to challenge ourselves, and each other.  And it worked!

I participated in the first round, way back in 2011.  Then life ambushed and kidnapped me, as it so often does.  By the time I got free, I was months behind.  I let despair rule for a while, then NaNoWriMo 2012 happened.  I signed up, listless and hopeless, thinking that perhaps the challenge would motivate me to write another 10k or so.  And then, I won NaNo!  With a week to spare!  The thrill was as heady as it was unexpected.  I could do it!  The winner’s certificate hangs on my wall beside my computer, proof that it is possible.

Then, I slumped again.  Again!  I felt like a yo-yo, pinging backwards and forwards between elation and frustration.  Months went by without a word being written, or a scene edited.  Despair was back.  Goodbye writing life.

So, I started to go through my bookmarks, getting rid of the stuff I didn’t need any more, because I was never going to make it as a writer.  One of those bookmarks was for RoW80, a challenge I had almost forgotten existed.  I hesitated over the delete button.  Maybe, just maybe, this was the answer.  I opened the link, and re-read the terms of the challenge.  A new round was starting in April.  Enough time to pull myself together, but not too far ahead.  I spotted my chance: my way back into writing.  The yo-yo reached the end of the string and hung there, spinning the decision over.  I opened my neglected blog and started to climb back up.

Round 2 Goals

First off, my week has 6 days.  Life can’t be planned in every detail, so every week has room for one “off” day.  That said, here are my goals:

  • Keep the words coming: Write 1,500 words a day. (Average.  9,000 words a week.)
    • Write every day, even on the off days.  Even if it’s just 100 words, write something.
  • Time well spent: Spend six hours a week on outlining and/or editing.  
  • Get involved in the online writing community: Review two items every week.
  • Stay in touch with reality: Write one letter or e-mail every week to friends and family.
  • Starting in May: send out one query letter every week.  Because, by then, I’ll have something to pitch.

Check-in posts are Wednesdays and Sundays, so expect to see a lot more action around this blog.


3 thoughts on “RoW80: Round 2 Goals

  1. Sandy says:

    Hya! I followed the link from ROW80. Those look like some good solid goals you have so good luck and good writing 😀 I think these next few months are going to be damn productive.

  2. Joe says:

    Excellent goals!

    And I’ve done the same thing–blogged as an outreach to other folk in the writing world, only to find I’m talking to myself. But the ROW80 sprints have been great. I get the work done, and I get to chat with real, live people. Best of both worlds, this.

    So. Good luck with your goals. Hope to see you ’round the ROW80 word sprints!


  3. Gloria Weber says:

    I totally stand behind your 6 days a week. Actually, I only do 5. Your goals are awesome and doable and I just broke a grammar rule and I wish you the best because I have been where you are and you can definitely own these goals! Write on, writer!

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