Giving this Round of Words in 80 Days thing a try

I thought about it. I considered it in April. Then I considered jumping in when that one finished. But I hedged, and I missed the first week. I don’t normally like to come late to a party; I feel foolish walking into everyone’s established conversations. But I’m making an exception because I need to stop doing this alone.

So, here I am. I’m committed to making some positive changes in my writing life. I’ve always been a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer, and I don’t expect that to change. I don’t outline. I don’t make many notes. Heck, I don’t even jot down ideas as they occur. (Instead, I mostly just complain that writing on my phone is a pain and my best ideas show up in the shower.)

I confess to not having enjoyed NaNoWriMo due to the crunched time and the expectation that I’m going to have some semblance of a (badly-written) novel at the end of that time. I don’t write a story start to finish, chapter-by-chapter. I tend to go, “Ooh, there’s this thing I want to happen between these two people here. Gotta put that in!” Sometimes, I write the end first. More often than not, those elements change. But I like having them there to play with. All of that makes NaNoWriMo hard for me. Last year, I was a NaNo Rebel—I wrote 50,000 words, but they were part of an established novel that I was stalling on.

Instead of stressing over word count and “winning,” I’m trying out the ROW80. I can make reasonable, manageable goals for myself while still holding out hope for the bigger picture. It makes sense to me!

Here are my goals for the rest of the 80 days:

1. Write an hour a day on my new novel. My hope is to finish it, but if I don’t, at least this gives me a good chunk.

2. Post something on my blog once a week that isn’t a WIPpet (snippet of my work in progress) or an ROW80 update. I don’t have anything specific in mind, though I do plan to write several book reviews.

3. Spend 30 minutes a day reading an actual book (all right, probably a Kindle book and not paper, but close enough). I’ve gotten into the bad habit of just messing around playing mindless games before bed. I could take the exact same 30 minutes and read something instead.

Those feel like goals I can work with. So far,just going over my last week, I have managed only one of those—I wrote for about an hour (at least) every day on my current novel-in-progress. Here’s to getting on track and making these goals my priority for the next 73 days, right?

If you’re interested in following my progress, I check in on Wednesdays and Sundays. If you want to play along, with or without linking up, go to the ROW80 blog. Best of luck, and keep writing!

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7 thoughts on “Giving this Round of Words in 80 Days thing a try

  1. It’s a start. Grab a few simple goals, or at least one and focus on it. I have gained some great habit that started off as ROW80 goals, like journaling twice a week, or reading every day to visiting fellow bloggers during the week. Think…One step/goal at a time.

    • Yup. I chose 3 things that I’ve been working towards doing anyway but that I wasn’t really holding myself accountable for and finding excuses why I didn’t just do them. So now it’s down in black and white and I have to stick with it! LOL

  2. Welcome welcome welcome! =D

    So happy you’re ROWing with us! Your goals seem clear-cut and manageable.

    I started in January of 2012, and the difference in who I am as a person and a writer is astonishing. I actually plan my yearly writing around the framework of those four 80-day rounds. It’s the perfect framework for me to create within, while still allowing my tremendous freedom and flexibility.

    And, as for shower ideas, I’m one of those too! =)

    • That was what I figured. I honestly didn’t feel before like a “real” writer, but now that I’m surrounding myself with other writers, I do—it’s that whole support system of other creative people, I think. Knowing I’m not in this alone, whether it’s blogging or fiction or whatever, feels good. 🙂

      • That really is a huge part of it. And some folks here have a LOT of experience, and are willing to share it freely.

        I think there’s something in a challenge like this that claims the life. A non-writer wouldn’t be interested in attempting this, so, just by virtue of dipping your toes in, you’re saying something about who you are and what you value.

        I hope you find as much treasure here, as I have!

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