My Goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days

ROW80: the writing challenge that knows you have a life.

Kait Nolan, author of Forsaken by Shadow and the newly released Devil’s Eye, who also happens to be my CP and BFF, wanted something like NaNoWriMo that could give that sense of community and we’re all in this together, without the constraints on time and project specificity that can make NaNo unattainable and crazy-making for some. Something like 70 Days of Sweat which we so enjoyed when we were much newer CPs. (But actually, I kind of think the whole thing is partly Kait’s way of trying to get more discipline in my life.)

So the deal is: set your own, measurable goal(s) and work for it 80 days, 1/3-3/24. It doesn’t have to be a new project. It doesn’t have to be a novel. You can work on editing, multiple projects, a short story anthology…

So what am I going to do. Word count goals are popular and encouraged, but they don’t really work for me. When I’m in the right frame of mind, I can scrawl a few thousand words easily and they’re good. And when I’m not, I can usually force out words, but that becomes stuff that isn’t right for the story and puts me further off track. What I think I need to work on is spending time in my world, every day, without the distraction of…the real world. During the week, whether I write on the manuscript or not, I need to spend at least 30 minutes, alone and internet-free, working in the world of the Talent Chronicles. And I need to spend a total of an hour a day on the writing stuff. ETA: (editing goals already?) I’d like to get back to writing at least one scene per day, but I think that in order to avoid setting myself up for fail, I should go for 3 scenes a week and maybe save the 1-2 scenes a day goal for the next round. Because I think an actual output goal is important so I wind up with some manuscript progress and not just noteful blathering, but word count has never been a sensible measure for me to go by.

The doesn’t seem like much, and likely I’ll spend more time most days, but I think the fact that I skip days when the work gets to hard or when real life gets in the way hasn’t been doing me any favors as far as keeping my head in the place it needs to be to write.

So that’s my measurable goal for the challenge. My other goals are to finish Heroes ‘Til Curfew and release it, to write and release the short story about what happened when Joss got home at the end of Hush Money, and to write the outline for book 3, all of which I should be able to do within 80 days. I’m looking forward to really getting my head on straight and getting back to my Talent kids this year with the focus they deserve.



Filed under goals, writing

14 responses to “My Goals for A Round of Words in 80 Days

  1. Yay for working on your talent chronicles during ROW80. I’m looking forward to the next book(s)!

  2. Claire Legrand

    These are great goals, Susan! I think we’re both in the same boat as far as needing a bit more discipline goes, so ROW80 should be great for us. Good luck! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Claire. Did K tell you she has a brilliant plan to circumvent the seemingly inevitable battle of Who Gets Claire? (Which I thought I had circumvented when I decided to quit my sponsorship to be on Team Andrew, but she wouldn’t let me, ’cause she’s mean like that.)

  3. Seems everywhere I go the name of everyone’s ROW80 game is organization. If this challenge becomes a hit there’s going to be a ton of good books to read. Looking forward to Heroes.

  4. I like the fact that we’re able to set our own goals instead of being told we have to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Your goals are more about time than words. I sort of have to have the word goals, but 500 a day is very reasonable. I’m really looking forward to this challenge because it’s going to be fun instead of stressful.

    • Yes, because if I manage to make myself write 50 words, I can usually just as easily write 500. Some days I can hardly write an email under 500 words, and I can almost never write a blog post that short. So for me it’s mostly about making myself get started, but preferably get started in the right frame of mind for good writing.

  5. Kait Nolan

    Hey, there’s nothing wrong with discipline. πŸ˜€ You know I have so much OCD control freak in me, I have to share the love to my less organized brethren…

  6. I like your idea of spending time daily in your world. I think I might add that to my goals… I need to get more disciplined with my writing and distractions and all…

    • I did it today and it went pretty darned well. I’ve been more letting the distractions control whether or not I even try than taking control over my space and time. It’s been not good.

  7. christel42

    Hit me up when/if you need a beta reader for Heroes ‘Til Curfew… : )

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