ROW80 Round 4 Goals, Productivity Tip, and My Town Monday Fun Fact!

ROW80Logo175It’s time to ROW again! And that means it’s time for new writing goals. But first, it occurred to me that a lot of people might not know what ROW80 is, and I write this assuming everyone does know. ROW80 stands for “A Round of Words in 80 Days” and is “the writing challenge that knows you have a life.” What this means, is that unlike other well-known writing challenges like National Novel Writing Month for example, ROW80 is not a one-size-fits-all goal. It’s whatever goal(s) the participant wants to set. The goals don’t need to be words written–they can be revision, planning, promotion… anything! Some participants throw other life goals in as well, like fitness, home organizing, or spending time with family. It’s also perfectly acceptable–encouraged, even–to change our goals as needed. Every Sunday and Wednesday, we post links at the ROW80 Blog and go to each others’ blogs to offer encouragement and support. But even this is flexible–many participants check in only once a week (I just do Sundays), and others only when they have something to report. So if you’re a writer and would like to get in on a great goals group that’s flexible enough to work for your goals, why not check it out?

ROW80 participants have different ways of defining and measuring goals, too. Most will define a set of goals for the whole 80 day Round and just measure progress toward those, but some of us break it down further. I do week-by-week goals. Here are mine for the overall Round:

  • I want to have my Work-in-Progress completely outlined by the end of October, preferably sooner.
  • I’m going to do NaNoWriMo, and I want to get 50,000 more words written on my WIP by the end of November.
  • I’m also taking an online workshop on Promotions that goes for six weeks, and I plan to keep up with that and all the associated homework.
  • I’m going easy in December, because I usually don’t get much done then, but I’d like to get an additional 10,000 words on the WIP.
  • In non-writing goals, I’m adding a product catalog to my family member’s website, so I want to get that done, too.
  • I also want to keep up with fitness activity each week.

My goals for this week:

  • Finish sketching out/outlining first quarter of WIP
  • Keep up with lessons and homework for Promotions workshop, which begins tomorrow
  • Refine layout of product listing page and individual product page for web site
  • Fitness 4 times

Productivity Tip

Something I found that helped immensely in my book planning was timed writing. This will be obvious to some, and it’s something I’ve done before, but I’d forgotten how effective it was. Simply set a timer for as little as five minutes (I’m doing ten minutes) and just write notes. It doesn’t matter what it is, just write. This frees us up from perfectionism and worrying about getting it “just right.” When the timer goes off, stop. Congratulate yourself for getting it done, then go do something else. If you feel like it, do another session later, but no beating yourself up if you don’t! Do sessions of the amount of time you picked for at least a week before increasing the time–and then, increase only by five minutes per week. This has pulled out some great stuff for the scenes I’m sketching out, and I now have a much more interesting beginning planned for my WIP.

Fun My Town Monday Fact

Dayton has its own Walk of Fame! It’s located on the near West Side, right in front of the restored Wright Bros. Cycle Shop, which is part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park. There are over a hundred people recognized there–inventors (of course!), authors, artists, entertainers, business people, educators, musicians, athletes, and others who contributed to society. There’s a great Flickr gallery of it here.

What about you? If you’re participating in ROW80, what are your goals this Round? If you’re not, (even if you’re not a writer), do you have any goals you’re working toward? Have you ever tried the timer for writing, or anything else? (I’ve found it’s great for housework, too.) Have you ever visited a Walk of Fame? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

14 Responses to \

  1. Oooh, 50K in 30 days. You’re braver than I am! Haha!

    I don’t recall the Walk of Fame, so we might just have to check that out someday!

    Right now my goals include writing everyday (so far, so good) and exercising at least 5 times a week (again, so far, so good). Anything more than that, and I’d have to write them down. And if I wrote them down, I’d end up putting the paper someplace where it’ll get buried and forgotten, so maybe it’s a good thing I only have two goals. 🙂

  2. Good goals, Jennette. Good luck with them.

    Some day I’m going to get to Dayton and I want you to show me around to all of these cool places you write about. Maybe we’ll take the Harley.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  3. Phil Donahue! 🙂 That walk of fame is another reason to put Dayton on a road trip itinerary. I love interesting stops like that!
    Good luck with your goals this week.

  4. Stacy, I’ve won NaNoWriMo twice! It’s amazing what we can do when we really put our minds to it – I bet you could win, too! Nothing wrong with keeping your goals simple – good luck!

    Thanks, Patricia! I’d be happy to show you our cool places if you do make it out!

    Coleen – so cool that someone who doesn’t live here remembers him – and thanks!

  5. Hey Jennette, these a re some great goals. I love NaNo, but I’m taking this year off. I’ve been poorly, I’m not at my best. When I can work on anything I want to focus on revisions, not writing another book. Loved your timed writing idea. Might have to give it a shot!

    Shah x

  6. Good luck with NaNo, Jennette! Your goals are impressive. Meanwhile, Dayton impresses me more each time you mention it. The Gish sisters? Martin Sheen? Jonathan Winters? Wow!

  7. I’m planning on doing something like the timer too, integrating Freedom and the Pomodoro technique into my writing routine. We’ll see how it goes!

    Good luck on your goals, and make sure to tell us something about the Promotion workshop. 🙂

  8. Great ROW80 goals. The timer! I’d completely forgotten about employing this technique when I write. It does make such a difference for me in establishing the habit of writing and increasing productivity. Best of luck on your goals!

  9. Shah, I often don’t participate in NaNo because I’m doing revisions, and it’s not the challenge for that. Luckily, ROW80 is! Good luck on yours!

    Pat, glad you enjoyed the Walk of Fame photos! Even I am surprised by how many famous people are from Dayton.

    Ruth, I’ve heard of the Pomodoro technique – I’ll have to look that up. Good luck with it, and thanks!

  10. MS, I forgot about the timer – and the technique of just writing notes – too! It’s been so helpful this past week.

  11. Love Dayton’s Walk of Fame! Cincinnati doesn’t have one:(. I’ve never tried a timer for writing–or housework! Maybe I should; that might help me with my procrastination problem. I do have a goal of finishing my WIP before summer of 2014.

  12. Wonderful goals, Jennette, and good luck with Nano. I wish you a non-stop flow of words! I use a times, but it’s to remind me to get up and stretch. 🙂 those joins and muscles and butt get sore from sitting so much!

  13. Jennette: Your goals are so ambitious that it seems smart to “go easy in December.” Writing another 10K words seems achievable. I’ve got to check back here regularly to see how you’re getting along—and to cheer you on!

    Good luck!

  14. Maria, the timer is great for housework! If you start with a mindset of “I only have to do this for fifteen (or ten!) minutes, it’s amazing how much easier it is – and how much more you get done!

    Sheila, I hope I get to the point that I need a timer to remind me to take a break! Good idea – and thanks!

    Thanks, Lynette! 50k in a month is ambitious, but I’ve done it before and hope I can again. And easy in December is a must – too many other things going on before the holidays.