It’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
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!