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Writing goals and #ROW80

A Round of Words in 80 Days Logo

 So I’ve got a little secret. ::looks around, all shifty-like::

I’m no good at keeping goals on my own. You should see the unfinished scrapbooks sitting in boxes in my basement. I really suck at scrapbooks. The thing about them is, there is no deadline. No drive to keep me going. There’s just this mess of photos and construction paper and stuff. It takes a lot of motivation to get me to make the mess to create and then later clean it up. I’ve got three kids. I clean up enough crap as it is.

But–if you said to me, “Erin, you need to finish this scrapbook in two weeks so your great-grandmother can have a look when she visits.” I’d be like, “Ok. I can do this.” And I would. Because I love deadlines (so says every paper I ever wrote the night before it was due in college).

Writing can be kind of like that. I’m feeling very motivated at the moment to blog and write and Tweet and all that jazz, but sometimes it’s tedious. Sometimes I’d rather play Angry Birds or bake cookies. Sometimes ::looks around all shifty-like again:: I would rather clean my house. Shh!

This is why the writing community is so important. When you have a group of like-minded individuals cheering you on and supporting you, it drives you to get words on the page.

I recently found out about a writing challenge called A Round of Words in 80 Days (#ROW80 on Twitter). It is sort of in the vein of other challenges like NaNoWriMo, but you set your own goals. Writers participating in the challenge write a blog post stating their goal (which I will do here). We will have twice weekly progress check-ins where we cheer on our fellow participants (or get a kick in the pants? 🙂 ) so we can all reach our own goals. Beautiful.

I am 11,000 words into my current YA contemporary romance WIP. My goal for #ROW80 is to write 750 words a day. If I meet this goal, I will end at 71,000 words which I think will be a good count for this novel. We shall see. I’m sort of still figuring out how to predict word count, so it could be more or less :). The beauty of #ROW80? I have the right to change my mind and change my goal. Also, this sucker needs a title. So…sometime in 80 days I ought to come up with something better than the document currently called, “Story”. Yeah.

Now it’s on: 750 words per day for 80 days. And a title.

If you are a writer and want to join the challenge, please join us! Here is a handy link which will answer any questions about the challenge.

Wish me luck and happy writing to my fellow participants!

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27 thoughts on “Writing goals and #ROW80

    • You should! It’s a great idea. You set your own goals, so the challenge is personalized just for you. Hope to see you there. It officially starts July 4th, but you can jump in any time.

  1. Good luck! I’m actually doing a July version of NaNoWriMo as well as something called Flash Fiction Month to kick myself in the pants when it comes to producing a lot of writing. I tend to want to sit here and call myself Writer when, in reality, I hardly write and most of my projects get stalled. Since there are no kids, jobs (minus a part time editing gig), or school (yet), I have no legitimate excuses.

    Here’s to your unnamed YA novel. I hope you get it finished and exceed your goals. =)

  2. I signed up for NaNoWriMo and thought, man, wouldn’t it be nice to be close to done with my current WIP before I take a month to write something else (’cause there is NO way I’ll be able to do both with a todller in the house).

    ROW80 seemed like the perfect thing to keep me on task with the WIP and keep me in the habit of regular writing so I don’t go into shock in November. 🙂

    Glad you’ll be a part of it, too!

    • Yay! Glad you’ll be joining in, Amber. I hear ya on the toddler thing (I have a preschooler and two toddlers). They are kind of distracting (cute distractions, but still 🙂 ). Good luck to you!

  3. I’m in for this round of words too. Should finish current wip by the end of this month then plan the next one & hopefully finish 1st draft of it by the end of the round. also am going to try to write 1 flash fiction piece a week to be posted to my blog. We’ll see how that goes definitely since both my kids birthdays fall during this round. Good luck to you on your goals!

    • Yay, Fallon! Good luck to you as well. Kids and life sometimes make writing a challenge. That’s why I liked this challenge, since we can build it around our own lives.

  4. I like your 750 words/day plan. Sometimes I read tweets from writers putting down 3,000+ words a day, and I think, “Who is doing their laundry?” At least with kids around, it’s nice to set a goal that you can possibly meet. I think you’ve set some achieveable goals that will still keep you on track. (And we’ll kick you in the pants if necessary, but mostly cheer you on. 😉 )

    Meanwhile, I’m sure a brilliant title for your WIP will arrive like a glorious epiphany sometime in these 80 days!

    My ROW80 goals are coming to my blog on Monday.

    • I agree. I often wonder if people have fingers attached to jet packs to get that may words in a day :). Some days I can get close to 2000 but other times I struggle to get even 500, just depends on the kiddos and what is going on that day. I’d like to push myself for higher word count as I go, but for now I think consistency will be a good thing too. When I did the math and realized 750 x 80 was 60,000 it really made finishing the novel seem achievable. Good luck with your goal, I’ll have to stop by your blog and see what you decided :). Oh…and I’m hoping for a title epiphany, surely, something will come to me before this book is finished.

  5. I’m also like you, I like deadlines. I’m in for ROW80 and I just need to pick a goal. 750 words a day sounds good. But for me I think I will need a range to give myself some leeway. Like maybe 500-750 words a day with a weekly goal as well. Then if you don’t make one goal, you make the second. I will have to decide soon….

    • A range might be a good idea. I decided on 750 knowing that some days I might do close to 2000 and on other days I’ll struggle for 200. I figure it’ll average to around 750, plus having the goal will push me on the days I’m having a bit of trouble. Good luck with your ROW80 journey!

  6. HI, followed you from ROW80 and thought I’d drop in a comment. I’m working on a similar goal – I have another 40000 or so words to go on one WIP and 19500 on another so I’m going for 500 words on each per day (1000 words a day lol)
    Good luck and I hope you stick to it you’re book sounds like something I’d love to read 😀

    • I debated making my goal 1000 words a day but dropped it to 750. I know somedays I can get in 1500-2000 quite easily and on others my schedule is so tight with things for my kids, just squeezing out 200 words can be tough. I figure 750 is an attainable goal and will average my highs and lows. Good luck with your ROW80 journey as well!

  7. Welcome, Erin! Your goals sound great. I set my words per day to 2000, but I am kid-less so I figured maybe I should write more now in case I decide to have a few lol! Good luck with round 3!

  8. Good luck! 750 words a day honestly is nothing. You can absolutely do that, even WITH 3 kids. Hmm. Maybe I should check this out. I might actually get that 2nd WIP finished this way. Or maybe #3 or #4….(or maybe i should just focus on finishing at least ONE of those before November’s NaNo, eh?)

    • Yeah, I may need to reevaluate it, but I did kind of figure some days I’d hit 2000 and others we’d be so busy w/ summer stuff I’d struggle to get any done. Plus…I’ve got some beta reading to do :).

  9. Being held accountable is what drives me as well. It’s the reason several e-books never get finished, I don’t have the print cover sitting there staring at me telling me to read it. Good luck!

    • Thanks! Funn about ebooks vs. print books. I think I read more on the eReader only because I don’t want Pete to say, “Why did you want that thing if you’re never going to read on it?” LOL. And yeah, accountability is great. The round officially started yesterday and we had just driven home 5 hours from visiting my parents. All I wanted was to go to bed but I thought, “I can’t fail on the very first day.”

  10. Hey! I think your word count of 750 a day sounds great especially as you know yourself best and know some days you will write more, sometimes less. It is my first time so am starting slowly. Any writing is progress for me! Good luck!

  11. Good plan!

    Yeah, I’ve never quite figured out how to predict word count either. The current project that I’m revising seemed done after 50K. Somehow, even with some added layers going in during this draft, I doubt I’ll hit 70-75K. *shrug* I try not to worry.

  12. Pingback: #ROW80: First Check-In | Erin Writes

  13. Pingback: Structure and #ROW80 check-in | Erin Writes

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