Monday, July 4, 2011

Row, Row, Row your Goals. No flaking allowed.

I have been, I hope, noticeably absent from this site of late. That is because I am trying to follow the advice passed on from a Twitter follower of Laurell K. Hamilton (Urban Fantasy author extraordinaire—and then some).  The original tweet is lost on a long list of tweets, so I am unable to give the sender their props.  If you see this, please chime in so you can be thanked. But here it is:

                The @LKHamilton Way: Self-impose a deadline, give up fun activities to meet deadline, and do not fucking flake out on the deadline!

                In sticking with that theme, and since my betas hit me with their comments I have been in the cave.  On one of my less frequent visits to Twitter, I found #ROW80.  Rather than re-invent the wheel, let me post the description from their site.

A Round of Words in 80 Days is exactly what it sounds like.  It is a writing challenge that runs for 80 days.
How is it different from other writing challenges?

Well apart from being longer than most writing challenges (NaNoWriMo being the one most folks are familiar with), ROW80 allows YOU to set YOUR GOAL (You’ll wanna read this post about what constitutes an actual measurable GOAL).  We don’t presuppose that everybody has the same needs, the same level of productivity, or the same schedule.  When the challenge starts, you might be in the middle of a WIP.  Or you might be on revisions.  Everybody’s different.  You take whatever project you are working on, in whatever stage it is in, and you figure out a goal for it, share it with us in a blog post that you link to when the challenge begins, and you join our community of dedicated writers and fellow cheerleaders.  Don’t feel limited to fiction.  We’ve had non-fiction writers on here as well as one participant who was working on her dissertation!

And here’s the clincher about what makes ROW80 different from all the other writing challenges out there: We recognize that you have a life.  It’s all well and good to think that you can put your job and family and responsibilities on hold for a month or more to hammer out a book, but it’s not realistic.  Hundreds of thousands of people start NaNo and only a fraction actually SUCCEED.  Because life happens.  It gets in the way.  And real writers have to find a way to cope with it and STILL GET THE WORK DONE.  So in light of the fact that we know you have a life, ROW80 allows you to change your goal should you need to. 
And since we all want to (presumably) be writers rather than hobbyists, we need a challenge that happens more than once a year.  A Round of Words in 80 Days happens FOUR times a year.

Round 3 begins today July 4th.

So here are my ROW80 goals:
1)      Finish the polish edits on Dark Dealings, including formatting.
2)      Finish outline of Ogham Court
3)      Write an additional 50,000 words for Ogham, which should mean a completed first draft, or pretty darn close.
4)       DO NOT FLAKE OUT!

Who's with me.  If you want to jump in, you can do so on any reporting day which is Sunday and Wednesday.  See the link above for details.  I'll be checking in here and at #ROW80.