About ROW 80
Kait Nolan created a writing “challenge” meant to be more flexible, meant to foster butt-in-chair-every-day habits for writers to contrast the kill-yourself-working style of NaNoWriMo. It’s called A Round of Words in 80 Days. Each round is 80 days long, four rounds a year with breaks in between. Goals are whatever you want them to be as long as they’re measurable.
- 5000 words a week on In Need of Luck, until done. [Edit: Oh, I guess my CampNaNo goal makes this more like 7000/week. That seems much more intimidating!]
- Reading, related to writing
- Finish reading River City Empire (related to next possible writing project) by the end of April.
- New descriptions/categories/tags for Weordan books. (April 15th)
- Brainstorm alternate tags for books already published.
So, I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo in April. But! Only with a 30K word goal. My goal in April is to write 30K on In Need of Luck *or* finish the book. I’ve maintained pace for the first four days and the manuscript is at 58,138. I don’t know if there’s 26,000 more words of story left. (I’m never good at figuring out how long a novel’s going to be.)
My goals for June and July are a little hazy at this point. If I finish In Need of Luck on time, Eric will give it a read/rewrite and, if there are no huge problems, it’ll go off to beta readers. In the meantime, Eric and I are going to workshop some plot ideas for the David P. Abbot novel. If we hit upon something compelling, I’ll be writing that until critiques of In Need of Luck come in. If we don’t come up with a good idea for Abbott, we’ll start thinking about the next Luck book.
Please, check out how other Round of Words participants are doing with their goals.
A Bit of History, or why I haven’t been a writer
I did ROW 80 in 2011 while working on Luck for Hire, but I think things were already going downhill for me attitude-wise. I believed in my enthusiasm for a while, but that wore thin. I was disappointed that Lucinda at the Window hadn’t been anything near a success in print. I had become a jaded, cynical, grumpy writer. Mix in some family stuff and I fell into a pretty big depression hole.
The last time I did ROW 80 was the second round of 2012. I was working on a dead-in-the-water project, querying agents, and promising myself that I’d write a short story. By 2013, I wasn’t writing about writing any longer. A large part of me didn’t even care about writing anymore. I had decided that my writing wasn’t going anywhere, whether I really cared about it or not. In October of 2013, Eric and I decided to self-publish. I was able to throw myself into formatting manuscripts, building websites, and doing all the administrative things that go into publishing. In the meantime, I kind of hated that we had given up on traditional publishing.
I was theoretically also working on a book about David P. Abbott. Really, I was just letting myself be frustrated. I wasn’t asking for any help with it and I was simply letting myself wallow in my status of “failed writer.” In June of last year, the decision was made to switch to writing a second Luck book. And I’ve been poking along with it, jaded, cynical, grumpy, and uncaring since then.
What’s changed? I’m scared to say that anything has, really. When Eric and I talked last week, I realized that I wanted to be that writer that has *writing* goals again, rather than some idiot non-writer that has publishing goals. I’m not saying publishing goals are bad; it was the non-writer part that sucked. And I realized that there was nothing at all stopping me from being that writer again.
So, here we are. I’m writing and, for the first time in a long time, I *want* to write. Am I over-enthusiastic right now? Maybe. I’ve said “I’m back” so many times in the past. We’ll just have to see how it goes.