I’m B-a-a-ck! (And Setting Writing Goals)

OK, writer friends, first I need to apologize.  Between the holidays, keeping my personal blog going, and taking some long trips to Oregon, not to mention my brain getting sucked away for alien study (hmm, study by aliens or study because I am one?), I haven’t posted here since before Christmas.  But thanks to a little thing called ROW80, I’m back.

What the heck is ROW80? you ask.  Begun by the awesome writer Kait Nolan (check out her book Red), it’s “the writing challenge that knows you have a life.”  ROW80 stands for Round of Words in 80 Days.  You get to set writing goals, blogging goals, and whatever other goals you like (health/exercise is popular).  You check in twice a week for accountability, and if you can, you go cheer on other ROW80’ers.

The whole thing lasts just less than three months, and there are four rounds per year.  You can do any or all of them.  If you want to do a NaNoWriMo type challenge, you can.  If you want to write 200 or 2,000 words a day, or ten minutes or two hours a day, you can.  You can even start part way through the round!  It’s up to you and what’s going on in your life.

But if it’s so flexible, why do it?  Because unless you’re an established writer who already has the sit-down-and-do-it compulsion work ethic (not me!), then setting measurable writing goals helps make us sit down and work. The process of writing a novel is long and drawn out, done in small pieces that eventually add up to a complete book.  It’s easy to get bogged down, but if we can see progress toward our overall goal, we’re motivated to keep going.

And let’s face it – part of the fun of NaNo (beyond the zany push for 50,000 words in 30 days) is being part of a group that’s attempting the same challenge.  You’ll be part of ROW80 blog posts and blog hops, cheering other writers on and being cheered on yourself.

So here are my writing goals for 2012’s Round 2 (my first ever).  Head over to JenniferJensen.com for the full list.  I’ll be doing my twice-weekly check in over there, but I’ll post my writing goal updates here too, probably at the bottom of a regular post.

Selected ROW80 Goals:

  • Writing (to polish and send out middle grade novel, and finish rough draft of adult novel): Write 5 days a week, sessions to include writing 1,000 words a day OR working at least one hour on plotting/editing.
  • Social Networking (to connect with other writers, be inspired, build readership): Blog twice a week, plus ROW80 check-ins; get Jen’s Writing Desk going again with at least one blog a week; Tweet or comment on at least 10 other blogs per week.

What about you?  How do you set (and keep working on) your writing goals?  Do you like group challenges?  Are you going to do ROW80? (click here to sign up)

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