I learned a lot from NaNoWriMo, the first lesson being that it’s not a good platform for me. The required word count was just too much. It was easy to reach some days. On others, it was impossible. That led to the following day’s requirement being even higher, which became harder to reach … lather, rinse, repeat. I had high hopes, but it didn’t take long to realize there was simply no way. Once I got behind, I stayed behind.
Another lesson I learned may be the most important one: fiction is not my forte. I can write fiction. Sometimes I write pretty good fiction, but to concentrate on fiction and nothing else leaves me reeling from a lack of self-esteem and an even bigger motivation deficit.
So what’s a writer to do? I like the idea of having a goal, of holding that goal up for the world to see, but I need a goal that’s more customizable.
That’s where A Round of Words in 80 Days saves the day.
ROW80 is an 80-day writing challenge you customize to fit your needs. There are four rounds per year; the first one for 2013 runs from January 7 to March 28. If you miss the kick-off day (Monday), no worries. You can start at any point in the cycle.
This challenge is enticing because not only do you set the goal, you can set any goal you want: word count, page count, time spent per day or even per week . Whatever works for you is fair game. It doesn’t have to be fresh fiction, either. You can use the goal to edit a work in progress or work on a second draft. It doesn’t even have to be fiction. You can write whatever you want. Expository, poetry, whatever!
All wonderful, yes? But wait, there’s more!
You can change your goal at any time.
That’s the selling point for me. If I set a goal and life takes a hard turn, all I have to do is set a different goal. How awesome is that?
The only “rule” for ROW80 is you must have a blog for check -ins. Any blog will do – your personal one or a throw-away you set up just for the challenge. On check-in days – Wednesdays and Sundays – you write up a progress post and link it from the ROW80 blog.
I’m looking forward to this. I know there will be bumps along the way and rough patches while I figure out what works best for me (not to mention what area of writing I want to concentrate on), but this is such a low-key setup, I’m not even worried about those bumps.
I’m simply excited to write, knowing I have only my own goals by which to measure myself.