05 January 2014

ROW80 2014 Round 1 Goals

The first round in 2014 of A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80) starts tomorrow! Hooray! 

Some of you may know that I've been participating in ROW80 for a solid year now, and I honestly think that I wouldn't have accomplished as much as I have if I hadn't been participating. There's something important about not only setting goals but also checking back in with myself on a regular - in this case, weekly - basis to acknowledge what I've accomplished. Or just remind myself I had stuff I meant to do.

As I've read my fellow ROW80 participants' check-ins over the last year, my ideas about what goals to include have expanded beyond projects related to my identity as a writer. This round I've added health and reading goals. Other goals have carried over from previous rounds.

ROW80 2014 Round 1 Goals

Writing - This year I have several writing projects that I'd like to finish, both under my own name and under pseudonym, including three novels, a collection of short stories, and a collection of poems. I also want to aim to get at least 10 poems/stories published this year in lit mags/journals. Toward that end, my Round 1 writing-related goals are:
  • Write & revise 1st draft of pseudonym's WIP1 - due April 1
  • Revise short story "The Choice" - due Jan. 12th
  • Write & revise "Conformity I" - due Jan. 26th
  • Write & revise "Split Infinity" - due Feb. 9th
  • Write & revise "Conformity II" - due Feb. 16th
  • Write & revise "Remembered" (tentative title) - due March 2nd
  • Write & revise untitled story about one book - due March 23rd
  • Continue to publish three blog posts per week on this blog, a mix of personal reflections on writing/editing/coaching, author interviews, publisher interviews and market reviews
  • Submit at least two stories and five poems
Reading - Since taking up editing as my primary source of income, reading for pleasure has sort of fallen by the wayside. Sadface. Time to rectify! At first I thought my goal would be to read a book a week for fun, but then I started thinking about how I'm often inspired to write by reading things I love. That's really the goal: to read something each week that inspires me. Sometimes that will be a single poem, sometimes that will be an entire book.

Community - Participating in writing communities is something that the DIY MFA site recommends, and indeed I've found it to be helpful to my continued motivation to write. Therefore I intend to:
  • Participate in #writeclub on Twitter every Friday
  • Continue to attend readings. This will be something of a challenge, since I am selling the house and beginning a period of nomadicity, but I will keep an eye out for opportunities to attend readings. And maybe I will even read from time to time; I already have a reading lined up on Jan. 16th at Rain or Shine coffee house with my good friend and fellow prose writer Lorie Bailey.
  • Read and comment on at least 3 other ROW80 participants' check-ins each week.
  • Begin each day with 15 minutes of freewriting (good for my mental health)
  • Exercise for at least an hour a day (probably walking, but may also include packing the house, taking a tai chi class, etc.)
  • Stop eating when I'm no longer hungry (as opposed to continuing to eat until I'm full to bursting)

Important notes to self: Be open to shifting priorities as life happens. Also be open to the possibility that your writing-related goals might be overly ambitious. Good to aim for them, but no need to beat yourself up if you fall short. There is only one of you, and you still haven't figured out how to stop time or go without sleep. As much as you might like to believe otherwise, you are still, after all, only human.

This is a blog hop! Click here to read other ROW80 participants' goals statements.


  1. I agree with you that AROW80 makes a difference in what I get done. Having to make goals and then announce them in public makes it harder for me to brush them off -- harder, not impossible, since I've done my share of procrastinating, but even when I am procrastinating, I'm still at least thinking about the goals I want to work on so that helps some.

    I wish you good luck in all your goals this round.

    1. Yes, there is a certain amount of motivation I get from the possibility of publicly humiliating myself by not following through with what I said I was going to do. Then again, I think it's important to be transparent about the struggle.