04 January 2015

Here we go again

It's 2015! Happy New Year, ever'body!

It's also the start of a new round of A Round of Words in 80 Days (ROW80). I love the beginnings of things, don't you? There's something magical about the possibilities inherent in beginnings. New goals, a clean slate, nothing messed up yet. ;*)

A clean slate
I'm also feeling energized by my reflections on 2014 and all the amazing, life-changing things that happened this past year. I sold my house and traveled for four months; made new friends all over the world; started learning tai chi; tried sensory deprivation floating for the first time; celebrated my 2-year anniversary as a self-employed individual; self-published two books; worked with four wonderful coaching clients, some of whom achieved their coaching goals and some who are continuing the partnership into 2015; and edited seven books, at least four of which are now published. How could I not look forward to seeing what 2015 brings?!

ROW80 2015 Round 1 Goals

Creative projects
I have SO MANY WRITING PROJECTS I want to get done this year: two novels, a collection of short stories, and 2 books of poetry. I'm excited about all of them and want to work on them all RIGHT NOW. Sadly I still have not figured out how to clone myself, so I must work within normal human parameters - for now - which means breaking it down into manageable chunks.

This round there are two main projects I'm working on: a novel under my pseudonym (codename WIP1) and a collection of short speculative fiction stories under my own name (codename SF). My Round 1 goals in this area are:
  • Finish drafting and editing WIP1 (already about halfway done w/ the 1st draft)
  • Finish writing the 1st drafts of the stories for SF & begin to revise them
This week: lock down 1st drafts of 5 chapters in WIP1; finish 2nd draft of "The Choice" for SF.

Blog posts are good for built-in processing and reflecting time. They also help me connect with other writers and potential clients and are therefore essential to my business marketing plan. My goals in this area are:
  • Min. 2 blog posts per week on this blog, including my weekly ROW80 update; other posts will include guest posts, interviews, and posts focused on coaching, editing and/or writing
  • Min. 1 blog post per week on the pseudonym's blog
  • Min. 1 post per month on the travel blog
This week: 1 more post on this blog; 1 post on pseudo's blog; planning for next guest post series; contact at least 1 potential guest blogger/interviewee.

Reading for fun
I added this goal last round and found it easy to meet and so rewarding that I'm doing it again, this time with a little more focus. My goal in this area is to read one book a week for fun.

Thanks to my friends on Twitter and Facebook I have loads of suggestions on what to read, and thanks to my county library I have access to books for free. Hurrah! Books I intend to read this round, in no particular order:
  • Abaddon's Gate by James S. A. Corey (Book 3 in the Expanse series; have already read first 2)
  • Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen (gift from uncle who knows I love Woody Allen)
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski (recommended by several friends)
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (also recommended by several)
  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (recommended by Jolene Haley)
  • Something by Walter Moers (have already read The Miraculous Adventures of Rumo and The City of Dreaming Books...looking for suggestions about which to read next)
  • The Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson (recommended by Chanel Sulc)
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury (why have I never read this??)
  • and 3 others, TBD
This week: read Mere Anarchy by Woody Allen; order House of Leaves through the library.

Community participation
One of the things that keeps me engaged in my writing and helps me avoid the descent into total lunacy is my connection to other writers. So important to me! For community participation this round my goals are:
  • Comment on 2-3 ROWers posts per week
  • Participate in #writeclub on Twitter at least 1x a month
  • Find 2-3 blogs to follow related to writing/publishing
This week: comment on 2-3 ROWer posts.

Social media
I've gotten into the lazy habit of not doing much on Twitter or my business's FB page except for pushing out blog posts. Naughty, naughty. So this round I'm going to spend more time interacting with people and using social media to share things of interest to writers aside from my blog posts. I also want to try running a live #AskAnEditor Twitter conversation. If it goes well and there's enough interest, I'll make it a regular thing this year. My goals in this area are:
  • Spend half an hour on Twitter 3-4 times a week interacting with tweeps and tweeting about non-blog-post-related things
  • 2 FB posts per week not related to blog posts I've published
  • Do a trial run of #AskAnEditor on Twitter
This week: 30 mins on Twitter, 3 times; 2 FB posts on the LLC page.

Up until I went to Europe this past summer, my editing and writing coaching business was growing fairly steadily and I'd actually reached a point where I could pay my bills and put money into savings. Oh, luxury! But while I was frolicking abroad, my marketing efforts dropped off, and business declined in the latter half of the year as a result. One of my goals this year is to rebuild my business to the bills + savings point so that I can afford to pay rent in Portland again. Ideally I'd like to have 4 coaching clients and 1-2 editing jobs per month on a regular basis. To that end, in this round I'm focusing on filling my coaching roster and acquiring two more editing jobs.

This week: emails out to last year's clients & other friends of the LLC; blog post focused on coaching.

What writing project(s) are you working on this winter? What are you reading? Any recommendations about which Walter Moers book I should read next?


  1. Well, you're busy and productive, aren't you? :) I could only dream of achieving that much but setting goals is definitely important and you've set some good ones. Best of luck and I look forward to your updates!

    1. Yes, well this is my FT job, not something I'm working in around a day job. I support my writing habit with coaching and editing work. ;*) Thanks for dropping by, Isobel!

  2. If only we could clone ourselves! Sounds like you have a great detailed plan for achieving all those great projects. All the best.

    1. Indeed, Bev! I often fantasize about having multiple selves to do all the things I want to do (including sleep all day). Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I’m attempting 500 words per day, with hopes of completing my WIP by June 30, 2015. Your goals are way more ambitious than mine! I’m participating in a reading challenge, as well, but nothing extremely structured. I made a list of 50 books I want to read this year, and if I hit ‘em all, that’s awesome, but if I fall short, that’s okay. I saw STARGIRL on your list... I'm actually listening to the audio of that book right now! Let me know what you think of it when you're done reading. Good luck ~ We can do this!