My day job requires me to be quite a self starter and to have excellent time management skills. I’ve honed myself to look at my workload every day and slot time for everything so that it all gets done in a day. I do most of this in my head (keeping a calendar just wastes time I could be spending working) and, not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty damn good at it.
You’d think, then, that I’d have no problem adapting these skills to my writing life.
Sorry; that’s the wrong answer. Apparently my brain thinks it can go on vacation as soon as I get home, in spite of my desires to get things done. I even tried waking up at 4am to get writing done, but I need to “wake up” first, which involves me spending time on Twitter for an hour before I need to get ready for work. SIGH.
As such, I really love to do writing challenges. I love November (even though it’s one of the craziest times to be me) and I excell at word sprints with other writers. My competitive streak shows its ugly head as soon as someone says challenge, and so I usually have tons of motivation and drive. I tend to have trouble finding sprint partners, though. Apparently yelling “HAH! SUCK THAT!” after winning is bad form. (I kid. I usually don’t find sprint partners because I’m a googly eyed fool before or after work.)
And so, I’ve accepted the Round 2 challenge of A Round of Words in 80 Days!
What is A Round of Words in 80 Days?
So, the short is that people who want to participate set their own goals (most are writerly in nature, some not) and they check in with the other participants twice a week to encourage themselves and others to complete. There are seasoned writers who help sponsor the participants to help them keep motivated.
This simple event has cause me so much joy, because it means I might actually get shit done. My brain is energized with the desire to compete! Woot! (Note: I wrote this post on Friday, in a post-joining haze, but even on Monday morning I’m still so stoked. Of course, I’m half asleep right now and I’m going to be late for work, but whatever!)
So, What are my Goals and Why?
My goals follow Sonia Medeiros‘ plan of Itty Bitty Baby Steps. The general idea there is to plan goals that you absolutely know you can achieve and use them as a stepping stone to achieve harder goals. So, to all of my dearest friends (or the dead air, whatever), I present my Round 2 Goals!
250 words a day with weekends off. 250 words is about 20 minutes of good, solid writing. Originally (before reading Sonia’s post) I was going to make my goal to have a 60k word novel by the end of this round. I realized that it was quite a task and immediately started to glaze over. I’m a full-time student and a full-time employee – I can’t spend four hours a day writing! This goal is obtainable without being too easy, and will be a nice stepping stone. I’m thinking for Round 3, I can amp it up to at least 500 a day, but… starting small and all that.
Update my blog Mondays and Fridays with content; Wednesdays and Sundays with check ins. This goal will help me maintain my blog without running myself ragged. Again, hello, full-time student/employee. Two days of content is enough to keep me happy for now. It will also give me some time to actually write the darn stuff. None of this “stream of conscious” bullshit that some people think is blogging.
Exercise for 5 minutes or more three times a week – Tuesday and Thursday with Saturday walks with the hubbie. I’ll say it. I’m severely overweight and I really need to do something about it. I recently starting doing the Paleo/Primal diet and I’ve stuck with it relatively well. I need to take the next step and get into exercising. The sooner the better.
Turn in school assignments on time and go to work every day as humanly possible. This is my “I can’t slack on school and work because I’m writing” clause. Having to update the blog on Wednesdays and Sundays will be good to hold me to the school work stuff, since that’s when assignments are due.
Limit Twitter to half-hour sprints. I avoided joining Twitter for so long because I was severely afraid of getting sucked in. Well, I have been sucked in. So, half an hour at a time from now on. No more social media suck!
And finally, Six
Decide between Facebook, Google +, Pintrest, Timberr, and Goodreads and start updating once a week. Again with the social media suck. I’m going to pick one of these and just update lightly. I really hate Facebook and Google +, so I’m leaning towards one of the others. Timberr seems like a great community, but I’d really like to have some blog content before I play with the big kids. My parents, friends, and coworkers have been riding me to get a Facebook though, and the longer I hold out, the more… violent they get about it. Seriously. My co-worker slugged me the other day when I told her that Hell would freeze over first.
On second thought, she *is* Catholic… might have offended her.
So folks, that’s it! You want to join the ROW80 challenge? Round 2 starts (today) April 2, but, even if it’s after that, it isn’t too late! Go to their website and follow the FAQ rules. It’s simple, good fun, and there’s a great community surrounding it. Writing doesn’t have to be a solo sport anymore – it’s open swim, so….
Last one in is a rotten egg!