Monday, October 3, 2011

ROW80: Round 4 Goals

Of course I'll be participating in the next Round of Words in 80 days. Best challenge on the net, I'm telling you true! What's not to love?  Customized goals.  Wonderful community.  We've got it all folks.  And you don't need to be an author or anything to join.  Writers of all kinds are welcomed.  The point of the challenge is really to make writing a part of your daily life.  A part of the routine and grind, not a one-off event.

Last round I did pretty well.  More so than nailing my goals more often than not, I made some good friends.  I'll be lurking around their blogs in the coming weeks.

This round, my goals will be a little different.  In the larger picture, I'm nearing the end of the first draft of my Work In Progress.  I think a word goal is easier when you've got an active WIP.  When you go into editing mode, it gets a bit harder to quantify.  My ultimate goal is to get that book launched in the next 80 days.  It's going to be a challenge, and somewhat reliant on how quick the things I outsource get completed, but I think it's do-able.

In addition to that, I'd like to keep blogging regularly.  Generally, this means 3 posts a week on each of my blogs, plus one a month on my personal journal/blog.  This one is a pretty solid goal that varies in difficulty based on the week.

Finally, I'd like to keep up with my lessons learned.  My mantra here at On The Job Writing is to learn at least one lesson every week.  I've embraced being a burgeoning author, and have made it my goal to simply learn and get better each week.  It's an acknowledgement that even Hemingway didn't start off as Hemingway.  (Not that I'm shooting for American Classic status.  I'll take just being able to write for a living).  In my opinion, the best way to succeed at anything is to simply keep learning about it.  If you never stop learning, you're never done trying.

I typically check in on Wednesdays (weekends tend to be time spent away from the Internet), thus I like to make my goals weekly.  Here's the plan for each week in round 4:
  • Lesson Learned - I always try to start off with something I learned during the past week.
  • 1 page or 1 hour of editing per day, 6 days a week - So long as I need to write, my writing goal remains at least a page a day.  When I finish drafting, I'll need to make sure I spend a good chunk of time editing.  Some pages are faster than others, so a time goal seemed fitting.  Also, if I'm waiting on others to get back to me on edits, I may use this time to lay the foundation for other projects (outlining, research, etc).  So this one is a bit flexible.  Also, I like to give myself on "day off" each week.
  • 3 blog posts per blog, and 1 personal post a month.  Same as last round, I'll keep my blogging up.  ROW80 check-ins count.  If you're curious, my other blog is a gaming blog.
Those three.  It's a slight variation of what I did last round, and that worked well for me.  The difference here is that I don't think I'll be in drafting mode for this whole round.  Thus, I'll need to make sure I weave editing into my life just as well as I did writing.  They're really two sides of the same coin.

After my check-ins, I generally like to post a cumulative word count.  I'm not really a big believer in word counts, as it encourages bloated writing in my opinion.  I like to be efficient in my prose.  Incidentally, this is why I've never done NaNo.  I simply labor too long on each page to ever get to 50k in a month.  It makes my editing process quite a bit quicker, but it's not really conducive to racking up the words.  Still, curiosity finds me publishing my word counts.  Also, I'd like to think it's a bit inspirational, since I really am writing at a turtle's pace... but it adds up!  Anyway, I'll end this with a look at my count last round:
  • Grand Total for the challenge: 69,375
  • Or 867 words per day of the challenge
A turtle's pace, but we all know who beat the hare!  :-)


Nadja Notariani said...

I, too, have kept pretty much to my goals from last round. Why mess with what's working? I did add in a reading goal, too. I need to keep studying on ways to improve in my writing. So, it's a small new goal that I've added in that arena.
'Welp'...okie-dokie...I guess it's time to get busy! ~ Nadja

Ghenet Myrthil said...

Good luck with your goals this round! I also tend to write slowly but you're right - it adds up. :)

Matt said...

@Nadja - For sure. My reading goal on Goodreads is a book-a-month. Probably could have added it here, but just didn't... *shrug*

@Ghenet - Thanks! Holding down the day job doesn't help much either... :-)

Anonymous said...

Good luck with those Round 4 goals, Matt! It looks like they are very reasonable.

Now you've got me curious about your gaming blog....

Matt said...

Thanks. Go check it out; I linked it above. If you've not played World of Warcraft though, I fear it will make little sense. I do write fiction there on Fridays. Just finished up a parody of Casablanca. Lot of in-game references, however. At the very least, it's good (and fun) practice.

Anonymous said...

Great goals, Matt! Love your attitude "In my opinion, the best way to succeed at anything is to simply keep learning about it. If you never stop learning, you're never done trying." Perfectly said.

Have a great week :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like great goals. Good luck with them and I look forward to getting to know you during round 4 :)

Matt said...

@Gene - Great to see you back again. I lurked a bit at your blog in R3, and have appreciated your insights as well. Best of luck staying busy!

@Raelyn - Thanks for stopping by. I'll add you to my Lurk List. (There's not really a list... but maybe there should be... XD).

Anonymous said...

I look forward to learning from you and the other ROW80 veterans! :-D

Matt said...

Thanks. Hopefully we encourage!

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