Monday, January 2, 2012

Row80, Round 1: Back Again

It's so hard to believe that this time last year I had just released my first novel. I also joined in a writing challenge by an Indie author I admired- Row80, and the writer was Kait Nolan. Four rounds, one year, and three novels later, I am back for more.
I'm not the type to make resolutions, so here are a collection of goals for 2012, broken down into Row80 sized chunks:
1. Write 6,000 words per week. Last round I managed about 4,000 per week, and I think I can up the ante a little bit. Correction: I must up the ante a bit, given the publishing obligations I now have, and the fact that I want to continue to publish some Indie works of my own.
2. Write at least three days per week. This breaks down into a neat 2,000 words per day to meet my word count goal, but if I write for five or six days a week, it's fine to churn out 1000ish. (Hint: Twitter sprints help immeasurably with meeting word counts. Those 1k/1hr goals really help get the wc knocked out.)
3. I'd like to write 3 blogs a week: the two Row80 updates that often venture into the craft of writing and editing, and one more on Friday. I toyed with the idea of introducing a themed Friday blog, and maybe this will be something I work towards for the later rounds of the challenge, but for now I think I'll keep it a free Friday blog. This keeps me blogging every other day; I've found that blogging is really good exercise for other areas of writing.
4. Read at least one book per week and at least rank it, even if I can't review it. I used to do two book reviews per week, but now I'm lucky if I can slap some stars up on Goodreads. But the important thing to me is to stay familiar with what's out there, and even learn a little something by studying how other writers approach the craft. At this point, for this round, I do not want to dictate specific genres. I'm just going to see what catches my eye.
5. Respond to at least 5 Row80 blogs per week. Hopefully I'll do more, and I certainly don't have to wait for a check in to pop in and "see" folks, but since I'm not sponsoring this round, I want to make sure to stay connected. Plus I, personally, will need the encouragement!
6. Utilize more formal planning materials in my writing. There are a wealth of character profiles, outline guidelines, plot worksheets, and so much more. I've never really utilized these to the extent that I see others use them. That all changed when I had to describe a character for my publisher so they could do an illustration of her. Suddenly, those character charts became invaluable to me and (I presume) the illustrator. Imagine what using them *before* or during my writing process could do for me!
7. Stay involved with the IBC. The Indie Book Collective is a really dynamic, diverse group of writers, and having joined staff, they suddenly take up a lot of my time. So far, though, the benefits outweigh the time spent working for them, like getting to be a part of some publicity events that are really a whole lot of fun.
8. Become more Twitter proficient. In a lot of ways I have more fun on Twitter than I do on Facebook, including the aforementioned invaluable Twitter Sprints. I plan to make better use of TweetDeck and bank at least 14 content-related tweets per week. This will also involve reviving my not-missed cell phone and using it to keep in touch more throughout the day. Man, I hate cell phones.
I have other goals that I'll list but don't really consider a part of my formal Row80 goals. Everyone seems to be making fitness goals, so I'll jump on the bandwagon and state mine here: I plan to get back on the diet track, following either Weight Watchers or The American Heart Association's diet, and lose one pants size by the end of Round 1. I also plan to walk my puppy three blocks further than I do now. Those are my modest, Goddess-In-Training goals for Round 1. Don't know if I'll actually formally join GIT (I tend to be shy about such things) but maybe I'll work up the nerve as more rounds pass by.
That reminds me that I do have text-specific goals this round, including:
1. Finishing Blood Redemption in Round 1
2. Writing 1 chapter of Daughter of Glass, my serial, once a week
3. Actually finishing DoG in Round 1
4. Begin working on Book 3 of my Chronicles of Nowhere trilogy, The Forgotten Fire (I just finished the draft of the second book, Shadowed Ground, today! Wee hee!)
5. Write a dark SF short story for an anthology I agreed to do late Feb.
6. Begin the book I'm going to write with the fabulous Stacey Wallace Benefiel
7. For future rounds, or this one if I'm lucky, begin/plan/brainstorm an SF novel I started a while back, and work on my adult fantasy I've had cookin' for about a year now.
Whew, that sounds like a lot. We'll see how I do. Wish me luck! Join me as Round1 starts and we Row80ers get this thing under way.


  1. Wow--A tremendously adventurous set of goals! And what a productive year 2011 was for you! Here's hoping for more of that in 2012.

    6K a week sounds really doable--what a great goal! I too love the 1K1hr tweet sprints. Love competitive writing--it helps everyone to get the words to the page!

    It's my first time doing ROW80, and I'm so excited! I'll be glad to see you accomplish these goals! Good luck!

  2. Hey Heather! It's great to "see" you here doing Row80- it really does work. The cool thing is that if I am being overly ambitious- a bad habit of mine- I can adjust whenever. I'm so glad to meet a fellow Twitter sprinter- we'll have to sprint together some time!

  3. You've got some crazy goals there, Vicki! I'm impressed. :)

    Good luck with everything you're shooting for this round. That's so cool that you're writing something with Stacey. She's awesome!

    I used to work for Weight Watchers. It's a really good program. I'm counting calories right now with a nifty little phone app.

  4. Yayayayayayay for Number One on that list! :)

  5. Thanks ladies! Weight Watchers is a great program, Lauralynn. It's worked for me before. I'll have to check into the phone app thing since I'm (ugh) going to be using mine more frequently.
    And yes, Kate! I have pretty much three of the four publishing obligations covered now, so that definitely leaves room to move forward!