The ROW80 Challenge

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to write more.   I am a self-identified writer.  When I was younger and had gobs of free time, I spent it either reading or writing: journaling, responding to literature, creating stories, writing song lyrics and poetry.  Then life got busier, and busier…. and the writing stopped.  Well, I guess I never completely stopped writing, but lately most of my “writing” is done in my head.  I am constantly mulling over new ideas, holding imaginary conversations, thinking up characters and plot lines, and formulating unvoiced responses to facebook posts (most of the time it’s a good idea these don’t ever get written).  Some of this gets written down here and there, but most of it just swirls around in my head until it is slowly lost.  And it feels like when this material disappears, part of me goes with it.

While pondering the pathetic-ness that is the life of a writer who is not writing, I came across the ROW80 writing challenge.  I have fallen in love with the idea of setting my own quarterly goals for my writing rather than trying (and inevitably failing) to meet a pre-determined challenge thought up by someone else.  And I know myself well: I need the accountability of  a weekly check-in.

So, here we go.  I am not writing at all at the moment (with the exception of this sorely neglected blog) and I want to start with some small and manageable goals.  My ultimate goal is to write a full-length novel.  But I’m not ready to think about that yet.  For this first 80 day period, I am setting these (admittedly very small) goals for myself:

1.  Write (anything) for at least 30 minutes, five times a week, when I first wake up in the morning.

2.  Read 6 books on the craft and discipline of writing.

3.  Update my blog every Sunday with book reviews and writing updates.

The first 80 days start tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

8 CommentsLeave a comment »
  • January 6, 2013 Reply
    Camille LaGuire said:

    That sounds like a good start. Build the habit, build some stamina.

    Best of luck to you!

  • January 9, 2013 Reply
    Robin McCormack said:

    So glad you decided to join in. It usually takes about 3 weeks to form a habit. Good goal to start with and look forward to hearing about your progress.

    • January 14, 2013 Reply
      Virtual Pilgrim said:

      Thanks, Robin! I’m not feeling as inspired this week, so the real test begins. 🙂

  • January 9, 2013 Reply
    Paula (ElegantLion) said:

    Manageable goals, I like that phrase. Good luck, and I look forward to reading your updates.

    • January 14, 2013 Reply
      Virtual Pilgrim said:

      Thanks so much!

  • January 12, 2013 Reply
    Elizabeth Anne Mitchell said:

    Welcome to ROW80! Small and manageable is definitely a good tactic for creating habits.

    From your tag cloud it looks like you write about history–I’m trained in medieval studies, and love studying all eras of history.

    • January 14, 2013 Reply
      Virtual Pilgrim said:

      So far the only writing I’ve done about history is responses to books I’ve read. I’m trying to work my way through all of history, but I’m stuck in Ancient Egypt at the moment. 🙂 I can’t wait to get to medieval history. Thanks for the welcome!

  • January 13, 2013 Reply
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