The End Is Nigh

Round 1 of A Round of Words in 80 Days is drawing to a close.  We started out with 75 intrepid souls stating their goals for the world to see.  Along the way we lost people (I’m not sure how many) and added others who found out about us after the challenge began.  Universally, everybody loves the idea that this challenge allows us to change our goals as Life Happens.

I’ve been the poster child for exactly that.  I started out with a goal of 750 words a day on my YA novel Red. The challenge started off well.  I wasn’t actually writing every day due to assorted circumstances, but the days I wrote, I was easily exceeding 750 words, such that my January average actually did work out to nearly 750 words a day.  I knocked out the short story I needed to write for an anthology.  Then February happened.  It started with good news—I got an agent, which just totally blew up my brain with the awesome.  And then it moved to the bad–my grandmother’s rapid and continued decline and ultimate passing on March 11th.

I started with an adjustment.  And then, I just…stopped writing.  Sometimes it happens like that.  I actually did do a lot of plotting during that span—plotting is how I process stuff that I can’t control in real life—I have to exercise my God Complex in fiction.  For any other challenge, I’d be chalking things up as an Epic Fail and probably kicking myself and drowning in negative self-talk.

But not ROW80.

ROW80 is all about the positive.  Instead of looking at the failures or what we didn’t accomplish, I want all of you to look at what you DID accomplish.  You DID figure out what kind of goals you could reasonably expect to make.  You DID learn what it means to be accountable to yourself and your writing.  You DID write, probably more than you would have if you hadn’t been checking in twice a week.  You DID (I hope) make some new writer friends who will continue to be there as we move forward into future rounds to support and cheer on and commiserate.  You DID (I hope) find a writing challenge you can continue to use, month after month, to continue to improve your writing habits and productivity.

Our final check-in for Round 1 goes up on Thursday instead of Wednesday, as the 24th is the actual last day of this round.  Remember to write up your final post about what you accomplished and let us know in the Linky.

To all of you who donated to enable our continued use of Linky Tools, THANK YOU.  We’re set for the whole year and into part of next year!  To all of the Round 1 Sponsors, a big round of applause and an additional THANK YOU for the fabulous inspirational posts you’ve provided throughout this round of the challenge.

Round 2 begins on April 4th and I am now taking volunteers for sponsors!  Please email me at kaitnolanwriter (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested.

And if you have any suggestions for improvements we can make to the challenge, please feel free to let me know!


Kait Nolan

20 thoughts on “The End Is Nigh

  1. Thank you, Kait, for starting ROW80! It’s a great writing challenge, and its strength is its flexibility.

    My condolences on your loss. You were able to use writing as a way to gain some control, and that’s good.

    And . . congratulations on getting an agent! 🙂

  2. I hope you know what a bit of diamond brilliance Row80 is. For me, it’s been an indescribably powerful bit of kindling and its framwork just right for this chaotic mind. That framwork, coupled with a fantastic community has been so much the right thing in the right place at the right time. A profound thank you for Row80.

    Symapathies for the loss of your grandmother and so much success going forward!

  3. Thanks so much, Kait, for doing this for all of us. It was really helpful to a lot of authors and I know there are many who wouldn’t have progressed as they did if not for this challenge.

    You and I both had life challenges this round. My mom is supposed to have one more stent put in (before Round Two starts), so I hope after that life will be back to normal. Round Two, here we come!

  4. ROW80 has been so good – given me a structure and a reason to keep on – I’m a fairly disaorganized person and this has been a tremendous focus – everyone has been so up-beat and encouraging – great stuff – a huge thank you and looking foward to the next round (I might be more realistic this time!!)

    So sorry to hear about your grandmother – it hurts I know

  5. This challenge was just AWESOME!! I started off raring to go, and like you, Kait, all sorts of things happened in later February. BUT, instead of feeling like a complete failure, and feeling like I had no option than to quit, all I had to do was re-state my goals and work from there. I can’t tell you how great that was for my self-esteem, especially after my troubled weeks. I feel like I ended up in a better place after my rough patch than before (like if the trouble never happened). It truly provided a “place” (situation?) for growth as a writer, instead of yet another event to “fail.” I am learning how I work best as a writer, and isn’t that supposed to be the point?


  6. Thanks so much for providing this challenge. It has helped me to stay focused and keep writing, despite the constant temptation to stop. I have been able to stay faithful to my original goals for the whole thing, but I have to admit that for Round 2 I expect to cut back a bit.
    The only suggestion I have for Round 2 is that maybe we could cut back on the check-ins to only once a week. Just a thought, as it was sometimes hard for me to make time to write a blog post and also work on my fiction.

    1. You needn’t write a full on entertaining blog post. A simple statement of goals and how you did in that stretch is all that’s required. Which takes all of 2 minutes. I want to keep the twice weekly check-ins because I have learned as a teacher that if you give people the option to put stuff off until some point at the end of the week–they will.

  7. I’m so glad you did this and double glad I joined in. It’s been freakin awesome. Loving the goal setting and sitting my but down and writing. The accountability really helps, along with the support of everyone involved. Between this and morning pages, I’m writing every single day. Round 2 will be interesting as it will involved editing which I don’t quite have the knack for yet. Thank you, Kait.


  8. I’m still in, although I haven’t been the greatest with updates. That is one of my goals next round…post the darn updates! I’m also hoping to accomplish much more next round.

    Congrats on getting an agent. I know you must be so excited!

    Also, please accept my sympathy for the loss of your grandmother. May she rest in peace.

  9. I loved this challenge. Thanks for doing it!
    As a suggestion, I’d like to see progress charts of some variety (having a bit of a chart fetish).
    Perhaps there could be a collective chart where, in each update, we could plug in how well we’ve done according to our own goals (eg: 1 – no work, 10 – non-stop productivity). That way we can see who needs the most encouragement and who deserves praise. And at the end the top three who’ve consistently done well with their goals could be given a mention.

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