Round 4: State Your Goals!

Today we are officially starting the final round of ROW80 for 2011.  For those who have become addicted fans, we will definitely be continuing next year.  Now, we are right around the corner from the season of That Other Writing Challenge.  The one that gives everybody the SAME GOAL: Write 50,000 words during the second busiest month of the year.  I am not what you could call a fan, and it was after one too many failures at said challenge that I started A Round of Words in 80 Days.

I dislike the notion that everyone should have the same goal.  We don’t all lead the same life.  We don’t all have the same demands on our time.  Some people write faster than others.  Some people have more responsibility than others.  Those of us with jobs and families and other responsibilities really can’t afford to check out of life for a month and stay buried in a manuscript, however much we might like to.  And if we intend to be professional writers, then we have to find ways to fit writing into our everyday lives ALL YEAR LONG.  That’s what ROW80 is about.  Finding the balance.  Setting your goals–and CHANGING THEM when you need to.  Because ANY progress is better than no progress.

ROW80 is about accountability.  All year.  That’s why we have check-ins twice a week.  Not everyone checks in at both, but I encourage you to.  Even if you haven’t written.  Report THAT.  Get the support of your fellow ROWers.  Share juggling strategies.  Don’t be afraid to have one of us come tell you to get that Butt In Chair, Hands on Keyboard (BICHOK).  That’s what we’re here for.  And if you spend any time on Twitter, check out the #ROW80 hashtag.  We’re a fun and lively bunch, and there’s usually somebody up for word sprints.

You needn’t be starting a new project for this challenge.  Just write your goals around whatever project you’re working on, at whatever phase.  Your mission is to decide what your goals for this round are and write them up on your blog.  Link to that individual post (not the general blog) in the linky below.  Be sure that you choose a MEASURABLE GOAL.  Saying “I will finish this book” is not a goal.  Because then you spend every check-in saying “Nope, not done yet.”  A better goal is to say “I will spend x amount of time BICHOK,” “I will write x words/pages a day,” “I will revise x words/pages a day.”  Pick smaller goals that will build toward that bigger one.  Something you can measure each week and definitively say that you did or didn’t do it.

If you want to participate in That Other Writing Challenge, using ROW80 as a springboard,  go for it.  We’re not exclusive here, and we’ll still be around to support you when you emerge, over-hopped on Red Bull and deep in the throes of F.A.R.T. Syndrome (beverage warning).

The Linky will close Tuesday at midnight.  That’s fine.  If you miss the initial posting of goals OR if you ever need to change your goals because you bit off more than you could chew or you find you can do more, just write up a new goals post and link to it on the most recent check-in linky.  And if you’re joining us after the official start of Round 4, that’s fine too.  Just jump in with a goals post on the most recent check-in linky.

Ready?  Set?  WRITE!

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Click here to enter the link to your goals post and view this Linky Tools list of other ROW80 participants…

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