When I first started writing, I let Life rule me. On the perfect day at just the right time, I would write. But only then. After ten years of this approach, I published my first novel. I was worried that I was a one-and-done author. Then it hit me—if I wanted to write another book, I needed motivation and accountability.
Not too long after, I came across the A Round of Words in 80 Days website.
A challenge that knows you have a life… I signed up right away. Next up, I had to set measurable goals.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. Larry Elder
Consistent writing was a wish for me before ROW80. I needed a plan. At first I was throwing darts at a dartboard to see what would stick. When 500 words a day wasn’t working, I tried 250. Then I tried writing for a set time each day. When that didn’t work, I traveled around the linky post and tried what other writers were doing.
By having access to different methods, I found what worked best for me on most days and alternative plans for others.
Write it down. Written goals have a way of transforming wishes into wants; cant’s into cans; dreams into plans; and plans into reality. Don’t just think it – ink it! Author Unknown
On any given Sunday (or Wednesday), I’d review and re-evaluate my stated goals. It kept me on task to see my goals in print. Plus, I knew a fellow ROW80 participant would drop by and keep me on track. Or, just as importantly, let me know that falling down was not a reason to stay down.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill
With each baby step, I built stronger pathways to my goal. These stepping stones didn’t always lead me straight to success, but they gave me the necessary tools to make progress toward my destination… and more words.
We do not develop anything with one giant step. No matter who you are, or what you do, each one of us had had to take a lot of individual steps to accomplish a task, a job, a career, or even a hobby. Catherine Pulsifer, The Little Steps
Grateful does not begin to describe how I feel about ROW80. Chasing Memories, my first YA novel and second book, is a direct result of what I have learned from this amazing group of writers: Plan it, Ink it, Believe it.