I’m buried under priorities and projects right now. It’s mostly my fault–I did decide to become a writer after all–but I won’t take all the blame. The common myth of a writer has the star of the show sitting in a cozy coffee shop or a quaint little den, sipping their caffeine-laden beverage of choice while happily creating worlds with their finger tips.
That image does not include agonizing over the second draft, working to get your name out there, and struggling to come up with the next idea all while wondering if you’re just wasting your time because no one likes you and never will.
Also you need a shave.
Still, I love most of what I do (even the revision work) and the rest I can tolerate. What has become intolerable, though, is this feeling like I’m juggling six chainsaws while balancing on a tightrope over the gaping mouth of an alligator. That’s gotta stop.
I stumbled across A Round of Words in 80 Days a while ago and filed the link away as a little something to look at later. Briefly, ROW80 is a writing challenge where you pick your own goal. Instead of an everyone takes on the same goal, do or die challenge like writing a whole novel in a month, ROW80 is the challenge that understands even writers have lives outside of the pages they fill. It also understands that what works for one writer won’t always work for another.
In ROW80 you see people committing to writing 750 words a day, or editing twenty pages every afternoon. These are simple, clear, action-oriented goals within your reach because you get to set them. Exactly the sort of goals I like.
Once you set a goal, you have 80 days to reach it and update people twice a week on your progress. Once the round is over, you reassess your priorities, pick a new goal and the whole thing starts over.
I’m planning to jump into this next round which begins on July 2, but I’m not exactly sure what my goal will be. I have a pretty daunting list of long-term projects and trying to figure out which thing to tackle, and how to build a goal around it, isn’t exactly easy. I have a day or two to think, so hopefully I can figure something out.
I hope you’ll stick around for the ride. Since this is the first challenge of its kind that I’ve tried, it should at least be entertaining to watch.
In addition to keeping this blog alive and writing scary stories, Jeff Clough loves to read and review indie books. If you want a good read, look at his list of previous book reviews. If you want Jeff to review your own book, check out his review policy. He also writes about being a writer though he does not, as a habit, write about himself in the third person.