A Round of Words In 80 Days: Round 4 Goals

I had all kinds of big goals for Round 3.  Some of them I met.  Some of them were epic fail.  I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I want to shoot for with this last round of the year.  I’m beginning a new WIP–the next Mirus novel.  I’ve also got a collaborative project I’m working on that’s not quite ready to start yet.  And as I sit here on this fine Monday morning that’s finally cold enough that my sockless streak must be broken and I’ve gotta dig out my close-toed shoes, I’m still coping with a raging case of page fright.

For one thing I have to accept that the stuff I write over the next couple of weeks will probably be crap and have to be rewritten once I’ve found my groove again.  But that’s not really a goal.

I’ve got 80 days (well, really, probably 90 until I go back to work at the first of next year).  There is the temptation to say, “I will finish Devil’s Snare!”  But, you see, I actually learned something from the previous 2 rounds (where, in addition to daily word counts, I said “I will finish Red!“)–I really shouldn’t say I’m going to finish something because my life is only going to vomit up something that will prevent me from doing so.  I can’t honestly control when I’m going to finish a book, no matter how many words a day I get into writing.  So I’m not going to say that.

I’m going to be conservative this round.  I am setting myself a goal of 500 words a day.  It’s not a lot.  Although it feels like a lot given that the last week, I’ve barely broken 200 words a day.  Hence, the page fright.  But 500 words a day is kind of my comfort zone (when I’m regularly working).  No matter how much is going on at work (and unless something awful and distracting has happened in life), I can usually hit that.  I’d certainly like to push beyond that and reach a greater average.  But that requires me to get back to that base level again, so for now, that’s my goal.  If I get into my groove and start regularly producing more than that, then I might change that goal.  But for now, this is fine.  I am channeling this guy

in hopes that by the end, I’ll be more like this:

23 thoughts on “A Round of Words In 80 Days: Round 4 Goals

  1. We all have seasons in our lives where repeated success is far more motivating than challenge. There’s nothing WRONG with that. If we’re talking marathon, the last two rounds you had some pretty steep hills and rocky terrain on your course, this round you’re focusing on pacing and breath control. 🙂 Don’t be hard on yourself, being a writer IS like being an athlete (except for all that time of BIC,HOK) and to grow, our training program must adjust. Don’t be upset with yourself Kait one bit. I’m looking forward to seeing your progress for another #ROWnd 🙂

  2. I think setting realistic goals that push us a bit beyond our comfort zone but are well within our reach are the best because they’re attainability enables us to build confidence and upward momentum. While goals that we deep down know are beyond our reach can sometimes leave us overwhelmed and create a sense of defeat from day one. A sense of defeat often leaves me with a “why bother” attitude.
    So I think you’ve set a great goal. And ya just never know what you then might accomplish and how you might surprise yourself. Good luck!

  3. Talking about channeling, I’m probably the second guy, except in flames as I’m going down.

    I chose my goals to be sensible, otherwise you are right, life ‘vomits’ all over it. Good luck on not finishing something.

  4. I keep looking for a pattern to my writing and I just cant seem to find one. I even thought at one time that I did my best work once a month, like my high emotional state helped to spill the words out. Regardless of any pattern it seems to be true that writing (even a little) every day is the best approach. Keeping your characters alive and talking in your head makes all the difference. Writing every day is something I’ve been missing, so here’s to a great 80 days!!! Thanks Kait!!

  5. I think 500 words per day is a very reasonable goal. That’s why I usually choose that. Then, if you are able to do more, then you feel that much better about your goals.

    What does it say about me that I know that’s Raphael in the TMNT picture? LOL

  6. Love your goals and how they play against the realities of life. This is my first round and my work life is nuts, so I also did conservative goals I plan to increase. ROW80 is fantastic in that it will let us all stay on target with planned writing vs. losing ourselves in a dark hole of non-writing.

  7. I’m looking forward to Round 4. I went fairly easy on myself in Round 3, so I’ve upped the stakes a bit. Row80 was so helpful to me in staying motivated. Just like my weight loss experience, having to check in every week helped me feel accountable.

    Good luck!

  8. Ii’s funny that you have that picture of the tortoise. I’ve started thinking of myself as that tortoise —plodding along, slow and steady, just trying to finish the race at this point.

  9. I will echo Elizabeth Ann–it makes total sense for you to concentrate on pacing. I worked on getting into a habit last round, which I hope will serve me well this round. As for tortoise versus Raphael, I have a tortoise on my desk that a friend gave me when I started my dissertation. I’d bet doughnuts that you will turn into Raphael. Best of luck dodging what life vomits this round!

  10. This is my first time participating in ROW80 and I picked writing 500 words as a reasonable goal. I completely sympathize with the idea of page fright. Hee!

  11. ROW80 taught me so much about setting goals I can actually meet. A lot of it for me had to do with not having enough experience to know how long a given task would take me. And some of it had to do with learning to balance everything. I’m still working on both of those. But I learned so much with my first round of ROW80. I’m so excited about this next one.

  12. Kait, my goals are similar to yours. I’m kinda testing the water, not wanting to make unrealistic goals right from the start. I’ve been battling a major case of writer’s block for a long time now but I’m slowly emerging from that stupor. Slowly. Thus, a goal of only 400 words a day. It would be impressive if I wrote 2500, the number that I’ve easily hit every day a few months ago. But I’m almost finished with my WIP so 400 words each day, five days a week, seems like a nice, comfortable goal to meet. I will be cheering for you. See you in ROW80!

  13. Definitely feeling you there on ‘page fright.’ Everything I’ve written over the past couple of weeks has just been utter tripe, and I know it’s because I took a little time off from writing. I think 500 words is a good and sensible goal, and it definitely adds up by the end! I’m attempting the ‘time target’ goal for writing this round, so we’ll see how that goes.

    Have a great week, Kait, and thanks for reminding me of my favorite cartoon of my youth. Turtle power!

  14. I had that feeling during NaNo last year. I was only a little behind and had planned to use the time while most of the family was elsewhere for Thanksgiving to catch up. But then first my son and then my mother-in-law had gotten sick, so everyone was here. I got nothing done, because nobody would sit and relax, let alone quietly. It was all housecleaning and cooking and tv and talking. Sigh. Totally messed up my stride.

    Here’s to hoping we can both reconnect with Ninja Turtle this round.

  15. Ha! LOVE the Ninja Turtle comparison. That sounds like an attainable goal and I’m sure you will rock it. I’m also giggling over page fright–not that you have it, just the term. It makes so much sense and I think I’m suffering from a case of that myself. Good luck this round!

  16. Go Ninja Kait! 500 words a day sounds more than do-able 🙂

    (and why oh why does WordPress insist on giving me this pink angry face? can’t I have a better avatar??)

  17. I hear you! I am so far out if touch that I’m jot even setting a word count, just an amount of time spent. I figure we can only get better. Right?

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