Are You Looking For A Doable Writing Challenge?

Jenny Hansen here, giving you another little dose of New Year’s writing pep. This is the time of year when many of us writers get overwhelmed. You’ve been hearing from all of us at WITS on the topic:

Today we’re talking about setting realistic writing goals as you enter a shiny new year. It’s Wednesday, which usually means a ROW80 Update for me over at More Cowbell.

What? You’ve never heard of A Round of Words In 80 Days?? But it’s the writing challenge that knows you have a life! And it starts again in less than a WEEK…January 2nd, to be exact.

None of that is enough for you to click the link above? Fine. I see you’re gonna make me pull out the BIG GUNS.

I’m sponsoring the next round.

That means I get to slap around cheer on all the ROW80 participants. (Yeah, I’m looking at YOU…) Encourage them with their goals. Visit their blogs and drag them kicking and screaming away from their Boo-Hoo Chair when the writing week has them cowering in the corner behind the couch.

I know you’re enticed NOW. I’ve been part of ROW80 for two rounds now and I’m hooked for life. Why?

  • We to like to party…Seriously, we have Rock The ROW parties and contests, etc.
  • We engage in writing sprints at the ROW80 hashtag on Twitter and weekly blog hops at the ROW80 blog.
  • I promise you will make new writer friends who are worth their weight in gold. Many writers have said they didn’t feel comfortable on social media until they joined the ROW80 community.

How do I join?

Direct from the ROW80 website, here’s The Rules:

  • There are 4 rounds a year, each running 80 days. (You don’t have to do all four.)
  • Your goal can be anything you like as long as it is measurable (e.g. number of words/pages, specified amount of time to spend on writing per day/week, number of pages edited, etc.).
  • Once you have settled on a goal, you write it up on your blog (yes, you must have one) and link to it on the Goals Linky (this is a blog hopping tool – i.e. traffic for your site). The linky will be posted on the ROW80 Blog on check-in days.
  • If your goal changes before the end of the 80 days,simply write up a new goals post and link to it on the latest check-in day.
  • There are check-ins twice a week on Wednesday and Sundayswhere you will update us the same way (you don’t have to check in both days if you’re busy).
  • On Twitter we use a hashtag of #ROW80 if you wanna come hang out
  • And if you happen to find us after a round has begun, just write up your goals post and hop on in whenever. We’re a friendly bunch.
  • Be sure to grab the ROW80 badge from the sidebar on the ROW80 Blog. I’ve placed it at the bottom of this post so you can see how cute it is.

Do you like writing challenges (or hate ’em)? Have you tried ROW80 yet? If not, what has kept you from it? If you’ve participated, what did you like the most? Do you have goals for the New Year that you’d care to share?

Jenny

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13 Responses to Are You Looking For A Doable Writing Challenge?

  1. Lara says:

    I’m in! I just set up a new blog specifically for writing called “Sweating Blood and Gnawing Furniture” over at blogspot.com. I’m having a bit of an issue with the linky thing, but I’ll try and figure it out when I get home.

    I can’t wait to begin! I’ve been going through NaNo withdrawal since I missed it this year (I got sick on the first of November, and it lasted almost the whole month – blech).

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I love the title, Lara!! And I had that November of bionic illness as well. I’ll tell you, my ROW80 crew still cheered me on, AND they checked on me to see how I was feeling.

      • Lara says:

        Morning Jenny! I’m sorry you had to go through that crud. Most of my students had it, so it was inevitable that they would share it with me. It sounds like the ROW80 crowd combines the best of both worlds – the wonderful madness of NaNo and the closeness of a writing group. I’m really looking forward to this. Speaking of which…

        Several hours after I posted the information about my new blog, i realized I had an old one called “Fiendish Serendipity” that used “Sweating Blood and Gnawing Furniture” as a subtitle. So I decided to resurrect the old one instead. I deleted the new one. If anyone wants to keep track of me, please note the change.

        Thanks!

  2. Sharla Rae says:

    Jen, thanks for explaining ROW 80. I heard of it from you but never really knew what it involved and since I’m not a major joiner in things like this, I usually skip even reading about this kind of thing. Now the challenge is opeing my own blog site. Ha!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You’re already covered, Sharla…if we make ourselves accountable as a group, we can do a Sunday post that won’t impede our schedule at all. That will let you spend less time setting up a new blog (unless you’re set on it) and more time writing. *big grin*

  3. Again, you so totally rock.

    I won’t be ROW’ing with y’all, but I’m there cheering you all on! I’ve been working on super secret cheerleader moves, so watch out you ROW80ers!

  4. Okay, is this deja vu? Did I not read this already? I could have sworn I’d left a comment about this very subject somewhere else. Funny. I must be losing my mind. Well, don’t say anything. I know I lost it a long time ago.

    Okay Jenny, I need your help. I have been in a real funk lately. I want to go hide under a rock. I know I said I want to join ROW80, but I don’t know if I can trust myself to actually do it. Fear of failure I think. And I’m not so good about making goals. Making a list makes me feel like I’m having a panic attack.

    So if I go MIA, come kick my butt. You have my permission, even though I know you don’t need it. LOL!!!

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You did read this already but I want you to think about what goals make you happy. For example, I get all excited when I help and encourage others so part of my ROW80 goals are usually to encourage at least two people I don’t know in their goals at Check In.

      In the past, I’ve usually checked in once a week – as a sponsor I will need to check in 2x/week.

      I really like to blog so I usually write about 5 unique posts a week. That’s how I warm up for writing on my WIP which is much harder (for me). I don’t do page goals well, so I’ve learned to do time goals and numbers like the above. For me that takes the pressure off.

      Part of ROW80 is figuring out what DOESN’T work for you even while you have a supportive community to cheer you on. And if your goals aren’t working for you or are beating you down, you just change those lil ol’ goals mid-round and start going a new direction.

      Does this help at all??

  5. olderwriter says:

    Wow! Beyond the challenge of being accountable with a measurable goal in writing, you are challenging me to us my blog which I haven’t done yet, to really USE my twitter account and write all at the same time. I know I need to do all three of these. Thanks for kicking me in the pants.

  6. Lara says:

    Jenny, I just went over to the ROW80 site, and the links for signing up for January aren’t up yet. Do you know when they will be active? Thanks!!

  7. Pingback: BETWEEN THE SHEETS of paper CHALLENGE Row 80? Game On! « Gloria Richard

  8. Ann Fowerker says:

    Hi Jennie, Only just come to this blog and think it a great idea, however, what i really need to be doing is the second edit of my latest novel, The Angel Bug, and could really do with the push this might give me. Can this be done as a ROW80 goal. – like a chapter every 2 days or something?

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