Sunday, August 19, 2012

ROW80 - Ahead Full Steam

I'm not even sure where to start with this post, as I've written and deleted this first sentence at least four times, so I'm just going to dive in.

It's only been four days since I started diving into A Round of Words in 80 Days, but I can already say that this has been a breath of fresh air for me.  Having a community of bloggers working together toward similar goals has really motivated me to start working toward these goals.  I can't say that this first half-week has been a rousing success, but I've made more progress in my novel these past few days than I have in the past few months.

When I last stopped writing Mage Rising (my novel's working title), I left off in the middle of a scene.  I'm not sure the reason, but I prefer to call them scenes, rather than chapters.  One of the reasons I was concerned about starting back on this project was the fear that I wouldn't be able to remember exactly where I was going with the scene.  Even more so, I was worried that I wouldn't have the same voice that I had over six months ago.

While I can't say that my writing voice sounded precisely the same, I had no problems taking off with the story again.  In fact, I was able to immediately create some items within the story that hinted at things to come in the overarching plotline, which made me quite happy.

My biggest concern for my novel at this point is that, while I have a vague idea where the greater plot will go, I don't have a feel for individual scenes yet.  I have outlined two scenes beyond the one I'm currently writing, but haven't found the specific path through the proverbial forest to the finish line yet.  This will be one of the goals for the coming week for my writing.

Even my non-writing goals have somewhat progressed.  I've spent more time than usual doing housework (although my wife would still prefer more), and I got out once to exercise strictly for the sake of fitness, which rarely happens for me.

I'm also going to add a new goal section for reading, as many of my fellow ROW80 members have.  While I love reading, I don't take the time to do it as often as I would like, so having a goal out there should help me take the time to do what I love!

I'm excited to see what the coming week will bring, so stay tuned.  Below is my detailed list of accomplishments from Wednesday, as well as a recap of my goals for the end of round three, as I'm changing one and adding a new category.

Good luck over the coming week to all my fellow ROW80 participants!

ROW80 2012R3 - Daily Goals

Writing - I will write something toward finishing my as yet untitled book from NaNo last year, even if only 50 words, every day.
     8/16/12 - Wrote 2269 words toward WIP novel.
     8/17/12 - Wrote 1168 words toward WIP novel.
     8/18/12 - Didn't get any writing accomplished today.

Blogging - I will write at least three blog posts each week, one of which must not be ROW80-related.
     8/15/12 - Wrote Initial ROW80 Blog Post
     8/17/12 - Wrote Non-ROW80 Blog Post

Exercise - I will get "real" exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week.
     8/16/12 - Ran/Walked for about 30 minutes.
     8/17/12 - Spent about 3 hours helping my brother-in-law build a 10' by 10' shed.  I'd say that counts as exercise.
     8/18/12 - Spent another 3 hours finishing my brother-in-law's shed.  Man, my arms are sore from all the nails.  :)

Housework - I will, in some small way, make my house look better each night than it did the previous night.
     8/16/12 - Helped get dirty dishes caught up, including gathering many of them from around the house where they had been left, and put one load of clean dishes away.
     8/17/12 - No real progress, but I was only home for about an hour (aside from sleeping time), and I spent this time writing.
     8/18/12 - Kind of another failed day, as the only help I really gave was moving furniture while my wife was cleaning carpets with the machine she rented.  Oh, and I cleaned the bathroom sink, which was starting to build up with dried toothpaste from my kids' toothbrushing.

ROW80 2012R3 - End-of-Round Goals

Writing - I will push toward having completed the first draft of my 2011 NaNo novel.  This will be exceptionally difficult, as I believe I still have at least 50-70,000 words left to reach completion, but I feel this is necessary, as my desire is to start the second book in the series for the 2012 NaNo.

Reading - I will shoot for a goal of having finished at least three or four books before the end of the round. (Added 8/19)

Blogging - I don't really have an end-of-round goal for blogging, but I would like to get to the point where I feel comfortable writing blog posts on a regular basis.  Having a few followers would also be nice!  Added 8/19:  Write book reviews of any books finished during the round.

Exercise - While not excessively overweight, I weigh more than I am comfortable with, and my goal is to lose 5 pounds by the end of this round.

Housework - Talk about running a treadmill, housework will never cease, but I want to get to a point at my house that the house is at least free of clutter every night before I go to bed, and my wife is happy with the assistance I give the household.


  1. I find it amazing how so many writers fear forgetting where they left off in a story, but they always end up remembering. (I do it too.) It proves how a story is always a part of us. Best wishes for your goals!

    1. I agree with you that our stories are really a part of us, growing and developing as we do. I'm excited to see my novel blossom from here.

      Thanks for the comment, and for visiting my blog!

  2. In my first novel, I wrote scenes out of order, pulling the story together after the fact. The writing took over a year - and edits another two to three months. Phew!

    In my second piece, I outlined before I wrote one sentence. I wrote that piece in six months, edits took another month.

    In my third novel, I created character profile packets, outlined the novel, and created a chapter by chapter 'summary' of what should occur in each scene. I wrote that novel during NaNoWriMo last November, reaching the 50K mark. Edits took two-three months.

    For my latest novel, I did all of the above - but wrote more slowly (I learned that writing slowly makes editing an easier process for me). I completed the project a little over four months - and will publish in the next few weeks.

    Sorry to bore you with the timeline - but I wanted to show that as I've gone through the process, I've bettered my use of time. You will too! You will find what works best for you - and your writing will flow more easily. Best of luck! :}

    1. Thanks for the insight into your own writing history. I find myself, as I venture further into my writing career, doing more back-end work also, trying to minimize the work of writing and instead make it a fun, fulfilling experience.

      Thanks for the comment!

  3. Sounds like you're doing well, jumping back in! Don't worry about the voice - you can always smooth that out in revision. Good luck and keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement! I hope I can smooth out the voice, but we'll see once I finally finish the first draft.

      Thanks for the comment!

  4. You are doing well. Best part of ROW80 is the routine, so important in our busy lives, Well that and the community, which is priceless. This group understands what you are trying to achieve. They know how hard it is and they understand why you want it. So nice.
    I'm glad you are trying to help more around the house, as a wife I can appreciate this :) Oh, and I know the sink with the toothpaste, lol, my kids are famous for leaving a mess

    1. My kids are incredible at leaving a whirlwind of destruction behind them. I feel for my wife, who's currently not working, as she shoulders the brunt of the cleanup. I just want to get to the point where I feel like I'm doing my part, and she's not overloaded.


  5. Hi Mike, it's always great to meet new fellow ROWers! You seem to be doing well so far, keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, and thanks for visiting my blog!


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