ROW80: I promise to do better this time

Friday, July 1, 2011

My first attempt at ROW80 was, if not a total failure, pretty close to it. I struggled to reach my goals for the first month or so, and then, in the midst of finals and with my London sojourn looming on the horizon, I just gave up entirely. I'm not proud of this, but I also don't regret it. I don't think I would have enjoyed myself nearly as much in London if I'd been constantly worried about meeting word counts and checking off a to-do list, and I really needed that month to regroup and heal my dysfunctional relationship with my dissertation. Now the dissertation and I are very much in love again, I've come to terms with the fact that I cannot afford to  run away and live in London forever, and I've learned that my ROW80 goals last time were a little ridiculous, at least for my first time.

This time around I've promised myself that I will Do Better, that I will make it all the way to the end, so I've set a single, more manageable goal:
I will write everyday. 

That's right. Starting Monday, July 4, for the next 80 days I will write every single day. Here's the great thing, though, and the reason I might actually accomplish this goal: I'm not giving myself a target word or page limit. I'm not restricting what kind of writing I do everyday. Whether I write four pages on my dissertation, twelve words on my novel, or a two-paragraph blog post, it all counts. As long as I get into the habit of writing everyday, I've decided it doesn't matter what kind of writing I'm doing.

I've got some help this time around as well. I've got several Very Important writing deadlines coming up that have been established by the powers that be (i.e. the dissertation director and the editor publishing one of my articles). For those days I'm feeling blocked, I can exercise my writing muscles in Julianna Baggott's virtual boot camp, which sounds both fun and super productive. And I'm moving to Pennsylvania and won't be teaching for awhile, which should give me more writing time.

So no excuses. I can do this, and you can, too. If you want to join the coolest writing challenge out there, the only one that lets you set the goals, then you should sign up for ROW80, too.


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