Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Round of Words in 80 Days: My Goals

I like goals. Goals are helpful. But inflexible deadlines with strict rules only cause me to panic. NaNoWriMo would never work for me. A novel in a month? I've got four kids to look after, people! But I want, maybe I even need, something to help give me motivation. A Round of Words in 80 Days is a writing challenge for people with busy lives. (Me!) It allows you to make your own goals to suit your needs and to change and adapt them as you go along if you need to. It is, in other words, the perfect writing kick in the butt for me.

The current round began on Monday, July 4. (You're welcome to join in whenever you want though. This challenge is nothing if not flexible.) And this, three days late, is my post stating my writing goals for the next 80 days.

July 4-10: Essential world-building, nothing too in depth. Just the foundational material I need to write my story.

My regular may now be saying, "Wait a minute, haven't you done, like, a ton of world-building? You talked our ears off all April about it!"

Yes, yes I have done a lot of world-building. Here's the thing... I was world-building a specific part of my fantasy world in preparation for a specific story. It's the story closest to my heart, the one that I hope will be my masterpiece. And for that reason, I've decided not to write it yet. Because I want it to be good but I don't have nearly enough practice yet. So despite all the research and world-building and outlining and character development I've put into that story already, I've made the tough decision to shelve it for now and work on a different tale.

This new story will be set in the same world but earlier in that world's history than my other planned story and should provide some interesting, though not essential, background for when I get back to that story. But it starts in a different region of the world in different circumstances so a little more world-building is necessary before I can begin. I'm a planner and plotter. I need to have my ducks in a row before I can delve into my creative side.

July 11- September 22- Write a frelling book. 

My goal is to write 1500 words a day for 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) during this period. If I can manage that I'll come out to about 80,000 words. Honestly, I'm not sure if this story will even need that many or if it will end up being on the shorter novel side, but better to shoot high than fall short. Weekends I'll reserve for continued research and world-building.

Hopefully by September 22, I'll have a finished manuscript. (Trivia: September 22nd is Bilbo and Frodo Baggins' birthday.) My goal for the rest of the year will be to polish it and get it ready for self publication for the Christmas season.

How about you? Do concrete goals help you stay motivated or do they just hold you back?


  1. Still chuckling over the 'frelling!'
    NaNo kept me on track, so I guess I am better off with set goals.

  2. We've been watching a lot of Farscape recently. "Frell" has become a common word in our household. ;)

  3. I had to look up 'frelling', hehe. Good luck with your goals. I couldn't keep up with NaNo so this might be more up my street. :)

  4. Definitely bonus points for "frell!" :)

    I've steered away from exact goals in the past, trusting in my passion and my wonderful weekly crit group to help me stay on track. This summer though, I'm really trying to do at least 500 words a day on my current WIP. Sounds small, but I've gotta start somewhere.

  5. Good luck, sounds like a great plan! Looking forward to celebrating on 22 September, which is also my cat Frodo's birthday *big grin*


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