#ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.
It’s that time again. The time when a new 80 days starts and we get crazy all over again. Or, really, it’s just another normal day. 🙂
Today our fearless leader, Kait Nolan posted a wonderful blog about the practice of deliberation. The idea that you do something intentionally. She used the example of natural gift and practice. The truth is, I know several people who can construct better sentences than I do, but they cannot write. The ability is there, but the practice is not.
Growing up, my parents had the mentality that I would never be bored. In their minds, if I had opportunity to become bored, I would become a statistic. Now, that’s not showing a lot of faith in their daughter to chose right over wrong, or their parenting ability. But, they made those choices on many factors, only one of which was the idea: If we keep her busy enough, she won’t have time to screw up.
The other part was the activities made me eligible for scholarships and further advancement, which I reaped the rewards of when I went to college. Four degrees, mostly paid for by scholarships. It was worth it.
Where am I going with this? Hold on!
One of my biggest scholarships happened because I got to go to the state level and compete in several activities. In school, it was Prose–a competition where you read a story and using voice inflection only, gave the story life. In 4-H, it was a lot of things: horse shows, quiz bowls, performances, crafts. 4-H gave me a huge opportunity to do some great stuff.
But you know what made me capable of competing on the state level?
I’ll never forget the days I would get home from school and drag myself down to the barn to get on my horse to practice. Every. Single. Day. There were days when I couldn’t practice early, so I would be out in the arena, riding in the dark or with a single flood light on. My horse was an athlete who needed daily exercise and I needed daily practice working with her. We had to work as a team. There had to be practice involved.
When I played roller derby, my life was practice. A normal week was six days of practice, sometimes with multiple sessions on a given day. But this is a perfect example of how sometimes, all the practice in the world won’t make up for raw, natural talent. But practice made me a solid, team player.
Writing is the same thing. We’ve got to practice. It makes us perfect, after all. ((I kid!!))
I started this year with my big goal in ROW80 to make steady progress. I wanted to practice daily habits that would sustain my writing career. I wanted to be a marathon writer. I’ve seen a huge leap in my productivity this year, which is crazy because I’m doing more than ever before. It’s very exciting. It also places a lot of need for this productivity to continue. I know many are setting pre-NaNoWriMo goals, well, I’m more focused on making my goals in October!
This round I have some hefty goals.
- Finish writing Good Guys Wear Black #2
- Edit Good Guys Wear Black #2
- Get critiques on Good Guys Wear Black #2
- Finish writing Bayou Bound #2
- Edit Bayou Bound #2
- Get Midnight Ink released
- Get How Zombies Stole Christmas released
- Possible alternate Christmas project to also consider
This is a big, big quarter for me. It sets up a lot of my 2014 books and projects. There are a lot of irons in the fire. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to keep pace in my marathon!