My relationship with writing is similar to that of an arranged marriage - the bond is inevitable, but the emotions are rather mixed. There are some days when I want to write so badly but other priorities (like studying, which is a totally legit reason for not writing, y'all!) take a toll on my daily word count. On other days, I simply procrastinate by reading addictive Jodi Picoult novels, cooking even though I don't like to cook, downloading music and doing everything else besides writing.
And then there are those days when I'm on a roll, or what I like to call a literary frenzy. In such a frenzy, my fingers are on fire and flying across the keyboard. For once, these entangled thoughts and crazy characters and half-formed ideas actually make it onto the page in what I consider to be pretty coherent sentences (or so I think).
In the past I used to love writing challenges, but lately they haven't worked very well for me. They have either been not for me, too impersonal or too demanding (Like StoryADay... such a neat idea, but so mentally draining!). Too often do I get motivated and ready to kick some writing goals in the butt and then, and then...I flake out. Of course, there was the year of 2008 when I won NaNoWriMo, but I consider that to have been some sort of miracle. I doubt I could write that much in so little time if I tried to do it all over again. I'd probably hide in a corner with another distraction, spewing out excuses to myself for not writing.
But this just in - I found something new: A Round of Words in 80 Days. Even the description calls to me - "the writing challenge that knows you have a life." Yes! I love to write, but I do also have a life! *gasp* Perhaps it is possible for both to coexist? The basic idea for ROW80Days is to create your own set of writing goals - ideally ones that are measurable - and use your blog to keep you accountable during the 80 days you have to complete these goals.
Oh mah gah, I can create my own goals?! No 1,600 word count? No 50k mark? No writing prompts? Normally I thrive under such strict conditions, but surprisingly the only word that comes to my mind is: AWESOME. I've added myself to the ROW80Days Facebook page, created my first ROW80Days blog post (right here!) and gotten myself motivated. Now all I have to do is follow through with my goals...whatever they are.
Goals. This should be the easiest part since I get to make them up myself, but it's not. Realistic, measurable, enjoyable to achieve. That's what my goals should be. Right now, I'm working on a personal writing assignment that I will simply call: "The T-Project." I know that's vague, but I read somewhere that it's bad luck for artists to talk about their WiPs (works-in-progress). ;) Let's see, I suppose these goals will do for now (we can amend our goals later if we need to):
- write character-driven scenes
- have a sense of where I want to go with my project - so, create detailed outlines
- think "big picture" - what themes and main ideas do I want my project to reflect?
- since I'm writing in first-person, my voice needs to stay in character and be consistent
- get down at least 500 words every day, no matter how crappy or pitiful the words are
- blog about my progress every Wednesday and Sunday, in compliance with the ROW80Days rules
- make some progress, either tangible or mental, on the T-Project every day
Technically, Round Two of ROW80Days already began in early April but there's always time to jump into the challenge. If you'd like join me and be a part of A Round of Words in 80 Days, check out their blog and sign up! And do let me know your blog URL so I can follow your literary frenzies, too!