Friday, December 30, 2011

To ROW or not to ROW (80)

I'm trying something new this year.

I'm writing competitively in the company of supportive friends.


"Um, Heather," you might say, "that doesn't sound different from your normal bag of tricks. It sounds like the Tour de Writing."

"Well, the Tour happens only in the summer. This competitive writing project happens all year long." I would reply.

"It also sounds a bit like NaNo." (that's you again. See how I nail your voice? :))

"Well, NaNo is only during November, and some people take issue with the extreme word count goals. During this challenge, you get to set your own goals!"

"So, you're writing with supportive people, like in The Practice Room?"

"Yes, with supportive people, writers who check in with you, and cheer you on. And it goes on all year like TPR. But not in a chat room. Through blog comments, and twitter. I even signed up to be a sponsor, so one of my jobs will be to cheer you on, if you decide to sign up. As always, though, TPR will be a great tool to help me reach my writing goals, and I hope other ROWers stop by to utilize the support there as well!"

Okay, this is starting to sound like a 6th grade skit for Social Studies class. :)

But, I am joining a new supportive writing group, called A Round Of Words in 80 Days. Or, ROW 80.

I popped over by mistake, the first time, thinking that the blog was about a writer who also rows. You know, oars, coxswain, the whole nine yards. It wasn't. :) What a happy accident!

It's a blog about writers setting goals, and trying to hit those goals in 80 days, four separate times a year. Writers check in a couple of times each week, and form a community around reaching their goals. It's a superb idea, and I'm excited to be a part of it.

All you do is check out the sign up post, and sign up on the link list, and go from there.

This next round starts on Monday, January 2nd. Perfect if you are resolutioning, perfect if you aren't.

I love supportive writing, don't you??

Come join me, and let me know that you are, in my comments, so I know who's up for the challenge. I'll be following #ROW80 in the twitter feeds as well.

I hope your holidays are going well. Did you get any good gifts? Are you raving the New Year in? Will you join me in a round of ROW 80??

If I can hit my goal while writing like this:
Then you can too!!


  1. Good luck with that. The first half of the year is all about revising current projects. Ugh.

    And I've dealt with the cat on wrist thing too.

  2. I've never done "supportive writing" and am looking forward to ROW80.

    I love the kitty on lap picture. I think a cat would make a great writing cheerleader--at least good to keep you in the seat. Sometimes my toddler comes to sit on my lap when I'm writing, but he gets mad when I try to work, so he's not a very good cheerleader.

  3. I've heard about ROW80, but I never knew what it was before! It sounds great!

    Honestly, with all this support available for writers online, I wonder how writers managed at all in the old days?

    Besides becoming expatriates and hanging out in cafes in Paris ...

  4. I'm sure i could write more if I was sitting at a cafe in Paris...just sayin....

  5. Alicia--You'll need all the cheerleading you can get for hardcore revision. :) I'm sure you could do so with ROW 80 if you wished! Either way, I'll cheer you on!

    Colleen--I use any excuse I can to write in a social setting. As you can see by the links on my blog! :) We're going to have such fun, I know it!

    Dianne, and Marcy--That's it. We're off to Paris. :)

  6. Cat on Arms. I haven't had that one yet, although mine has gotten close!

    Yay for another first timer! This should be a fun event, and probably a busy one for me.

  7. Welcome to the ROW :) I think you're going to really enjoy the atmosphere and support. Just make sure your goals are measurable and not too far out of reach. Looking forward to getting to know you and seeing your progress.

  8. Welcome to ROW80. It's a great community and one thing I love about it, is just how flexible it is. Your goals can change. I'm thinking of rejoining the group with the next round. :) But they're a great group.

  9. Thanks for the nice welcome to ROW. I'm still determining my weekly writing goals. I'm thinking I'm going to go with a timed writing goal instead of a word count. I'm afraid I'd just type a bunch of nonsense just to meet my projected number of words.

    Happy New Year! Ring it in big.

  10. Welcome Heather! I think ROW80 is fantastic because we are part of a supportive group AND we have to make ourselves publicly accountable. :)

    Thinking it's a great way to start off the new year as well.

    See you next week on the blog hop!

  11. Brian--My kitten likes to get as close to me as possible--plunking herself on my arms is unfortunately an everyday occurrence... I'm psyched to add ROW 80 to my rhythm of writing!

    Ryan--Good advice on the goals. Although, I don't see it as a pass/fail situation--if I am just writing most days, then it will be a success for me. I find it hard to be productive in the middle of the NE winter.

    Sadie--Hi! Thanks for stopping by! Already, I can tell that it is a wonderful community! :)

    Susan--I am torn between a word goal and time goal. Maybe I'll do both. I'm writing and revising as I go, so I'm not letting myself fast draft to get the wordcount in. Good luck picking your goals!

    Bridgette--I love accountability--it's the best way I have found to get myself to write consistently. I love the built in support of ROW80!

  12. Welcome to the ROW80! Although there are no coxswains in ROW, there will be enough nautical/crew metaphors to last you the year!

    The one piece of advice that I can pass on from completing the fourth round of ROW is that it's super-good to set more than one goal. And to quantify it. My "do something creative every day" goal became a sad little exercise in shoehorning my daily activities into the "something creative" box.

    Other than that, it was a blast.

    I look forward to cheering you along in Round One!

  13. The only time my cat even THINKS about sitting on my lap is when I'm writing. Little booger.

    Good luck with your goals. Sounds like a fun group!

  14. Tracy--I think I'll take your advice on the goals--one thing I like about the trends of ROW 80 goals is that they aren't all about writing. It really is the competition which knows you have a life!!

    Anita--every time I sit down (which is mostly to write), I find a cat on my lap!!

  15. My Maggie prefers the title "Lap Muse."

    -- Tom

  16. Hey, Tom! Pip would prefer to be as close to my head as possible. She settles for my lap. I don't know what kind of muse that makes her. :)