Well. Today is the end of ROW80, Round Two.
And what a wild and crazy round it’s been!
Right before Round Two began, I sold my first book, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. I began revisions with my brilliant agent, Diana Fox, and my also-brilliant editor, Zareen Jaffery at Simon & Schuster. In May, I went to my first supermegahuge writers’ event (in NYC, no less!), BookExpo America. On my current WIP, Cracked, I wrote about 30K words. I started a new job as a public librarian. Mom began her radiation treatments (she’ll be finished in a couple of weeks!).
Again, I say: WILD AND CRAZY.
Have I managed to meet my ROW80 goals during all that?
Well, somewhat. My goals were to
- finish Cavendish revisions; and
- write at least ~750 words/day on Cracked
Even with the amount of words I wrote on Cracked, that comes out to ~375 words/day, which is exactly HALF of what my original words/day goal. So, no, I didn’t meet really meet that goal. But I’m okay with it. First of all, Cavendish revisions were the priority, and I completed two rounds of those, with which I’m extremely happy. I had to take a break from Cracked to work on those revisions, especially with everything else going on, but I’m returning to Cracked slowly and surely, and I think the time apart will turn out to have been helpful.
Secondly, I’ve been reading like crazy (well, at least for me), and I can so tell the difference in my writing, and just in how I approach storycraft. So, if I had to sacrifice some of my writing time for reading time, again, I’m okay with that.
So, am I satisfied with my progress during this ROW80 round?
I’ve had fun, I’ve worked hard, I’ve read a lot, I’ve LEARNED even more, and I think I’m finally figuring out how to balance writing, work, taking care of myself, having a social life, taking care of Mom, and a lot of other Real Life things I used to ignore in favor of writing obsessively.
See? That’s some serious progress right there.
That said, I don’t think I’ll be participating in the next round of ROW80.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I love ROW80, I love the people I’ve met via ROW80, and I love its creator, Kait Nolan (we are sisters separated at birth).
I just need a break from it.
Much of my blog content has become ROW80-related, which is great, but I don’t want my blog to ONLY be a bunch of “I wrote this number of words this week” posts, and that’s what happened during my busier weeks. I don’t want to have ROW80 check-in posts to fall back on; I want to HAVE to generate interesting, fun posts.
Also, I don’t like seeing how I’ve slacked off with check-in posts and commenting on other people’s blogs. That just adds one more thing to the list of “things I should be doing but can’t seem to keep up with.” And I know the point of ROW80 is that there IS Real Life, and we can’t always meet the goals we started with, and we CAN be flexible.
But I still want to sit out this round, just for a break. Cavendish is going into copyedits soon, I need to get some serious work done on Cracked, and I need to start planning for my next middle grade book. Plus, I’m just settling into my new job, Mom will be heading back to her chemo treatments soon, and there are a couple of other major personal things on the horizon that might take up a good bit of time.
So, as much as I love ROW80, and as happy as I am that it’s helped me figure out how to be a little less insane this year, I’m going to sit out for this next round. I’ll probably still pop in from time to time on everyone’s ROW80 check-in posts and wave my writerly pom-poms, though; never fear!
I hope that all of you are happy with your ROW80 progress this past round, and that, if you haven’t yet participated in ROW80, you head over to the blog and see what it’s all about. If you need help staying accountable with your writing, if you want to interact with a kind, encouraging community of writers, and if you want to participate in a writing challenge that knows you have a life, you’ll love ROW80.