ROW80 Check-in, Middle of Week 8

Here’s my linky for this week.

This check-in is a mixture of good and bad; perhaps slightly more bad. I’ve only done about 880 words on my story so far, and I did them a day late. However, this was because I’d already written something else on Tuesday: around 1,300 words on heroism and alignment in the context of various ethical systems. Counting this as extra writing, I’ve done 2,100 words already, so breaking 3300 by Sunday is still within my reach.

My bigger concern is that I left this too late, and now will miss out on sleep due to the time spent writing this. At least tomorrow’s Friday.

As to reflection: firstly, it seems like doing ROW80 has made me more inclined to write. Both the pieces I wrote this week were spur-of-the-moment things: a to-do list that evolved into a discussion of the items on it, and a scene I suddenly got inspired to write while listening to music.

Continue reading

ROW80 Check-in, Week 7

(Linky for this week)

I got another 900 words written today, making a total of 2,800 words’ progress on my story this week. Along with two sonnets and another poem, that’s over three thousand words, putting me well ahead of my quota. This is my highest word count yet, beating even the first week of ROW80, before I actually joined.

Even that has its downsides, though: Kait Nolan’s picked next week for a challenge to write even more than this week. Obviously extending my goals is good, but I’m not sure word count is the way I want to extend them. I’ve got another project that could do with this sort of attention, and I need to expand the set of things I do in real life. Not to mention the reflection I added to my list last update.

On the other hand, I’ve got a lot of bits I’m looking forward to in this story, so maybe I will write that much.
Continue reading

ROW80 Check-in, Middle of Week 7

I’m in more or less the same situation as this time last week: I wrote my entire quota on Tuesday (1900 words already, this time), and now I’m putting up a rather late midweek update.

That makes this the third week in a row I’ve written more than 1500 words, so I think some extension of my goals is in order. I could make it a goal to post updates on time, but reporting on the lateness of my posts in my late posts seems a bit redundant.

Instead, I’ve decided my new goal will be to reflect, in each ROW80 update, on the writing I’ve done in the preceding half-week. The story I’m working on was always supposed to be a learning experience, and I’ve been told more than once that you need to go over what you’ve learned if you want it to sink in.

So, without further ado, here’s my reflection for this week:
Continue reading

ROW80 Check-in, Week 6

Linky for this week.

I’ve managed to do my extra thousand words for this week: 800 words of story, and a pair of sonnets (100 words each, as usual). Overall, this puts me 1,300 words ahead since the end of Week 4. Now to keep it up for a third week!

Naturally, I almost immediately regretted the extra words: the weekend quickly filled up with things I’d been procrastinating over, and I got invited to a barbecue today. I could perhaps have skipped it, but I’m already less social than I’d like. Due to all this, I was expecting to post another “goal missed” post until I managed to sit down and write this evening.

Good luck and happy writing to my fellow ROWers!

A Valentine’s Day Sonnet

Last week I realised two things: I was due for another sonnet around Valentine’s Day, and the sonnet is traditionally a form of love poetry. Hence this piece of writing.

A heart that beats has not yet turned aside.
A tongue that still can speak might not refuse.
Live through the moment and enjoy the ride;
Let what has been make up for what you lose.

Don't clutch the friends you have, the life you live.
Seek greener grass! Aim for a brighter star!
In each new love, have all your heart to give,
And swear to keep the faith when you're afar.

Live so you'll know they never will forget
What you once were, or who you've now become.
Ask for "not much", but treasure what you get,
And brighter shine to know your time will come.

[Ignore the whole of what is said above,
For evil things can nothing know of love.]

ROW80 Check-in, Middle of Week 6

Last check-in I admitted I was in a pattern of good and bad weeks. Either I spoke to soon, or admitting it is enough to break the pattern: I got 1,500 words written on Tuesday, so whatever happens now, I’ve fulfilled my quota for the week. On the other hand, both this check-in and my last were late, so there is still room to improve there.

Now that I’m running ahead for the second week in a row, I have to think about how I’m applying Candice’s “no rollover words” rule. My inclination is to let words from the previous week roll over provided I wouldn’t be using them to make up for a bad week — that way, I can still feel proud of getting ahead (or know to up my goals), but it doesn’t encourage me to slack off.

Speaking of not slacking off, I’m aiming for another thousand words by the weekend. Doing my whole quota at the beginning of the week, and then nothing, seems like it would be just as bad as using last week to make up for this one.

Here’s my linky for this week.

ROW80 Check-in, Week 5

Here’s my linky for this week.

As it turns out, my optimism on Wednesday was justified. I didn’t manage to write on Saturday, but for once was home on Sunday, so that wasn’t a problem. Since Wednesday, I’ve written two sonnets (about 200 words total), and 1,100 words on my main story. That puts me at around 2,400 for the week; 300 words ahead of the 2100 I needed to catch up.

Excluding sonnets, I’ve now written around 9,500 words. That’s more than half the 18,000 words I’m aiming for, at less than half-way through ROW80.

That’s not to say I couldn’t be doing better, though. I’m following a pattern of alternating good and bad weeks, and while that does mean I’m writing regularly, it also suggests that I could write a third as much again if I apply myself consistently.

ROW80 Check-in, Middle of Week 5

Here’s my week 5(a) linky.

I wrote another 1000 words on Tuesday, which isn’t quite enough to catch up: if I write another thousand on the weekend, I’d still be 100 words short, since I was behind 600 at the end of last week. On the other hand, it means I’m starting this week on the (metaphorical) right foot. We shall see.

I keep meaning to explain what my writing project actually is at some point, and today I can’t think of anything else to say, so:

I find that the longer I keep an idea, the more complicated it gets and the more invested I am in it; this reaches a point where I don’t want to actually write it because it could turn out to be trash. To avoid that, I decided to deliberately make bad ideas part of the story, forcing myself to throw it away. The value of the writing (if any) will have to be in the things I learn and habits I build doing it.

So far, it seems to be working as a motivation technique, but that could just be the discipline of writing weekly.


Some people make a point of giving the villains a chance to repent and be forgiven before defeating them. The narrator of this sonnet wasn’t given that offer.

Though it won't matter now, I've changed my mind.
On random towns, I'll no more force my will,
No more send out my troops to maim and kill.
Good reasons to were getting hard to find.

Fame, I have won; of fortune had my taste
— Enough to seek it by an honest path.
Power had me. I lived on its behalf,
My own regime's chief tool of laying waste.

From all of this, there's lessons I have learned.
What goods evil can buy, and at what price.
The measure of my virtue and my vice.
And that I won't escape what I have earned.

And still I feel, as I prepare to die,
A path that taught so much is worth a try.

ROW80 Check-in, Week 4

Here’s my check-in linky for the fourth week of A Round of Words in 80 days.

Once again, I’ve followed a good week with a bad one. Due mainly to poor sleeping patterns, I didn’t get writing until Friday (hence, again, no mid-week check-in). I wrote 160 words then, before deciding I wasn’t getting anywhere and giving up, so they probably don’t count. Since I planned to be away from home today, I deliberately took time to write on Saturday, and did get about 840 words then.

Along with a sonnet of about 100 words, this puts me at 950 or so for the week. That’s further behind than I was for Week 2, which I’m mainly blaming on a poor sleeping pattern.

I did come out of last week ahead, but I agree with Candice Abraham that it isn’t a good idea to use extra words from previous weeks as an excuse to slack. Of course, by assuming I can catch up the extra words next week, I’m effectively ‘borrowing’ words from the future, which is arguably the same thing. I would try to discuss that point, but I can’t afford to stay up any longer.