ROW80 Week 1: Plans

(Other ROW80 participants)

My main goal this week was to write a plan for my Mary-Sue research project, which I did. (See my other blog — I’ll post further updates on this there.)

However, I was so focussed on that I didn’t spend any time on creative writing (my second goal).

The research project won’t properly kick off until mid-August, so I’m increasing my creative writing goal to five days a week for the time being.

Good luck and happy writing!

ROW80 Round Three Goals

(other ROW80 participants)

I’m starting Round 3 of A Round of Words in 80 Days with these goals:

  • Write creatively (not editing, not blog posts) at least one day a week.
  • This week: draft a research plan for a hobby project I’m considering (I want to measure the effects of “Mary Sue” characters, and doing it scientifically means I have to declare a plan in advance.)
  • Subsequent weeks: finalise the research plan, and start collecting data.
  • Review these goals at the beginning of August.

Having a straight writing goal was getting a bit boring and frustrating, so I want to try shifting focus for a while.

Good luck and happy writing!

ROW80 Week 10.5: Collapse

(other ROW80 participants)

Since finishing my second draft last week, I haven’t made any further progress; travel, the flu, and generally being sick of the story have combined to put me off doing any more.

At this point, I suspect the best thing I can do is to start working on something else. I’m going to need more roleplaying material soon, and several other ideas have been growing in the background, so I won’t be short of things to work on.

However, this does mean my goal of posting a story this round is probably a failure. It’s not been a total loss, by any means — I’ve learned a lot about editing, and I’ll very likely get back to this story at some point — but it’s still frustrating to keep missing these goals.

On the other hand, if I wasn’t failing, I wouldn’t be pushing myself hard enough.

New goal for this coming week: write five days out of seven, and find a new project to focus on.

Good luck and happy writing!

ROW80 Week 8: Somewhere New

(other ROW80 participants)

I’m now officially moved in to my new home!

The actual move itself wasn’t as hard as I’d feared (partly due to lots of help from my family — thank you, everyone!), but packing, unpacking, and setting up furniture still claimed most of the weekend.

As a result, I only got three evenings of editing in. That covered everything up to the ending, but I still need to do the ending itself.

With the various house- and travel-related things I’ll have to do in June, I doubt I’ll have my story ready to post this round.

My new goal will be to have a polished draft ready by 16 June, and hopefully get feedback on it that weekend. Then I’ll decide where to go from there.

Good luck and happy writing!

ROW 80 Round 2 2016

(other ROW80 participants)

I can feel myself coming down with a cold this week, so I’m tempted to tone down my goals and declare it a week of rest.

Last time I tried that, though, I ended up with neither rest nor progress. Somehow, I don’t feel ready to sleep if I haven’t done something productive.

Therefore, I’m keeping my writing goal from last round:

  • Write 500 words a day, 5 days a week.

My other goals this round follow from my two objectives for 2016: make programming a goal, and communicate with writers & programmers.

  • Post a short story here this round. Kait Nolan’s start-of-round post has inspired me to work on this. For this week, I’ll aim to choose a story and do an evening or two of editing.
  • Start a feature list for my programming project. Once I list what I want it to do, I can measure progress by ticking off items on the list. I wonder if I should be applying this to my writing as well…

Good luck and happy writing!

ROW80 Week 7: Space Enough

(other ROW80 participants)

This week has been less busy, and I’ve had time to properly start writing again.

My local writing group met on Thursday. We discussed goals for the month, and I decided to aim for 500 words, 5 days a week. This will also be my ROW80 goal.

Most of that writing has been on a new project: a blank-verse play set on a forum. It’s probably a crazy idea, but I’m going to follow it a bit and see where it takes me.

Meanwhile, my Pathfinder project has come to fruition: I ran my roleplaying group through the start of it yesterday, which went well. It’s not completely finished — there were a few surprises this session I’ll have to adjust it for, and a few bits are still missing — but it’s on the back burner for now.

Lastly, buying a house has stalled a little. I’ve got some decisions to make, and some paperwork to collect, before I can apply for the loan. Things may resolve themselves this week, but I’m past the point where rushing them is a good idea.

Good luck and happy writing!

Goals for 2016, and for ROW80 Round 1

For the last few months, I’ve been the only one in a job that previously had a three-person team. This has had a couple of consequences:

Firstly, I’ve had to think more seriously about becoming a better programmer, so I can keep up with what work needs of me.

Secondly, I’ve been finding reasons to stress out, and allowing this blog (and other bits of my life) to fall apart.

Goals for 2016

I’d like to do a few things differently this year:

  • Make programming a proper part of my goals. ROW80 being a round of words, I’ve tended to exclude (and hence ignore) my programming projects.
  • Communicate more with my fellow writers (and programmers). Living in a small town, it’s easy to neglect this.

I’ve also made a few commitments for the year already:

  • Prepare for Pathfinder (roleplaying) starting again in February; it’s my turn to run this again. I’ve got some preparation done already, but it will need adjusting for where the game ended up.
  • Participate in my family’s impromptu writing competition (write a love story). This might not produce a good story, but it’s a good chance to write as part of a group.
  • Lastly, I’ve been considering taking a holiday in February or March, if the situation at work is stable enough to allow it.

    January/ROW80 Goals

    In light of all that, here are my ROW80 goals for January:
    (other ROW80 participants)

    • Finish writing up an adventure for the roleplaying group, by working on it for at least ten evenings. This will be my main focus this month.
    • Find some programming events I could go to. There are two organisations that run events within driving distance; I expect it will take an evening to research each.
    • Re-read Pride and Prejudice and start on a story for the writing challenge. I’d like to get 2,000 words done on this by February, which should take four or five evenings.
    • Get started on holiday plans, by spending a (weekend) day or so finding possible destinations.

    Programming is notably missing from this list. It’s possible a programming project will grow out of the roleplaying prep; if not, I’ll add it to my goals once I have some of the other things under control.

    I am also still looking for a house (indeed, I should be inspecting one this week), but I’m reluctant to make this a goal, since it depends so much on what is there to buy.

    Good luck and happy writing!

ROW80 Goals: Round 3, 2015

A Round of Words in 80 Days -- ROW80

A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life.

This is my seventh round of the challenge, and I’m joining the other participants by stating my goals for the next 80 days:


Firstly, I’m aiming to write at least five days each week, and to draft or edit two short stories in that time. In the long term, I’d like to post the occasional short story on this blog.

Secondly, I plan to read a book every two weeks.

I’m also in the process of buying a house. My next step at the moment is to get a proper inspection of the building, which I’m hoping to do in the next couple of weeks.

Good luck and happy writing!

ROW80 Week 4: Stepping Back

(other ROW80 participants)

I’ve decided to set my short story aside and work on something else, for several reasons:

Firstly, every change I make seems to reveal two more things that don’t work. This is probably a normal part of editing, but it’s starting to wear me out.

Secondly, I realised I built this story around a deus ex machina. I can think of ways to make it work, but they all involve throwing away changes I’m fairly attached to right now.

New goals

Editing even a 4000-word short story took a long time; for now, I’d like to work on some shorter things that I can finish more quickly.

To that end, my new writing goal is to write or draft one short (under 1000 words) in the next seven days. I’m also keeping the target of five or more writing days a week (as well as my reading goal).

Speaking of reading goals: I read Agatha Christie’s After the Funeral this week. As usual with Christie, I was very impressed by the way she handles all the relationships between characters.

Good luck and happy writing!