Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

#ROW80: Round 4 Goals

It’s here, it’s here! A Round of Words in 80 Days, Round 4, is here!

ROW 80, of course, is none other than the awesome writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s flexible, because it allows us to pick our own manageable goals, and there’s no penalty for having to switch goals up midway through.

As many of you know, I participated in Round 3 and had an absolutely amazing time.  Publicly posting my goals, as well as progress updates, really gave me the boost I needed to tackle my various WIPs. I’m proud to say that I accomplished a lot, and I wouldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement of the friends that I’ve made.

I want to carry on the discipline that I’ve started to build into Round 4. I have a lot going on in the next few months, and so I’m hoping to use my goals as a way to help me focus on what needs to get done. This time around, I’ve decided to tackle weekly goals, and instead of targeting a specific word count, I’m trying to estimate a certain number of hours that I’ll spend on each goal. I think this will be a bit more flexible, and a little easier for me to complete.

The Goals!

Write, edit, and polish the MA thesis. I have roughly 8-10 hours per week set aside to tackle this project, which is at the top of my priority list for this round.

Write, edit, and develop WIPs. I have another 8-10 hours per week scheduled to deal with my fiction-writing, though I may have adjust the number of hours as we go. For the month of October, my writing time will consist of outlining, plotting, and planning my November NaNo project. I’ll also be editing TELL ME NO LIES, my August CampNaNo story, and toying with an idea for a novella that popped into my head yesterday (not sure how far this third project will go, but there is an outline, and a cast of characters, and an interesting set of problems at stake, so we’ll see). Once November rolls around, I’ll be in full-scale NaNo mode, and my writing time will most likely be consumed with trying to reach my 1667+ words per day.

Tinker with author platform/social media stuff. I’ve made the decision to hold off on declaring a set number of weekly blog posts for the moment, beyond ROW80 check-ins, that is. I’ve just started Kristen Lamb’s “Blogging to Build Your Brand” class (and there are a number of ROW-ers in the mix as well!), which will last through November. The course assignments will help me to further refine my goals and topics for my blog.

Exercise 4-5 times each week. I started making some progress with this goal towards the very end of Round 3, and I’m determined to keep up my momentum during Round 4.

I have a fancy-schmancy schedule that I’ve made myself to help me stay on track, and I’m utilizing Google calendar’s task list so that I remember everything that needs to get done. I’ll also be trying out some techniques to help me stay focused (there are a few that I found here that are really going to come in handy, I think).

I’ve peeked at the linky list to see who’s signed up for this round, and there are almost 100 people listed! I’m super excited to get to know all the new participants, and to catch up with my old friends… and I’m even more excited to party with everyone on Wednesday for our “Rock the ROW” Twitter party! We’ve got loads to celebrate, so I hope that everyone who (1) participated in the last round, (2) jumped in for this round, or (3) just wants to check out our awesomeness swings by.  There will be bubbly drinks and dancing for all! 😉

The details:

  • Theme: “Rock the Row”
    However you want to work that in is great. I leave it to your outrageously creative imagination!
  • Date: October 5th, 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM ET in the U.S.
    This also happens to be the first day of check-in so there should be a ton of ROW80 fun happening around the blogosphere.
  • Party will be held at the #ROW80 hashtag.
    Fire up your Tweet Deck or HootSuite and let’s get jiggy with it.
  • Photo Competition:
    You can start now…we won’t tell. Start digging for or taking photos that reflect the theme. We’ll do our best to gather them and decide on the best to spotlight in a post at the ROW80 blog. One the readers vote, the 1st place winner gets a copy of Kait Nolan’s latest book, Red, in e-book format!!
  • Friendly Blog Competition
    We will also post a mash-up of favorite ROCK THE ROW posts at the Row80 blog.

See you all at the #ROW80 hashtag on October 5th, and in the meantime, visit the other participants and check out their goals!


  1. I like the idea of time targets rather than words. Maybe that’s the secret 🙂

    • Looking at time targets is something that I didn’t think about until I found myself frazzling out over the amount of time I was devoting to writing (i.e., the problem I have with not knowing how to walk away). One of the suggestions that popped up a few times was instituting a time limit on writing time, which seemed crazy to me at first. This quarter, though, I think it’ll be the only way that I can get anything done! I’ll report back and let you all know how it goes. 😉

  2. Looking forward to Rockin the Row with you again Lena. See you at the party!

  3. Yeaaah! ROWnd 4! Your goals sound very do-able and well thought out. I think I might have given myself too many goals…

    • Crystal, I actually lost my original list of goals for Round 4, which were a LOT longer and more detailed. This is the best I could come up with before I went to bed last night, but I think it might be a little easier for me to “measure,” or whatever.

      Excited to embark on another round with you!

  4. We have almost identical goals, with the exception of the MA Thesis (and I’m happy to let you keep that one *grin*). So, Great Goals, Lena!

    Looking forward to NaNo and Kristen’s Class, both of which should be fun, informational learning experiences.

    Have a great week 🙂

    • Thanks, Gene! I’m definitely wishing I could pawn my thesis off on someone, but I know I need to just grit my teeth and get through it. (sigh.)

      Hope your week goes well, too!

  5. I’m not doing Nanowrimo this year. A novel is not on my radar. Unless I can swing it around and rather do a series of short stories. (No, stop thinking like that, you have too much on your plate already).

    Good luck on that thesis. It is the hardest part, finishing it.

    • Yes, given your focus, it definitely makes sense to not do NaNo this year. I had kicked around the idea of trying to write some short stories set in the universe of one of my WIPs, but I think I’ll focus on the novel. It should be an interesting experience, at any rate!

      And thanks for the luck — I’ll need it. 😀

  6. It’s great to see you here again! Good luck with all your goals this round.

  7. Good luck with all of your goals! I was in ROW80 round 2 but took a break during round 3. It’s nice to be back. 🙂

  8. Awesome goals! Having finally strapped myself with time goals for a change, I really admire people who can work with them. I have nooooooooo attention span, but I’ve been forcing my butt to write on a WIP for 45 minutes a day and today got me all antsy.

    I hope they all go well and wish you the best of luck, especially on the thesis!

    • Lovely to see you! It’s so funny, because I think the time targets will function in contradictory ways. With my fiction writing, it’ll keep me from getting too bogged down, because I have a real problem forcing myself to disconnect and walk away from my work. And when it comes to the thesis, it’ll force me to stay in the chair and get things done. There are SO many other things I’d rather be doing than research… :p

  9. Sounds like doable goals Lena! I’ve never tried “time” goals so I’ll be watching your progress, maybe I’ll revamp mine 🙂

    • Thanks, Raelyn! I’m also curious to see how the time goals are going to work out. One I like is the fact that I can count things like editing, research, and brainstorming under the umbrella of writing-related tasks. Last round, I felt like looking only at word counts discounted the hours I was spending just doing the background work for writing, so I wanted to try and pay more attention to that this time. 😀

  10. Nice goals, best of luck with them. Like you this round I think I’m going to have to dust off a calendar and get scheduling.

    • Thanks, Katy. It’s so funny — I haven’t attempted a schedule this detailed since I was in high school, and even then I usually had to abandon it after a few tries because I couldn’t stick to things. Hopefully I’m a bit more successful in the attempt this time around. 😀

  11. Fantastic idea to have time goals! Blocking off segments of time for fiction writing will allow you to feel that you’re progressing without leaving an opening for guilt if you don’t hit a certain word count goal (especially as the semester heats up)! With your busy schedule and full plate…I think you’ve made a wise decision. Best of luck, Lena. Of course, I’ll be cheering you on! ~ Nadja

    • Thanks, Nadja. Yes, these are exactly the reasons I chose to go with the time goals. It’ll also give me the chance to count brainstorming, world-building, and all that ‘background’ work towards my goals, too, which I really like.

      Excited to tackle this round with you!

  12. Brilliant goals! Hope the time rather than word count idea works well for you.

    NaNo here we come!!!!

  13. Sound like great goals, and very realistic! Good work and good luck. 🙂

    On another note — I was intending to subscribe to the blogs of the most regular friends I made in the last round, but I can’t see any way to do that on your new site. Email me?

    • Thanks, Ruth!

      In terms of subscribing, on the sidebar, there should be a widget that reads “subscribe by email.” It *should* be working. Try it and let me know?

  14. Wonderful set of goals. You’ve got a lot on your plate. Like the idea of adding in the exercise. I need to do that to keep myself accountable with that as well. Best of luck with your ma thesis. I know that takes priority over everything else. I’m considering going on for my masters…but think will dip my toes in the water with a couple on line writing classes first. 🙂 Thumbs up for NaNo. I’d like to do it this year but I have 4 first draft wips created during Nano that I need to do something with. How do you manage to work on more than one story at a time and keep all the characters straight? It’s something I need to wrap my brain around.

  15. Great goals, clearly stated and achievable. I like your plan of dedicating a certain time of the week to writing and not worrying about the word count.
    Have fun in Kristen’s class – I was in the wana711 (July and August) class and it was time very well spent!

  16. Good luck with that thesis! I think I need to take a page out of your book and work with Google Calendar to manage my schedule.

  17. Wowzers – you go girl. I love your goals and wish you oddles of success in attaining them! And I am sure you’ll get tons out of Kristen blogging to build a brand course. I did the July/August one and loved it. I hope you find it as wonderful! Looking forward to watching your blog and ROW80 accomplishments. Cheers!

  18. Have fun with your goals. I’m not tackling NaNo this year; I’ve got four existing novels waiting for attention after I get done with this round of revisions on my short story. But maybe I’ll give it another shot next year. Last year was better than my first time. Good luck with your thesis.

  19. Good idea to use Google calendars to keep track of all your goals. Very organized! Good luck and happy writing!

  20. You are so organized, you amaze me! Good luck with all your goals, I’m looking forward to another great round.

  21. Good luck, Lena! They are some awesome goals you have there. I feel my 50 words a day pale in comparison to your 1667+ word count goal.
    Perhaps I happened upon your blog via the Linky Tools page to get some encouragement.

    I also like that you added exercise to your goal list..

    Best of luck to you this round.


  22. Great, very do-able list, Lena! You’re going to walk away from Kristen’s class so ready to blog! You have your plate full, but it looks like you’re going to handle it well!

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