Joining A Round of Words in 80 days

Posted: June 26, 2011 in Writing

First, I need to state that I have spent too much time away from my blog. For those of you who have enjoyed reading it, I apologize. I can now state to you that this will become a more regularly updated place to visit.

In other news, I am joing A Round of Words in 80 days. I have to thank Marcia Richards at Marcia Richards…Married with Stories for bringing this to my attention. AROW is a writing challenge that is right up my alley. You set a writing goal for 80 days starting July 4th.

 As a teacher, I like the idea of goal setting, and I have to say that this challenge has done it right. It even has a section on how to set a realistic and attainable goal. After all, a goal that is too simple will not encourage any real work, and a goal that can’t be reached will be deflating. My goal is to get 60000 words in 80 days. For me this will be very attainable, as it averages out to 750 words a day. I know, from my past work, that I can have days that I get almost 2000 words down, then others that are more like 0-200 depending on my schedule. My goal should be in my reach, and it should also finish my rough draft. That would be a joy.

Oh, and about goal setting in writing. Too often I hear about people who are upset that they didn’t write their 500 words on a given day, and how they feel like a failure. To those people I offer this bit of advice. Don’t sweat it. Look at it as a distance race. When people are in a distance race they go at several paces depending on the situation (I used to coach track as well. go figure). If you feel that your pace is lacking, believe that you will have days where you blow by your goal.

Another thing to remember that when you are writing, especially a rough draft, you shouldn’t worry about perfection. One of the things that stymies my ability to get new words on the page is the urge to change around what is already there. I have learned to take the approach of giving myself no more than 10 minutes to revise a small portion, but then it is on to the new stuff. I then make it a point to reach a goal word count, then reward myself by allowing a little more editing to take place when the goal is reached. Try it, it may work for you.

Well, I need to go warm up for the A Round of Words in 80 Days. I am hoping to start the challenge with 40000 words in my novel. That will mean that I will finish with 100000, then some editing should bring it down to 80-85000. Perfect! However it means I need to average 1000 words a day until then. Oops.  I am such a slacker.


  1. Marcia says:

    Love your thoughts on goal-setting! I’m so happy you’re back and getting into this challenge! And thanks for the shout out! Go get ’em, tiger!

  2. jmcmurray says:

    Okay, so in my warm up to the 80 day challenge I find myself 5000 words away froim my goal with four days to go. That means that all I am going to do here today is this comment and then to work. Yes, it is 11:00 p.m. I plan to work until my eyes fall out. Hopefully that is after midnight.

    • jmcmurray says:

      Okay, good night world. Did 750 words in 1.5 hours. A little slow going for me tonight, but I had to read through piles of notes for details that my brain was not recalling. As of now my story fills 140 pages of a traditional paperback. At the rate I am going, it is going to be a monster. That’s what editing is for.

  3. […] begins on the 4th of July. Well, I guess I inspired someone else to join. Jason McMurray, over at Brewing Up Stories and Beer had taken a leave from his blog, but he’s back now and writing up a storm! Now you can cheer […]

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