ROW80: Something that Helped

One week into ROW80 2012, Round 1, and I’m already learning!

Last week, Kait Nolan posted about the concept of a test mile on the ROW80 blog, and how it can apply to goal setting. Toward the end of the last round, I’d gotten my revision down to the type-in stage, which is when all the changes are marked in the printed manuscript, and all I have left to do is type in the changes. Sounds easy, right?

A typical revision page

The timing of the “test mile” blog was funny, because I’d just figured out the week before how much I could do on a type-in in one hour: ten pages. That doesn’t sound like much, until you see that while many of those pages look like the one on the left, a fair number of them look like the one on the right.

There are all too many that look like this

But what was really great, was I found something else that helped: Breaking a task down into manageable chunks, AND planning the work for each day. I read this on someone else’s blog to plan the work for each day, and sadly, I don’t remember where (if you know, please comment so I can link to them!). From my time management studies earlier this year, I know that I have about an hour to spend each evening on actual writing tasks (writing and revision, as opposed to promo, commenting on blogs and responding to comments on my blog, social media networking, cover art, reading for contests, etc.) I also estimated that I should be able to spend 3-5 hours on Saturday, since I didn’t have much else going on besides putting away the Christmas stuff (done – yay!).

So I broke out five segments of approximately 10 pages each (1-3 scenes), and paperclipped them. That left only 20 pages for my Saturday work. Perfect! I could have fit in more, so left that extra time for reading for a contest, writing this blog a day early, and maybe doing a test mile for my next task: reading my book aloud. This is an important part of my revision process; it’s where I make sure everything reads smoothly, the characters’ thoughts and dialogue are appropriate for who they are and their situation, typos, and making sure I stay true to my writing voice. After that it’ll go to the beta readers.

One thing I see a lot of other ROW80 participants doing that I haven’t is to add in other goals, especially ones relating to social media and blogging,  fitness, and decluttering. So I’ll jump in there, too, and maybe share a bit more about what’s worked for me on those fronts in future updates.

So for this week, my goals are:

  1. Do a “test mile” read-aloud of Time’s Fugitive
  2. Eight hours of read-aloud of Time’s Fugitive, hopefully at least 1/4 of the book
  3. Two blog posts plus a ROW80 update on Sunday
  4. Comment on at least 5 blogs this week
  5. Minimum of 3 status updates or shares on Facebook
  6. Tweet at least once a day
  7. Read one Golden Heart entry
  8. Three interval workouts plus two short workouts (bonus: dog walk or some other activity on one of the other two days)
  9. Declutter my desk top (the real one, not the computer desktop)
  10. Bonus: write one book review on Amazon & B&N

Whether or not you’re a writer, did you set goals this week, and if so, how did you do?