Setting goals and sticking to them

I’m a procrastinator.  I don’t mean to be, but I am.  I try and try to stick to finishing my novels but something always comes up and the famous words “I’ll do it tomorrow” inevitably spurts from my mouth.  That’s why I’m looking forward to Row80.

I didn’t know anything about this until a beta reader friend recently signed up for Row80, and, after reading about it, I thought it would be good for me, the procrastinator.  Why?  Because it won’t let me put off my goals as I have to announce to my fellow Row80 members of my progress twice a week.

So, what is Row80?  It’s a writing challenge based on the understanding that writers do have lives outside of writing.  We have real, every day issues to deal with like jobs, kids, spouses and everything else that goes along with them.  Row80 helps you to set goals and stick to them by participating in a blog that holds you accountable for those goals.

At first, I wasn’t going to sign up for this as I’ve signed up for my very first go at NaNoWriMo.  But while forcing myself to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days is an incredible and exhilarating  challenge, it is more important to set long-term goals as well…that is, reachable and attainable goals.  That’s why Row80 appeals to me.

I don’t know if I’ll meet NaNo’s goals.  That’s not being negative; it’s being honest.  I do know, however, I can reach Row80 goals because I set them, and I can change them according to real-life circumstances.

So, my goal for the next 80 days is this:

Finish the rewrite on my novel and send it out to 3 beta readers for final corrections.

Rewrite my synopsis and query.

Send rewrite of first novel to Publisher and two agents.

Do at least 3 beta reads a week.

Find a job, even if it’s part-time, to take the edge off.

Do my best to finish a 50,000 word novel for NaNo, and finally

Finish the first draft of book 2 of my Chronicles of Fallhollow saga.

This is a lot for me, but if I can stay focused and stick to the tasks, I know I can succeed.  I’m really looking forward to both NaNo and Row80.  Slow and steady, one step at a time with an extreme burst of energy.  If anything, it should prove to be an interesting and fun ride.