ROW80 2012 – Round 1 – I’m IN!

I am excited to take part in my second ROW80 challenge (the writing challenge that knows people have a life) and to start 2012 out on what I think is the right foot to achieve my goals. I learned a ton in my first ROW80 experience and I am pumped to put those lessons to good use.

The challenge sums up my New Year’s resolutions, which are to write a novel and live a healthier lifestyle. I think breaking my year-long goals into smaller, more manageable chunks of 80 days will help motivate me to stay on point and keep me accountable. I am pumped so let us wait no longer.

Here are my goals for this Round 1 of ROW80 2012.


  • Complete outline of WIP
  • Write 1750 words a week, on average 250 words a day (can be on WIP or other writings like flash fiction, character development, world building etc)
  • Finish James Scott Bell book
  • Read 2 other writing craft books

Social Media

  • Blog – 4 times a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday)
  • Blog – 2 ROW80 progress updates a week (Sunday and Wednesday)
  • Tweet/Comment on at least 10 blogs a week
  • Comment on 1 new blog per week (ROW80 or otherwise)

Healthy Lifestyle

  • Cardio – 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
  • BowFlex – 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
  • Maintain a daily food/migraine journal

So how’s it gonna work?

  • I have created a ROW80 page (check it out). This is where I declare my writing goals publically (and update if required). I’ve updated the page with this round’s goals and you can see my previous rounds’ goals.
  • I will post my ROW80 progress reports every Wednesday (don’t worry, Urban Word Wednesday is not going anywhere) and Sunday for the next 80 days!
  • I’ll link all my ROW80 updates on the calendars on the ROW80 page so you’ll always be able to find everything in one place.
  • I’ve created a ROW80 category so you’ll be able to search out my ROW80 posts easily.

ROW Deets

And in case this post has inspired you to join in on the ROW80 FUN, here are some basic deets:

  • There are 4 rounds a year, each running 80 days. Round 1 runs from January 2 to March 22, 2012.
  • Goal can be anything you like as long as it is measurable (e.g. number of words/pages, specified amount of time to spend on writing per day/week, number of pages edited etc).
  • Once you have settled on a goal, you write it up on your blog (voila, right here) and link to it on the Goals Linky for the Round, which will be posted on the ROW80 Blog.
  • If your goal changes before the end of the 80 days, simply write up a new goals post and link to it on the latest check-in day.
  • We have check-ins twice a week on Wednesday and Sundays where you will update us the same way (e.g. write up a blog post of your progress and link to it on that day’s linky).
  • On Twitter we use a hashtag of #ROW80 if you wanna come hang out.
  • And if you happen to find us after a round has begun, just write up your goals post and hop on in whenever. We’re a friendly bunch.
  • Be sure to grab the ROW80 badge from the sidebar on the ROW80 Blog.

Here we go…let the games begin!

Are you taking part in this Round 1 of ROW80? What kind of writing and/or life goals have you set for yourself for 2012?



  1. Yay, Natalie! I’m in too. I’m a rookie, so I have no idea what to expect, though 🙂 Your goals seem challenging, but I know you can do it!

  2. You’ve got some ambitious health goals there! Overall, great goals and I wish you all the best with them. Rock the ROW 🙂

    • Yeah, the health goals are the ones that scare me the most because I have the worst track record in meeting them but I thought maybe I’d have more success if I really PUT it out there. LOL!! Here’s hoping. Thanks for the FAB wishes Raelyn! 🙂

  3. The ultimate Blog Jack!!!!- posting twice in one day ultimately killing Hubby’s Corner! If you listen carefully you can hear Hubby’s Corner’s last dying breath! haha- it’s good to have goals though!

  4. These are serious goals, my friend! I can’t wait until you start getting your book under your belt and fall in love. 🙂

    • Eeeekkeee…I know, eh?!?!?! I decided this round it was time to step it up because I just left myself way to much wiggle room last time. Just because I don’t have an outline, I wasn’t letting myself off the writing goal – there’s lots I can do to create the writing habit WHILE plotting to practice and get things moving.
      I can’t WAIT either Jenny….woot woot!!!

  5. Hi Natalie *waves* Glad to have you back!
    Awesome goals, dear, achievable and exciting goals! You know I’ll be here to cheer you on and lecture when you’re high or down lol
    Good luck!

  6. Awesome! You’ve got some great goals there ~ and I’m so impressed with the ROW80 page (I’m such a simpleton, I know), but it’s so cool!

    Remember, your book can’t get published if you don’t write it. You did a lot of prep last ROW80, so this time around we’re looking forward to loads and loads of progress on your novel!

    You totally got this.

    • Awwwww…sniff…thank you Tameri. I really appreciate such a huge vote of confidence from you…it means the world to me and I am hoping to knock my goals out of the park. I am trusting your and Jenny’s advice and just leaping in with both feet and NO net! Woot woot – here goes nothing!
      Glad you like the page…hehehe…I had so much fun putting it together! 🙂

  7. Wow, girl, when do you SLEEP?! You’ve got some awesome goals here, Natalie! Woot!

    • I was up at 3 am pondering that very question – to achieve all my goals, when will I sleep? How will I do it all? LOL! Actually, I figure if I give up my TV addiction, I should be able to fair ok. We’ll see. LOL!
      Thanks Kathy – woot woot!

  8. P.S. – that Bowflex sounds pretty cool, too 😉

  9. Wow Natalie. Lots of great goals. I am also aiming for 250 words a day. And I’m working on the plot drill that James Scott Bell outlines in Plot & Structure. Is that the book you’re reading this round? And good luck.

    • Thanks so much Yolanda – I’ll be over to check out your digs right after my reply. It sounds like both of us are on totally the same page. Too amazing! Yes, I am reading and doing the drills out of James Scott Bell’s book Plot and Structure. How are you finding it? I’d love to hear more about where you are in the process? Best of luck with your goals as well! 🙂

  10. Good luck, Natalie! I’m really excited for you. You are going to rock these goals, girlie-girl.

  11. happy new year, and new row80! your goals are fantastic – a good mix of challenging yet attainable. i’m inspired to form new habits!!

    looking forward to reading about your progress! i hope to outline and write part of a new project this round, too – can’t wait!!

  12. I’ve really enjoyed this writing challenge. It’s goal-setting and accountability with the personalization and flexibility my life needs. I’d love to hear what you think of James Scott Bell’s book. I read Plot & Structure last year and plan to read it again in 2012. I think a second read-through will help me grasp even more. Best wishes, Natalie! Happy New Year.

    • I know, I love the set-up of this writing challenge as well Julie. So far, I am really enjoying James’ book and I hope to finish it up soon so I can give you all my feedback. Sometimes I have a hard time applying his concepts to say a possible chick lit book (who is opposing the chick?!?! other than herself of course!??!) but regardless, I am enjoying his style, suggestions, and exercises. I’ll keep you posted. Let me know what you think of your second read-through. Happy New Year and all the best Julie! 🙂

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