Round Of Words / 80 Days

Back in November I successfully completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge. I wrote a 50,002-word (as yet unedited) novel in 1 month. That experience was so stressful such an empowering accomplishment, I decided I can’t wait for next November to sign up for another timed group writing project. A depressing helpful lesson I learned from NaNoWriMo is I am more likely to accomplish personal goals if I’m accountable to other people- even if those other people are virtual strangers online.

A Round of Words in 80 Days will happen 4 times during the year. Round 1 begins January 3 and ends . . 80 days later. (You do the math, I’m more of a word person.)

Each Round has 3 challenges- measure, chunk, and blog. For Round 1, my personal challenges are:

1.  Measure- write a draft of a new novel in 80 days.

2. Chunk- write at least 700 words of my new novel per day.

3. Blog- as you see from this post, I already have that part nailed.

Now to sit down and pick up my tools:

Happy New Year, and Happy Writing!

Daily Check-Ins:

Date  Words

1-3     715

1-4     712

1-5     765

1-6     808

1-7     897

1-8     768

1-9     752

1-10   775

1-11   845

1-12   875

1-13   793

1-14   727

1-15   710

1-16   773

1-17   704

1-18   784

1-19   704

1-20   743

1-21   765

1-22   748

1-23   762

1-24   713

1-25   737

1-26   715

1-27   736

1-28   760

1-29   745

1-30   767

1-31   778

2-1    727

2-2    738

2-3    780

2-4    707

2-5    707   (again!)

2-6    746

2-7    727

2-8    720

2-9    733

2-10  728

2-11  792

2-12  767

2-13  710

2-14  990

2-15  765

2-16  855

2-17  758

2-18  806

2-19  882

2-20  708

2-21  745

2-22  718

2-23  763

2-24  710

2-25  710   (again!)

2-26  725

2-27  748

2-28  720

3-1   732

3-2   725

3-3   728

3-4   810

3-5   802

3-6   718

3-7   750

3-8   838

3-9   725

3-10  825

3-11  797

3-12  735

3-13  868

3-14  805

3-15  715

3-16  722   (brief novel outline- I do things backwards)

As the draft of my novel is basically done, the remaining word counts will be from “character profile worksheets.” The word counts will include the pre-written questions.

3-17  715

3-18  736

3-19  707

3-20  713

3-21  705

3-22  708

3-23  722   DONE!

Leave a comment


  1. ROW80 sounds cool. I wasn’t familiar with it until you mentioned it. Good luck with all your goals for 2011.

    I have some writing to catch up on today, and it’s all the fault of the Three Stooges. My wife saw there was a the Three Stooges marathon on yesterday, and even if we weren’t watching, it was on in the background.

    I have a very high tolerance for prolonged Three Stooges, but I think my wife beats me, there. She probably could have watched the entire marathon, instead of the last 8 or 9 hours of it.

    • Thank you! Good luck with your 2011 goals as well. 🙂

      I LoveX3 The Three Stooges, and watch the marathon every New Year’s Eve / Day / whenever I can catch it.

  2. That’s a really nice idea. I think it is helpful to set goals and have an “audience” like that. Good luck! 🙂

    • Thanks, and good luck with your 2011 goals! 🙂

      I’ve set the bar pretty high for myself this year with ROW80 and several other projects, but I believe my goals are sustainable and realistic.

      • Thank you! (I have a few. :))
        I think setting the bar high is fine as long as you don’t get completely devastated if you don’t quite manage everything. Sometimes that life thing gets in the way. Anyway, I think ROW80 is a brilliant idea. And I’m guessing you’ll be doing NaNoWriMo again?

  3. Funny thing about NaNo- the writing and winning parts were great, but the getting to and from the TGIO party (the only NaNo party I attended) was a nightmare.

    I mapped out my route online and took a bus / subway into Boston. I even had the location programmed into my Blackberry. I ended up walking up and down an actual highway, wondering why my Blackberry kept telling me my TGIO party was in the middle of a river at the side of a residential neighborhood. When I finally figured that out, I wondered why the subway let me off so far away from where I needed to be. I finally got back on the subway and got off at the right stop. Then more walking up and down the street of the party location. I made it to the last hour of the party through sheer grit-filled determination. Then trying to find my way back to the subway was another hour of confusion and frustration. I’ve been to Boston by myself plenty of times, and have gotten very lost on almost all of those trips, mostly because I have dyscalculia.

    I know the TGIO party is 100% optional, and has nothing to do with participating in NaNo, but I still need time to separate the bad party trip from the good NaNo experience. I guess I’m weird that way.

    • I can see why that would affect your whole experience with NaNo. But I hope you’ll be able to put it behind you and enjoy the writing part again.
      (I have a protagonist here who used to live in Boston. Maybe he could give you a hand. ;-))

      • As long as your protagonist fits in my back pocket, he’s more than welcome to escort me on my next Boston outing. lol

      • Unfortunately he doesn’t. But he would be a dashing companion. 😉

  4. I hear you on the accountability bit… And it sounds like you have some very good goals! Great going so far!

    • Thank you! With ROW80 and my other writing projects this year, I’m writing more now than ever. It’s great. 🙂

  5. Stacey Wallace Benefiel

     /  January 9, 2011

    Congratulations on meeting your goal every day! Best of luck in week 2!

  6. NaNoWriMo made a similar impact on me which is why I jumped on the idea of ROW80 – a lot less stress but still the fun and accountability thrown in.

    Well done on your first successful week, here’s to many more. 🙂

    • Thank you! Gotta love these group writing challenges . . even though (now that I look around at what others are doing) I’m probably not “updating” in the spirit of the challenge. But all I really want to share is my daily word count. I’ll share the rest in the form of my completed, printed novel. 😉

  7. It sounds like you’re right on track. Way to go!

  8. All I can say is ditto on all of the above. NaNoWriMo was an empowering accomplishment for me as well and I think it was mostly do to online friends. Here’s to a great year with ROW80!

    • Yes, this particular writing challenge seems to be very community-oriented. Thanks and good luck with ROW80! 🙂

  9. Congrats on your achievements. That accountability thing is so key, isn’t it? I know it helps me. And the thing I really like about the ROW80 challenge is that you set your own goals.

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  10. You are steady as a rock! 😀

  11. Still going strong, I see. Great job!

  12. You are doing very well. I’m not cranking out nearly that many words a day…time to buckle down and go to it. ^_^

    • Thanks! I’m not allowed to go to bed at the end of the day until I crank out my words. And I need sleep, so it works out. 😉

  13. Welcome to the row80 club. It’s been immensely helpful. The accountability thing is a good thing for me. Good luck with your new novel.

  14. Look at you go with those daily totals!
    Keep up the great work 🙂

  15. Congrats on your progress. This is my first visit here; I’ve written down your link so I can return regularly.

  16. Well done, looks like your doing really well.

  17. Wow – you’re very consistent. Lookin’ good!

  18. Nice work!

    Question: Do you keep pretty close track of your word count as you write and stop at around the 700 mark or do you have a chunk of time set aside and 700-800 words fits nicely in it?

    (Just nosily curious. That string of word counts is a beautiful thing.)

    • Thank you for the compliments! 🙂

      I more or less keep track of my word count as I go, but I don’t look at it every 5 minutes. The way I have Office Word set up, 700 words is almost 2 pages, so when I near the 2 page mark, I finish the draft of the scene. If I’m just under 700 words, I scroll through and add relevant detail until I’m over 700.

  19. Still going strong. Great job!

  20. Stacey Wallace Benefiel

     /  January 23, 2011

    You’re doing great! 700 seems to be the magic number for you and it is working beautifully. Good luck this week.

    • Thank you. Yes, I’m very happy it’s working for me so far. “One day at a time” is what’s keeping me going. 🙂

  21. Look at you go! Maybe this challenge is too easy for you. LOL

    • Too easy? I’ll try to remember that the next time I’m sitting in front of my computer at 2 in the morning, trying to squeeze the last dozen words out of my brain (the day isn’t over until I go to bed). lol 😉

  22. Looks like you’re keeping up with your word count. Good progress.

  23. doing well – I haven’t done the maths – not good at it I am sure someone has

  24. Good to see you’re keeping up your wordcount goals! I’ve been terrible at that.

  25. Brilliant progress!
    It’s great to see how consistent you’ve been in your goal over the month 🙂

    • Thank you! 🙂 I’m finally finding discipline with these writing challenges. But being snowed in helps. lol

  26. Stacey Wallace Benefiel

     /  February 6, 2011

    You’re doing so great! I’m impressed that you’re keeping the word count up. Keep on truckin’. 🙂

  27. Very extensive tracking! I’m nowhere near as detailed, so I’m impressed! Well done and keep at it.

  28. Whoa. This is a different way of checking-in. Awesome way to see that you are definitely meeting your 700+ words a day. Congratulations!

  29. What a neat idea, keeping your progress organised on one page! Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished 🙂

  30. I love seeing your progress, you’re still doing so well! I wish I could be as dependable on the daily writing goals. 🙂

    • Thank you for checking up on me! 🙂

      There have been a few nights I felt like putting off, but then I would have dates missing in my above list. Can’t have that. lol

  31. Solid update. Thanks!

  32. Ooh, nice steady progress and you haven’t missed a day. That takes discipline. Congrats.

  33. It’s looking good! My WIP for Row 80 is also the one I started during NaNoWriMo, which is why my word count is now impressive…more so than my daily progress!

    Here’s my ROW 80

    • Thanks! 🙂 Good idea about combining NaNoWriMo with ROW80. You’ll have one epic novel when all is said and done.

  34. Wow, you’re rockin’ the writing this week. Nice job! All your little strikeouts in your post cracked me up. I can’t do NaNo myself; working full-time, with a family and a baby granddaughter living with me–they would all ferociously rebel if I checked out for a month to write, and I’d go bonkers from the pressure. LOL

    • Thank you! 🙂

      I can’t imagine doing a writing challenge and doing all the other stuff you mentioned at the same time. Heck, I can’t imagine doing all that stuff even without a writing challenge. lol

  35. You are a shoe in for most consistent ROW80er. Very inspiring.

    • lol Thanks! 🙂 Thing is, I have a telecommuting job and my only dependents are my kitties. So I’d venture to say I have more time and less distractions than most of the other writers I’ve read about in this challenge.

  36. Great job on being consistent. Looks like you’ll be exactly where you want to be when we’re done.

  37. Nice. That’s all I got to say. Keep it up.

  38. Looks like you’ve churned out some good word counts this week. Good job! 😉

  39. well done – good word counts

  40. Good job! I kind of do the same thing with the outline…I have a tentative one in the beginning, which I flesh out later.

    Hang in there…and I, too, do better during a challenge, even though it may not look like it…I totally “blew” the part about writing everyday, but then I usually make up for it later.

    • Thank you!

      Yes, I do much better with fellow online writers looking over my shoulder. In my writing, I’ve gone from 8% disciplined to 98% disciplined. 🙂 LOVE THAT. And thank you for looking over my shoulder. 😉

  41. *high five from far away*
    Well done!

  42. Congratulations on all your hard work! I hope we see you in round two. 🙂

    You did really well and it was encouraging for me to see your regular word count updates. And well done on finishing that first draft!

    • Thank you! I’m glad my word counts weren’t a total bore. lol And you definitely will see me in the next round! 🙂

  43. Congrats! Hope you’re doing the next round.

  1. Round of Editing – 80 Days « CMStewartWrite

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