Sunday, February 15, 2015

ROW80 Sunday night with Seagulls

I took inspiration this week from ROW80 writer, Denise Young, who posts an admirably concise list of goals (and steady progress) for her ROW80 twice-weekly check-in.

As I crunched my goals into new categories, I discovered why I sometimes feel like I'm not making 'good' progress: I have too many goals. And I want to keep them all! Even if I chunk down to three main categories, the list of supporting goals just keeps growing.

I need to simplify. If I strategize by dividing all those goals into PRIMARY and SECONDARY goals, something amazing happened. What is most important to me floated right to the top. So here, with thanks again to Denise, are my goals for this first round of 2015 with this week's progress. Maybe next week, my check-in will be even shorter!

--Revise Section 01 on Rivers of Stone. Done. Beginning Section 02.
--Read Elizabeth Lyon's Manuscript Makeover. Finished Chap 4.
--Blog 3x week. 2/3 this week. Read others' posts x6 weekly. 12/6 this week. Participate in WIPpet Weds weekly. Done.
--Crit drafts by other writers 1x weekly. 3/1 done.
--Draft marketing plan w/action steps by month. Done.
--Evaluate possible ads: Collected background on 2 out of 5. 

Secondary goals are not invisible, but for this round, they will remain 'maybe' goals -- as in, maybe I'll work on these. How about you? Do you find how you set goals and track your progress changing?

And maybe for these last two weeks in Galveston (with slower internet), I will just sit out on the patio to watch these amazing black-headed seagulls circle overhead, their calls a raucous reminder of life near the sea. 

My caption: "Hey, George, you started revising your novel yet?"
George replies, "Yep."

Blackheaded Gulls by Jan Stefka (Flickr)


  1. Beth, I found too that the shorter my list of goals, the more I got done. It allows me to focus on what is the most important to me. And then when those secondary goals magically get done too, it is super-sweet! Have a great week and good luck with the new system of goals.

    1. Thank you, Chris. I agree about the magic of seeing those secondary goals (somehow more accessible) simply vanish off the list -- accomplished! May your own week go well. I'm enjoying those pics you post of the deer in the snow. Beth

  2. Glad you've found a system that's working for you. I tend to have the "big" goal, eg "revise the novel", broken down into steps. Then those steps get broken into to-do lists for every day, eg "revise 3 scenes today".

    Hmm. That makes me sound a lot more organised than I really am!

    1. Hello, Marina. You sound pretty organized to me. I find if my lists are too detailed, my progress simply stops. So I'm hoping this new system (now into its second week) will lead me to be more productive. Instead of lists, I use tables so I can see progress at a glance. What I like best is that my least favorite area to work on (marketing) remains visible. Still a challenge. All the best for the coming week.

  3. Congrats on your progress this week, Beth, and on even exceeding some of your goals!

    I've been noticing that my ROW80 updates are too long. They take me too long to write and I'm sure no one finishes reading them. I know I don't have the patience to read anybody's mile-long check-in post. On the other hand, they're all important goals, and writing my update post the first step in putting together my weekly to-do list. So what to do? Maybe I'll keep doing what I'm doing but on paper and then just pick a couple of things to report on for my update. Thanks for the nudge, and have a great week! ;*)

    1. Hello, Sione. Maybe it depends on what type of writer you are. You know, those famous categories, plodder, bleeder, or sprinter. I'm a sprinter. Sometimes those long posts can bring surprising insights.Have a great week.

  4. Goals are only as good as what moves us forward and your revision of your goals is a great step to moving forward. They sound great.

  5. I came by the same thought process about logging in my goals, by keeping it short and regularly keeping the main goals at top. And thus only put in the secondary goals up when have sometime to report. Good job!!

    Enjoy the warmer weather for as long as you can. :-)


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