Holy Cowbell, My First Round 3 Check-in!! #ROW80

Round 3 of ROW80 started on July 2nd and this is my very first check-in! I feel so behind.

For all you newbies, ROW80 stands for A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s when a bunch of crazy writers get together and encourage each other to chase dreams and achieve goals. It gets kind of wild.

If you want to know more, click here.

I was on vacation up in the Pacific Northwest (Orcas Island to be exact) when the Round 3 hooplah began so I missed the confetti and the naked table dancing.

What??! That was a different party? Whoops.

Anyway, I haven’t officially stated my goals yet so I’ll do that here.

Jenny’s Goals for Round 3:

  • Complete Candace Havens’ July 7th Fast Draft course.
  • Finish the first draft of my pregnancy memoir and submit it to my critique group.
  • Write a minimum of 1K/day on my fiction and non-fiction WIPs the entire round.
  • Learn how to make gluten-free bread.
  • Read 1 craft book this round.
  • Encourage at least 2 new ROW80 writers each Sunday.

That might seem like a tiny little list to you, but those are some huge goals to me. Candy’s class is making stellar page totals for a lot of my fellow Fast Draft attendees, which is always fun to see.

That being said, I’m struggling.

I’m getting in my 1,000 words a day (which is a hell of a lot more than I used to do on my WIP) but I haven’t broken double-digits in one day yet. I’m working on exercising my “glass half full” muscle and being happy for the 4-5 pages a day I’m getting, but I’ll admit I’m fighting a major case of Word Count Jealousy toward those who are cranking out 5K/day. I’m happy for them – I just want lots of beautiful words too.

Perhaps it’s because I was on vacation when we started, or maybe I didn’t plan well enough…but I think my angst is coming from a different place: I just completed a practice Fast Draft session in June that was very  active and PERSONAL.

I find the personal connection very motivating.

Candace (understandably) keeps things business-like so she doesn’t have 60+ writers sending personal messages. We had only 13 people in our Practice Fast Draft, and we were on a private loop, so we really  spent time rooting for one another.

I noticed that I pushed harder when I didn’t feel so anonymous. I’m working on it though.

I believe in the Fast Draft method, but I think the Revision portion of this class is going to be much more important for me this round than the churning out of pages (I’ve already accepted that I’m going to have to do this again next month). I have a lot of writing in a lot of places and it’s going to be a huge leap ahead for the memoir to get it organized.

So, I’ll keep at it because I WILL finish this memoir before the end of the ROW80 round. Frankly, I’m shooting for the end of summer.

In case you need a little levity after all that seriousness…

I saw this following picture on Renee Schuls-Jacobson‘s Facebook page that made me laugh and feel appalled at the same time:

To give you a hint why I felt appalled, my first three words were “whore,” “bad” and “fab.”

How are your goals going? What’s working so far, and what are you struggling with? Have you clicked here to encourage your ROW80 teammates? If you did the word search, what were your  three words??

Happy Sunday to you, whatever you’re working on!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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35 Responses to Holy Cowbell, My First Round 3 Check-in!! #ROW80

  1. crystalwriterak says:

    Shame that party sounded kinda fun 😛
    Anyway just wanted to say good luck in your goals.


  2. I love your first three words! Mine were “sad,” “gun” and “funny.” Gun? lol…
    As far as cranking out 5,000 wad (words a day! ha! ;)) I cannot imagine doing that! I think you are doing excellent, Jenny… 1,000 wad is flipping stellar!
    The Gluten Free Bread sounds interesting… I am currently eating zero carbs after reading the book “Why You Are Fat” and I am blown away at the amount of weight I have lost in just six days… since I am not eating carbs, my body is forced to burn fat I have stored! The downfall is that anything that is tasty has carbs in it!!!!!!
    Have a great week, Jenny and keep up the great work!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You had “gun?!” That is funny. Yep, I’m not really rocking the 5K/day but I’m just going to keep at it and see what happens.

      One thing about zero carbs, you need to be sure to double your normal water intake – it really dehydrates you, which can be dangerous. Good for you on losing some weight. 🙂


  3. Shah Wharton says:

    My first word was love! (loving that) but the next was ‘funny’ (I like that) – the last one(s) were fat – but I saw that the same time as I saw VIP which was right next to it. So I’m going with VIP – I don’t like ‘fat’ ! Yours were Freudian – Whore! LOL ?? And ‘bad’ ? You’re defiantly ‘Fab’ though. So thats cool.

    You’re doing well by the sounds of this and have admirable goals. Great going on the 1k a day writing. Be cool with that. 5k a day is going to put someone in hospital!!

    Shah .X


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Shah, I was so mad when my first word was “whore!” They put it right in the middle too, where it’s going to get us big picture people in trouble.

      p.s. Your comment is hilarious.


  4. LauraDrake says:

    Bad, sad, and nice (One out of three is pretty good, given my past! That’s all I’m saying.)

    GOOD LUCK JENNY! I’ve got my ill-fitting, spank-filled cheerleader skirt on for ya!


  5. Oh, goodness, Jenny–my words were funny, broken, whore! Really??

    As for the word envy. I totally hear you. As one of the slowest tortoises around, I watch all those hares zipping by and have to fight the green-eyed monster.

    Your comment about needing the small-group, personal touch resonated with me. Beyond the fact that, as Shah says above, 5k a day would put me out of a job and in the hospital, I would think everyone is too busy to be able to offer the kind of support that one finds in the smaller groups. Even though ROW80 has dozens of folks, there’s a core group where I’ve found a connection. I hope you find the same in the Fast Draft group.


  6. Thanks for the mention! I am so proud of you for sticking to your goals. Or at least sticking to having goals! 1K is pretty good when you have so many balls in the air. (Oooh, that sounded naughty.) 😉


  7. pencildancer says:

    Welcome back. This is my first round of ROW80 so far so good. 🙂 I’ll take the glass half full knowing it’s only been two weeks of doing this.
    I found after writing two books back to back, followed by marketing this year it has taken me awhile to get back to writing more than emails, tweets and fb status things. Writing something deeply personal (did that for We’re Not Blended We’re Pureed) took a lot out of me emotionally and I wasn’t able to get into the next book (A Bride’s Dilemma) until I put in a ten year old. Sometimes you need a character to play with. 🙂


  8. Ryan King says:

    I got “funny” “pretty” “fat”. Ha! I struggled with Candy’s class as well. I couldn’t quite break into double digits either. But this is you we’re talking about. You’ll do it. When have you ever been unable to do something? May the Cowbell be with you 🙂


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Well, you are funny and pretty, Ryan. LOL.

      Your comment slayed me – trust me, I slog along just like you. I am pretty stubborn though, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to rest until I figure out the 20 page per day secret.


  9. Juliana Haygert says:

    MIne were clutz, sad and beautiful.
    I hear ya about the FastDraft. I haven’t been able to reach 5k words once since we started. And I thought I would since I have five hours per weekday to write! I’ve been distracted and slow …
    Anyway, let’s hope this next week will be better.
    I’m sure you can and will finish your memoir by the end of the round. I’m sure!
    Have a great week!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Klutz is AWESOME…that is so one I’d pick.

      I’ll confess that it makes me feel much better to know someone else is struggling in Fast Draft. The no whining clause means that all news tends to be successful.


  10. Karen Rought says:

    Good luck with everything, Jenny! I hope you kick butt this round!

    I was *mostly* happy with my words. I got beautiful, love, and broken.


  11. Reetta Raitanen says:

    Good luck with Fast Draft! 1000 words a day is a great addition to your book. I can totally understand the word count envy, though. I have it during every NaNoWriMo. But this is about your writing. Be kind to yourself and don’t compare yourself to others too much. You’re doing better now every day than before.

    And fun picture. My three words were clutz, beautiful and funny.


  12. amyskennedy says:

    Brilliant, Hilarious, Goddess…oh, all right they were plop, broken, clutz. Ouch.

    Your goals are exactly what they need to be, and I think they’re fab. You will finish your memoir, you will!


  13. Nice to see you back! Orcas Island is a great place. I spent some time there as a kid, and I would love to get back. As for 5k a day — that is nuts. I think a “test mile” as Kait puts it of 500 words is difficult to achieve some days. The fact you’re doing 1,000 a day is a major testament to your commitment and drive. The best of luck on your goals this round. 🙂


  14. K.B. Owen says:

    I found “broken” “love” and “Tao” – I wonder what the heck that means? Great goals, Jenny! Keep going!


  15. Hang in there, Jenny. I’m lucky to get 500 quality new words written in a day. I’ve been pushing myself to get 1K daily as often as possible. Last year, I was cranking out 10-18K in a week at one point, foolishly thinking I’d finally hit my writing stride. From what I’ve learned, creativity ebbs and flows. I can only push it so much. That’s why it’s helpful when a writer has a number of projects in various stages of completion. If you get stuck on the memoir, switch over to another project.

    I’m gluten- and dairy-free since February. I look forward to your gluten-free bread recipe since I have yet to eat a gluten-free bread that satisfies.

    Happy week! BTW, I’m fat, funny, and fab. I’ll take it. 😉


  16. “fat” “ax” “bad” REALLY? Then, I saw “beautiful” and felt better. 🙂

    ROW80 is already making a positive difference for me. And, the camaraderie is wonderful. Word count jealousy is terrible because someone else’s 2,000/day might be a load of…. Well, you have to believe your 800 is the best 800 you could write that day. Or, 200. Or, 1,200. Keep up the hard work and have a great writing week!

    “Books aren’t written–they’re rewritten.” Michael Crichton


  17. Good luck! And hey, if you find a good gluten-free bread recipe, I’d love to have it. I love to bake, but my partner is gluten intolerant.
    My whole ROW80 goal is just to write something every day… at this point, I’m not even going to attempt to get a specific word count… yet. Good luck!


  18. S. J. Maylee says:

    funny, broken whore, really, I’m funny, lol 🙂
    Just the name of the place you vacationed forces my stress to take off, very nice!! Your goals are exciting and you can do it!! Good Stuff, Jenny


  19. I’m shaking my pom-poms for you, Jenny. 1K per day is terrific! 🙂

    “Fat,” “epic,” and “lovely” were the words I saw.
    Fat: I am. I have been since I was a young girl. I finally got my act together, have lost 57 pounds, and am enjoying my journey to healthy. 🙂
    Epic: I can’t own that as of yet, but I like the possibility. 🙂
    Lovely: I can be. 😉


  20. KM Huber says:

    Your goals sound well thought out, which is necessary, I think. If you are writing daily and cranking out 1000 words, the books will come as you are building them.

    As for gluten-free bread ideas, I just recently found Julian bakery.com. I mention it because they have low-to-no-carb breads and may be something you want to consider in making your breads.

    Best to you in this round, Jenny.



  21. Julie Glover says:

    My first 3 words were “broke,” “funny,” and “fat.” I was not liking that last one and wondered if the next word I found would have been better. It wasn’t. It was “fool.” LOL.

    Love your goals! Best wishes with Fast Draft. I think 1k/day is still pretty dang good. Keep pushing for more, but be super-happy with your progress. As to the craft book, I’m curious what you’re reading this round. Have a rockin’ ROW80! And yes, the kickoff party wasn’t the same without you. 🙂


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