Down payment on a dream & Round 2 ROW80 goals

ROW80Logocopy2014 is shaping up to be a very goal-driven year for my husband and me. Last year, I left my day job in publications to write full-time, and I’m more determined than ever to be the best writer I can be and get my stories onto the page and then, one day, out into the world.

We’re also saving for our dreams—to buy a home, to visit a place we’ve always dreamt of seeing, and to be able to retire one day. Writing full-time meant sacrificing my former steady paycheck, but it’s an investment in the life I hope to build. Thankfully, my husband fully supports my efforts, for which I’m forever grateful. Storytelling is a calling, and one I couldn’t put on hold any longer.

So, to save up for a home, we’ve made sacrifices. We went from being a two-car family to only having one car, saving on maintenance, gas, insurance, and repairs. We try to stretch our grocery budget as far as we can, and we’re downsizing to a smaller apartment when our lease is up this summer. We’re striving to live as simply and as frugally as possible. We’re making progress, but I’m also trying to learn some patience. Whether it’s making progress in our writing careers or saving up a large sum, these things don’t happen overnight.

Finally, here are my goals for the second round of ROW80:

1.) Writing:

  • Work on revising Made of Shadows, a paranormal romance novel. I set this story aside for a while so I could get some distance, but I think I’m ready to return to it with a fresh perspective.
  • Finish the second draft of the novella I finished in Round 1, Good, Old-Fashioned Magic.

2.) Read 4 books on the craft/business of writing. Currently reading “Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World” by Kristen Lamb.

3.) Social media:

  • Check in on Twitter daily.
  • Comment on 3-5 blogs per day, Monday-Thursday.
  • Blog 3 times a week with new blog schedule—Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.


Have you ever saved up for a major goal, such as buying a home or taking a dream vacation? (For us, the short list right now is Hawaii, France, and Ireland.) What were you willing to sacrifice to reach your goal?

What are your goals for the coming months—writing or otherwise?

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Fantasy & paranormal romance author. Witch. Tarot reader. Possibly a woodland sprite. Debut release TANGLED ROOTS now available. Magic awaits at

18 thoughts on “Down payment on a dream & Round 2 ROW80 goals

  1. The goals look good. I wish you luck in this round. I am totally into the shorter form writing these days, so the novella appeals.

    I totally know how freaky it is to quit a job for dreams. I became a freelancer last year (April is my 1 yr). It has been working if very slowly. Writing has been moving slowly as well. My hope for this Round is to get several projects finished and at least one self-published with more in line.

    1. Thanks, Andrew. It is kind of scary to leave a job with a steady paycheck (I previously worked in marketing and publications at a university), but it’s also exciting to be on this path. I’m with you. It is moving more slowly than I thought it would, but I’m also learning patience. Good luck on your writing path!

  2. Saving and me haven’t gotten along for years. Just when I start to squirrel some away… Something comes up! But, if I could save up money, I’d save about $300. That would cover food and bedding for a hamster’s entire life in a 20 gallon tank. Yes, I know I have one in a 55 gallon tank right now. It’s just… I want another.

    Best wishes for your goals this round. 😀

    1. It’s tough. My hubby and I read Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover” a couple years ago, and that book really helped us a lot. Saving up, even if it’s for something small, such as a pet, camp for the kids, or new tires for the car, can make all the difference. Our main focus is to have an emergency fund and then save for a house, but we wanted to throw something fun in there, too, so we didn’t getting savings/frugality burnout along the way.

      Thanks for stopping by, Gloria.

  3. DH & I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Puerto Rico (which I highly recommend adding to your list!). It’s been 10 years since we’ve taken a nice vacation like that where it’s truly a getaway, and we realized that’s too long. So we plan on saving up $$ to be able to do this more often!

    I’m doing the exact opposite as you with the writing–I’m staying with the day job to save $$ and sacrificing writing time–i.e., writing more slowly. But we also have a kid in college, so for now, it’s what works for us. I’m blessed in that I like my job, and it even inspires the writing sometimes–heck, I work on a military base where they supposedly stashed the Roswell aliens LOL!

    Good luck on your downpayment! (Love that title!)

    1. Hey, you have to do what works for you. There’s nothing wrong with going more slowly to reach your goals. And it seems like you still manage to accomplish a lot in addition to your day job!

      I liked my day job, but I was also having some health issues that were stress-sensitive and working multiple jobs wasn’t working so well. I feel blessed to be writing full time.

      Puerto Rico sounds like fun. I think we’re probably aiming for Hawaii first, since that’s the place we’re both excited about. It’s still a few years out, but we’re trying to set aside a little bit of money each month toward that goal.

  4. Oooh, I’ve just quit my day job to try writing full-time, so I’m going to have to visit often and take some notes. Youv’e got some good, solid goals here; they’re actually not too different from mine (except maybe the craft books), so maybe I’m on the right path already. Good luck! I look forward to seeing you this round!

    1. Yay! I’ve only been writing full time for a few months; I left my job in publications late last year. I’ll be curious to hear how your full-time writing journey goes. Best of luck!

  5. I applaud you for leaving your full time job to pursue your dream. I plan to do that some day myself. I have goals similar to the ones you’ve listed. My novel is complete, but the editing process is taking a fair amount of time.
    I hope it all works out for you. If you need a test reader at some point down the line just let me know.

    1. Thank you. I will keep that in mind. I’ll probably be putting out a call for beta readers later this year, so I might just take you up on that offer.

      We’ve had to make some sacrifices in order for me to write full time. We spent about a year and a half paying off our debts and building up a savings cushion. We know it will take us longer to reach some of our financial goals without that extra steady paycheck, but it’s an investment in something I know I’m meant to do, so it’s worth it.

      Good luck with your revisions. I feel like the first draft stage is easy for me; it’s the revision/editing stage that I struggle with more. This year will be all about overcoming that particular stumbling block.

      1. If by first draft you mean writing the story out the first time, I’m with you.
        I wrote The Tome of Worlds, all 140,000 words, over the course of 14 months, stealing time in the morning and night while working full time and raising toddlers.
        The editing process is taking almost as long. Granted, we moved and had another child, but still I expected to be done with the first full pass of edits by now.

      2. Yeah, balancing raising kids with writing must be tough. Both your characters and your children probably vie for attention a lot of the time!

        Editing always takes me longer than the first-draft stage. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m too picky, or maybe I’m still perfecting my revision process.

        Good luck with your story!

  6. Congratulations on making that commitment to your writing. Having that financial and emotional support from your DH is essential, as essential as letting go of that regular paycheck! I chose to put writing aside for many reasons over the years, but when I retired, I realized, “This is it!” I’m loving this opportunity to immerse myself in writing. Maybe I won’t write everything I could have if I’d started younger, but my stories are getting out there.

    One financial decision we made early was to buy a duplex rather than a ‘real’ house. We lived in one side and rented the other. That decision helped us pay for our daughter’s college — and travel. Now that we’re retired, that investment boosts our income as well. So maybe this idea will help you as you persevere toward those goals and dreams. A lovely post! Have a great round!2

    1. It’s never too late to start. I think you’re making plenty of progress on your journey. Good luck on your writing path, Beth!

      I like your idea about buying a duplex. We’ve thought about that, but there aren’t too many for sale in the area we live in. That’s part of the issue. We live in a college town dominated by large apartment complexes, and there isn’t a lot inventory–even less when you subtract out the homes that are being sold as investment properties. We’ll get there; it’s just going to take a few years. (Thus the need for patience!)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Good luck in both your writing goals and saving up for a house and a dream vacation! I’m lucky that I live in Europe — there are plenty of dreams vacations that are a few hours drive away. 🙂 And if they’re too far to drive, the flights are relatively inexpensive.

    1. Thanks, Ruth. I’ve been to Germany once before and it was beautiful. Hopefully we can go back someday and visit our friends who live there. Some of the places we want to see are in the continental U.S. (the Grand Canyon, for example), but others will be pricey since they’re so far away. Still, we’re saving a little at a time for our travels.

      Have a great day! 🙂

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