Yearly goals: Sunday ROW80 check-in

This year, I have two main goals: write at least 300,000 words, and read at least 75 books. Last year I read about 59, so hopefully I can increase that this year. This is also the first year I’ve kept track of my monthly/yearly word counts; I used to do just daily/weekly word-count totals, and then move on as soon as a new week started.

Late last year, I wrote a post about taking my writing to the next level, and that’s what these goals are about—pushing myself a little harder, challenging myself a little more. I’m aiming to write somewhere around 1,500 words/day, Monday through Friday. (January was a slow writing month, so I have some catching up to do.) Last year my goal was 1,000 words per day.

I also have a new way to keep track of word count when revising, an approach that my friend and long-time critique partner Kathleen Foucart told me about. You create hot keys to change the color of the words as you revise, so new words are in, say, gray and the older copy is still in black. I’m using Ctrl-alt-j. Then you use a macro that counts only the different-colored words—in this case, gray—and boom, you have a way to track word count while revising. I’m lucky that my husband is an IT guy and was able to create the hot keys and macro for me.

The thing is, goals are satisfying to me. There’s something incredibly rewarding about setting a goal and then pushing myself to reach it. I enjoy the challenge. And I’m looking forward to working toward these goals this year.

What about you? What goals have you set for 2015, and how are those goals coming along? I’d love to hear from you!

Lastly, a Sunday ROW80 check-in…

ROW80LogocopyWriting goals

1.) Make measurable progress on one of my WIPs. Wrote 7,629 words in “Stolen by Magic.”

2.) Read four books on the craft/business of writing. 3/4. Finished reading “Beginnings, Middles, and Ends” by Nancy Kress.

Social media goals

1.) Check in on Twitter or Facebook daily. Goal met.

2.) Blog twice a week. Goal met.

3.) Comment on three-five blog posts daily, Monday-Thursday. Goal met.

Life goals

1.) Do yoga or tai chi or meditate three times per week. 1/3.

2.) Do morning pages in journal Monday-Friday. 5/5. Goal met.


A Round of Words in 80 Days is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. It’s also a blog hop! Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

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

16 thoughts on “Yearly goals: Sunday ROW80 check-in

  1. Congrats on some great progress this week!

    I love the idea of keeping track of wordcount during revisions. Although much of my revisions involve cutting, so I’m still not sure that would track for me, but it’s a neat idea just the same. I tend to track revisions by how far through the book I get. Keep up the great work on yours, and have a great week!

    1. Thanks, Jennette. I do a fair share of cutting when I revise, but I also reword and rewrite a lot, so tracking word count works for me. I used to keep track by the number of chapters I revised, but this seems to work better. Have a great week!

  2. This year I’m trying lots of new things regarding working method to hopefully up my game. For one thing, I’m writing each and every day (well mostly… I have not written two days this year and they were reward days off for finishing stuff). I’m working with daily word goal amounts that vary (I’m trying to figure out where my limit is, though I’m hoping it is writing 2k and editing 4k of text). My over all goal is to get all these WIPs I have (4 at the moment) completely polished and done/out of my hands. I’m trying to make my project board a blank slate.

    1. Those are good goals. Like you I have a lot of projects on my plate–keeping track of so many different worlds has been overwhelming at times–and am trying to finish as many as possible by the end of this year. Good luck with your goals, Gloria!

    1. Thanks, Bev. I used to keep track by how many scenes or chapters I’d revised, but since I often revise the same chapter a couple times before I’m satisfied, I’m finding this approach works better. Have a great week!

  3. Fifteen hundred words a day is nothing to sneeze at Denise! You are always an inspiration and always take a positive view towards your goals. And you’re not afraid to make adjustments along the way. Go get ’em girl and have a wonderful, productive week! 🙂

  4. You rock, Denise!! Good to hear your progress.

    I do borrow from your sage advice (and other on ROW80) when helping me to push past goal speed bumps and hiccups. So thank you!! 🙂

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