09 Oct

ROW80 Check-In (1)

Posted in DIY MFA, ROW80, Writing Challenge

Hi all!

Been a super-productive week here at iggi&gabi.  For starters, I wrote about 7200 words of DIY MFA content (which is 2200 words more than my weekly goal.  Woot!)  I’ve also written a grand total of 7 blog posts (three here and four for DIY MFA) which is in keeping with my weekly goal.  The only thing I didn’t get a chance to do was revise my one chapter of the WIP.  I planned to work on it this weekend, but unexpected developments in DIY MFA forced me to put that chapter on hold for another week.

On Friday I decided that a new feature in DIY MFA–Writer Fuel–was ready to launch this week (instead of at the end of October).  Writer Fuel is a weekly boost of inspiration delivered via email to help people jump-start their writing.  This new part of DIY MFA launches on Friday and will continue every Friday, just in time to help inspire some weekend writing.  To receive Writer Fuel, just sign up for the DIY MFA mailing list on the DIY MFA site.

Overall, it’s been a good week and today I was super-tired and in need of some serious relaxation.  Luckily, I had planned a spa day for today (my mommy-to-be present to myself) and this couldn’t come at a better time.  After a few hours of major relaxation, I came home ready to dive back into work again.  If you’re ever feeling burnt out in your writing, I highly recommend this.  Even if you don’t want to go to an actual spa, a bubble bath, some scented lotion and a self-manicure can work wonders!

Write on and keep rocking the ROW80!


05 Oct

Rock the ROW80

Posted in ROW80, Writing Challenge

This week I’m feeling a little bit mischievous.  Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush of starting a new challenge.  Maybe it’s meeting all these motivated writers and seeing them set their goals and dive in.  Or maybe it’s just that my inner-gabi (AKA iggi) happens to be in this mood right now:

Whatever the cause, these last two (only two?) days since the start of ROW80 have been uber-productive in gabi-land.  Here are some of the things I’ve checked off my TO DO list in the last few days:

•  1500-word article for the Stories for Children, where I have a monthly column.
(Technically, I did this over the weekend, but since it was on my week’s To Do list already, I’m counting it.)
•  1200-word detailed outline for the new-and-improved DIY MFA free workbook.
•  Total of 5 blog posts between this blog and DIY MFA (counting this post and two Sunday night posts).
•  350-word draft of the DIY MFA newsletter (with template and content).

This brings me to a total of 3050 words of miscellaneous content and 5 out of 7 weekly blog posts.  I also prepped and taught my class, attended my writer’s group and am going to an author reading tonight.  The only piece of my writing life that’s not exactly booming right now is the reading.  But honestly, with all this other stuff going on, if I slack on my reading it’s not so bad right?

All in all, ROW80 is off to a good start.  Woot!

Also, Goals Update! I’m borrowing a nifty idea from my good friend Ghenet of All About Them Words.  Instead of doing two check-in posts, it looks like she’s doing her main check-in on Sunday and using Wednesdays as a day to talk about the progress she’s making on her current project with a short ROW80 update at the end.  Such a great idea!  Honestly, I was worried that if I did check-ins twice a week, I wouldn’t have much to show in terms of progress.  And who wants to read a blog where the blogger is all “me me me,” only talking about themselves and their work?   No offense but… *SNORE*

So, yeah, I’m stealing Ghenet’s idea because it sounds WAY more interesting and fun than my original plan.  On Wednesdays, I’ll post about something random that’s on my mind and do a mini-check-in.  Then on Sundays I’ll go into more details about my actual ROW80 progress.  Sound good?  Awesome.

Now you tell me: How’s your week going?
To see how other ROW80 writers are doing, check out this link.

To Those about to Rock (the ROW80) I salute you.
To everyone else, I suggest you stay out of our way.



02 Oct

ROW80 Goals Post

Posted in Blog, ROW80, Writing Challenge

I am so excited to be participating in ROW80 this fall!  I’m new to this challenge but I have a writing friend who did it in the spring and said it was awesome so I just had to try.  Now I can’t wait to get started.  This weekend, I did a little browsing and looked at some other writers’ goals to get ideas for how I wanted to structure my own.  I decided on approaching my goals in terms of a weekly schedule.  This way, it still gives me some flexibility day-to-day (which is key considering my sometimes unpredictable schedule), but will be structured enough to keep me accountable.

In addition, I decided I would focus my writing on DIY MFA content, since this is the big project on my plate right now.  I’m going to try to sneak in a little editing for my latest fiction WIP, but really the main part of my goals will focus on cranking out and editing new content for DIY-MFA-related products and features.

Finally, I had another reason for focusing on DIY MFA.  This project is focused on platform-building and putting together an entrepreneurial business based on my author brand.  I thought that not only would ROW80 help boost my productivity, but the check-in posts would give me a concrete written record of how I’m building this business as I go along, which could come in handy down the road.

So without further ado, here are my goals.  Each week, I will…

  1. Revise one chapter of my fiction WIP.  I have six chapters in need of revision, so this will take me through the first six weeks of the challenge, which works out nicely because then I can put the WIP on the back-burner and ramp up DIY MFA work.
  2. Write and publish the 4 weekly DIY MFA blog posts.  In addition, I will try to write one or two post drafts so I can stay ahead of schedule on the editorial calendar.
  3. Write and publish a minimum of 3 posts here at iggi&gabi.  This will include the two ROW80 check-in posts and the Friday YA Cafe posts.  If additional topics of interest come up, I might add a 4th weekly post.
  4. Write one DIY MFA newsletter every week.  This will start in late October or early November (coinciding approximately with my finishing the WIP chapter revisions.)
  5. Write 5000 words of DIY MFA flagship content.  This flagship content will include any copy that needs to get written for DIY MFA products, courses or features.  I will schedule this writing so that I do approximately 1250 words per day, four days per week.

These tasks are the absolute minimum I must do each week in order to stay on schedule with all my projects.  On one hand, these goals make me nervous because they are a bit steep, but on the other hand none of this is stuff I wouldn’t be doing anyway so it’s win-win.  If I must drop one of my goals, it will be the revisions on the fiction WIP, which can always head to the back-burner for a little bit longer while I get DIY MFA set up.

What about you?  Are you doing ROW80 or do you have any particular goals for this fall?  If so, what are they?


28 Sep

Round of Words in 80 Days

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing Challenge

This fall, I’ve decided to join the upcoming session of Round of Words in 80 Days.  Not familiar with ROW80? It’s an 80 day writing challenge that gives you the flexibility to set goals that are right for you.

Most of you have seen me get on my soapbox about why goals have to be personalized and targeted to each particular writer.  (This is why I’ve been so obsessed with the DIY MFA concept.)  So this idea of joining a writing challenge that will help me forge ahead on my projects but will give me flexibility in my goals is so appealing to me.  I love that ROW80 allows me to change goals midstream, because if I’m 40 days into the challenge and something just isn’t working, why torture myself for another 40 days, right?

I also love that the goal doesn’t have to be writing fiction exclusively or even drafting per se.  For instance, your goal can be for editing or any other writing-related measureable goal.  Again, whenever I hop on that soapbox, I could go on for hours about measurable goals and why they’re so much better for writers than those unreasonable and vague goals we usually set.  Like, we might say: “I want to finish my novel” and that’s a great start, but how do you actually plan to do it.  Better to say “I’m going to write 1000 words, five days a week and in about four months I should be pretty close to having a draft.”

ROW80 starts up on Monday so sometime this weekend, I’ll post my goals for the challenge.  Then, for the rest of the 80 days, I’ll be doing check-in posts Wednesday and Sunday, as well the usual YA Cafe posts on Fridays.  So that’ll be my schedule here at iggi&gabi for the fall.  I’ve been needing some sort of structure on this blog lately, so I think this plan for fall will help me get on track.

Write on!

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