Going Ok – ROW80 Check In

This week is the last week of April, which is pretty terrifying. We’re also pretty solidly into Round 2. Well, everyone else is. I’m still getting into the swing of things. But hey, that’s what happens when you plan a two week whirlwind visit back to Australia in the first two weeks of the round. I’m not fussed. 

Last Week’s Goals

  • Write 1,500 words per day, for a total of 7,500 words by Sunday. Yeah, no. This did not happen. I started work this week, and that, combined with jetlag, settling back into Edinburgh life, and a solid case of life-block. I think I ended the week with about 1,500 words.
  • Finish The Golden Yarn. You can read my review here.
  • Start The Celts and Nevernight. I’m only aiming to finish one by the end of the month, but non-fiction books are never as quick to read as you expect, hence the addition of a (rather long) fantasy novel.
  • Catch up on blog posts. Despite only starting on Wednesday, I did manage 6 blog posts this week. Four of them were here, and two over on my other blog, Success!
  • List all major Blood of Kings characters ready for character interviewsTwo of them still don’t have names (I’m SO bad at names), but this is done. Only the major characters, the supporting case will follow at a later date.
  • Make a list of major settings and corresponding plot points. I still have a lot of questions for myself with regards to setting, but I at least have a list of the main places of action for Blood of Kings. 

So, aside from the actual most important part of the goals (aka the writing), this week was a success. Seeing as it really kicked off on Wednesday, I’m calling it a resounding success! Huzzah!

This Week’s Goals

  • 1,500 words per day. Even though I didn’t do much writing last week, I really worked on the plot of Blood of Kings. I now have a pretty solid idea not only of the entire plot, but also of each of the major characters’ plot arc. Hopefully, this should make writing a lot easier this week. I just need to find/make time to write every day.
  • Finish Nevernight. I’m not optimistic about finishing The Celts, because I’m notoriously slow at finishing non-fiction for anything but uni. Then again, I  have a lot of Nevernight left. So, we’ll see. But finish at least one book, that’s the goal.
  • Blog x6 per week. Easy peasy (hopefully).
  • Write character interviews for major characters. I currently have five POV characters for Blood of Kings, and I’m aiming to write their character interviews first. Hopefully, they’ll be talkative and it won’t be too much of a stressful process!
  • Work out settings in more detail and add relevant pins to Pinterest board. I’ve got a list of major settings (they don’t have names yet, ugh names), but there’s a lot I still need to figure out. So that’s this week’s job.

All in all, it looks as though it’s going to be a very busy week. But busy is good, right?

Reassessing Already – ROW80 Update

Long time, no speak, blogging world. How have you been? As I suspected, the whirlwind journey back to Australia at the start of April was not conducive to writing, reading, blogging, or any other sort of ROW-related progress. Even though I love reading, and I really do want to be a writer one day, the fact of the matter is that spending time with family and friends I won’t get to see for another 6 months was more important, and will always be more important.

We’ve been back in Edinburgh since Saturday night, and I decided to take the first few days back off from blogging or writing work to settle back home. But it’s now Wednesday, and that means it’s time to get back into things. I’ve decided to slightly reassess my Round 2 goals, and to completely reassess a few of my April goals. Thankfully, because ROW knows I have a life, I can do this without feeling guilty. Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t feel guilty anyway. But still.

Not much has changed for my round 2 goals as a whole, except that I’m now aiming to read 9 books this round instead of 10. This actually ends up working better with my overall reading goal for the year, and gives me a bit more leeway with my reading.

Updated April Goals

Write 1,500 words per day. Seeing as I never actually signed up for CampNaNo or joined a cabin, I don’t feel bad in the slightest changing my goal so drastically. If I write 1,500 words per day between now and the end of April, that will be a total of 18,000 words by the end of the month. This keeps me well and truly on the track to finish the first draft by the end of the round.

Read 3 books (from at least 2 different genres). I’ve deliberately cut out one of the books I wanted to read this month, because it makes my overall reading goals for the year more even. If I read more, that’s a bonus.

Blog x6 per week. 

Write character interviews for the Blood of Kings cast. 

Work out settings and create pinterest boards.

This Week’s Goals: 17th-22nd April

  • Write 1,500 words per day for a total of 7,500 words by Sunday
  • Finish The Golden Yarn
  • Start The Celts and Nevernight 
  • Catch up on blog posts
  • List all major Blood of Kings characters ready for character interviews
  • Make a list of major settings and corresponding plot points

I will check in again on Sunday (I promise) with an update on how this week went. Do you find yourself having to adjust your goals after you’ve made them as life gets in the way?

Here We Go – Round ROW80

I had every intention of writing this and posting it on Monday, but that didn’t happen. We arrived in Australia on Sunday evening, and Monday was filled with chats with family, absolute exhaustion, and a 7pm bedtime. Yesterday was more of the same. But hey, here I am, on the first Wednesday of round 2, ready to begin! Because I missed the actual day for posting your Round goals, this is a long one. Sorry!

I’ve decided to split my goals for this round into 3 sections: overall goals for the round, monthly goals that chip away at these big goals, and weekly goals that build into the monthly goals. Nothing revolutionary.

I’ve actually had my goals for this round planned out for quite a while, as they gave me an idea of what I needed to work on in the weeks leading up to Round 2, seeing as I missed Round 1.

Round 2 Goals 

  • Finish the first draft of Blood of Kings
  • Read 10 books across at least 3 different genres
  • Continue to blog x6 a week across my two blogs
  • Create relatively in-depth character profiles and pinterest boards
  • Establish world layout, major locations, and pinterest inspiration for Blood of Kings world

April Goals

The first two weeks of April are a bit tricky – we’re back in Australia, and obviously I want to focus the majority of my attention on catching up with friends and family, rather than hiding away writing and reading. Once we’re back in Edinburgh I start my new job, which will mean a bit of a shift in routine. As a result, I’ve tried to set up my goals to correspond somewhat to my weird month.

  • Write 50,000 words of Blood of Kings. I’ve decided to do Camp NaNo after all, but my way. Rather than sign up on the website, join a cabin, and all of that stuff, I’m just going to use it as a personal goal. I’ve written down my daily word count aims in a little tracker in my BuJo, and I’m just going to shade them in as I go. I enjoy the way NaNo can get me out of a writing slump, but I’m not sure if the community etc (which I know is the whole point of NaNo) quite works for me.
  • Read 4 books (from at least 2 different genres). I’ve really been enjoying getting back into reading, and hopefully having two (well, technically four) long haul international flights in the first two weeks of this month will help me achieve this goal. I’ve already read one book this month, which I’ll have a review up for shortly.
  • Blog x6 per week. I’m not going to try and restrict myself this month to strictly writing 3 posts per week for each of my sites, because quite honestly I don’t always have three post ideas for my travel blog every week. But I like the number 6, because it gives me one day off each week, so I’m going to stick to that, even if I am a bit more flexible with how many posts each blog gets.
  • Write character interviews for the Blood of Kings cast. I really did intent to do this in March, but for one reason or another it just never really ended up happening. This month, however, I’m determined to get these done. I’ll be sharing them on here, probably over the next month or two, but I want to at least get them all written in April.
  • Work out settings and create pinterest boards. I never start writing something with an idea of where it’s set, what the world looks like, or anything like that. I suppose the plot and the characters come before the world. Obviously it’s a pretty important detail though, so I really want to suss that out sooner rather than later. I already have the outline of a Settings board on pinterest, but it’s a bit haphazard and needs some organisation.

This Week’s Goals

The start of this week has, understandably in my opinion, been a bit of a write-off. International flights, jet-lag, and trying to catch up with as many people as possible in four days doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for much else (case in point: I’m writing this at 6am having been up for 2 hours already because of jetlag). Still, I’m trying to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation.

  • Read 1 book, and start a second. As I mentioned before, I finish a book on the flight over here, so that’s done. I still haven’t decided what I want to read next, but I’m feeling some good old fantasy!
  • Reach 11,666 words. This is technically where I’m supposed to be at the end of week 1, according to my little word count tracker. Honestly, I’m not feeling particularly optimistic, as the rest of this week is just as busy (if not more busy) than the start, but I’ll do my best.
  • Write 6 blog posts. I refuse to give up hope. Posting this will bring my count up to 2 (I wrote a travel post earlier in the week), and I’ve still got a WIPpet and a book review to come over here. I’m sure I can find two more travel post ideas, even if they’re just short ones.
  • List Blood of Kings characters for character interviews. Blood of Kings is still pretty new in my head, and as a result I’m still getting to grips with the characters that keep appearing during plotting sessions or whilst my brain is wandering. Having a nice organised list will definitely help when it comes to prioritising character interviews (and working out POVs – ugh).
  • Organise Settings Inspiration board. If I can create the beginnings of a visual collection of what I think the world looks like, I’ll find it a lot easier to properly world build. That’s just how my brain works.


Wow. That was a whopper of a post. Hope you’re all excited for Round 2, let’s see what it throws at us!

Floating in the Abyss – ROW80 Update

This week isn’t really an abyss, but it is the little break between ROW80 rounds, which means that things are a little quieter in the ROW world this week.

Last week was a weird week for me, productivity wise. I honestly felt as though I achieved literally nothing, which is absolute nonsense, but there we go. Thankfully, all the ticks in my bullet journal assert that I did in fact achieve things last week. Yay!

Last Week’s Goals

Keep up with bloggingA mixed victory. I only posted once on my travel/lifestyle/whatever blog last week, but I posted here four times. Which is five in total, so definitely not a failure. But not a resounding success.

Develop plot more fullyAnother weird, mixed victory. I do have a more firm idea of the plot, but in terms of actual, tangible plotting, this wasn’t a resounding success. So, a victory, but only just?

Create character interviews/profiles. Nope, didn’t even begin to happen. Oops.

Read The Uncommon Appeal of CloudsDone, reviewed, and reshelved to probably not be read again.

Do something creative every dayThis is the goal I really didn’t feel like I achieved, but looking back I did. Isn’t it funny how quickly we can forget the progress we’re making? Thank goodness for bullet journals and lists, I say. 

4/5 isn’t bad, in fact it’s quite a good success rate. So why do I still feel as though last week was a let down?

Best not to dwell in the past, me thinks.

This week you don’t really need to have specific ROW80 goals, but I’m going to have a few anyway in preparation for Round 2 aka writing round aka let’s get back into this thing round. Woo.

This Week’s Goals

Decide whether or not to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo. I’ve never done Camp NaNoWriMo. It never really appealed to me as much as traditional NaNoWriMo did. Things have changed in the past year though, and now it’s almost the other way round. I like the flexibility of camp, although I’m not entire sure about the whole cabin system. Can’t I just do Camp like I do group work: preferably alone and without external input? So I’m currently solidly on the fence about camp. On the one hand, it could be a great way to kickstart writing Blood of Kings. On the other, I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with NaNo, so maybe camp isn’t for me. Any advice would be welcome in the comments, if you have your own ideas about NaNo/Camp!

Plot. I’ve tried being a pantser, and it just doesn’t work for me. I like to have a relatively clear idea of where my story is going, so that when my characters decide to go off in a completely different direction I at least know where they need to end up. It’s almost April/Round 2, and that means writing, so this is my last week to get some sort of plotting laid out before writing begins. Woo self imposed deadlines.

Read. Alex and I have two very long flights on Saturday/Sunday (one 8 hour and one 14 hour flight). What are flights good for (aside from increasing upper back pain and irritability)? Reading. I want to finish The Princess Diarist (which I’m listening to an audible at the moment), and perhaps one or two more. I stumbled across the complete Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness in a charity shop for £4.50, so I might give The Knife of Never Letting Go a go.

That’s pretty much it for this week. I also want to keep up my blogging, but I feel like that might be able to go without saying now.

Are you taking this week off for a well deserved creative holiday after Round 1, or are you, like me, continuing to set goals between the rounds?

Being Different – ROW80 Update

I decided to mix things up a bit, and do two separate posts for my goals update and my WIPpet. If you hate this and want me to put them together, I will, but otherwise, I like that this format keeps the posts uncluttered.

Today is technically the last official day of Round 1, which means most people are summarising how their round went. Seeing as I didn’t really participate, I’m just continuing on with preparation goals as normal until Round 2 starts on April 2nd.

So, here’s my update on this week’s goals:

Keep up with blogging. So far, so good!

Develop plot more fully. This is coming along nicely. I have a pretty solid idea of the overall, big picture plot now, so it’s just a matter of working out how the sub-plots fit together etc. 

Create character interviews/profiles. I haven’t started this yet, but that’s a deliberate decision I made. Expect more progress in the second half of the week.

Read The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds. I’ve started The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, but I’m having mixed feelings about it. It’s just a bit chick-lit, easy read-y, and I’m not really into those kind of books. I’m going to finish it as it’s really not long, but I don’t know if I’ll be reading other Alexander McCall Smith books. I’ve also been listening to The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, which is hilarious and honest and wonderful and everything I expected it to be. 

Do something creative every day. Yes! I’ve been plotting and pinning and jotting down little snippets as they pop into my head. It feels lovely to just celebrate being creative, rather than focusing on how many words etc. At least for the moment, this is what I need to get back on track.

I’ve been feeling a bit off this week, but being able to look at the progress I’ve made makes me feel a lot better about things. The start of this week may have felt like a write-off, but I actually got a fair bit done, writing goals-wise at least.

I hope all you ROW-ers enjoy the little break, and I’ll be joining you ready to go for Round 2! Until then, hang around for my WIPpet, or check  back in on Sunday to see how I went with my goals for the rest of the week!

Gearing up for Round 2 – ROW80 Check In

My my weeks fly by so quickly these days. Is this what getter older feels like? I remember when weeks used to drag on, and now it seems I can barely register what day is it before the next one comes along!

Last Week’s Goals

Write 6 blog posts, 3 for this blog and 3 for my lifestyle blog. I only ended up writing 5 posts this week, but I’m still counting it as a victory. I blog because I enjoy it, and I don’t want to be that person who churns out meaningless lists just for the sake of reaching an arbitrary target.

Finish The Amber ShadowsI finished this on Friday night. You can find my review here.

Write 500 words every day. This definitely didn’t happen. I’ve been writing something every day, but definitely not 500 words a day. Again, I’m not too disappointed. I’ve never been one to go cold-turkey into (or out of) something.

Figure out a more solid plotI still want to do a bit more tweaking/organising, but I have a plot, I have an ending I’m working towards, and I have a title! You might remember ages ago I renamed Rebellion to Blood of Kings. Well, I decided that Blood of Kings is actually THIS project (yeah, my brain works in mysterious ways), and Rebellion should be called Centuries. Long story short, current WIP = Blood of Kings.

Create novel-related pinterest boards. They’re obviously not 100% done forever completed, because that’s not the point of a pinterest board. But they’re done in the sense that my goal for this week has been accomplished. Again, you can check them out here, along with all my other non-writing pinterest boards (if they take your fancy).


I’d say I had a pretty successful week last week, goals-wise at least. It also felt embarrassingly amazing to finish a novel. The reading slump has been fierce, you guys.

This round is almost over (so close), but I’m still setting goals for this week. My goals are really just lead ups to Round 2 at the moment, anyway, and I don’t want to ruin the momentum I’m building.

This Week’s Goals

Keep up with blogging. I’m not setting myself a numerical goal this week. I feel like I’m getting back into the routine of blogging, and I want to feel free to post more flexibly (4 on this site, 2 on my other one, for example). Creativity and all that.

Develop plot more fully. This is deliberately vague. I’m not sure if I want to follow the good old snowflaking method, or follow another plotting strategy. Either way, I want to iron out a few big picture plot details before I really delve into writing.

Create character interviews/profiles. I love this little blogging trend, and I find it really helps me get to know my characters. I want to do them now, so that I can get to know my characters better. If anyone is interested, I’ll also post them here.

Read The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds. My mum sent me this book to read, as it’s set in Edinburgh (and everyone knows how much I love Edinburgh). I know literally nothing about it other than it’s a detective-y story (I think), but it’s less than 300 pages and sounds interesting, so I figured I’d give it a go (also I means I can cross another genre off my Reading Challenge list)!

Do something creative every day. This can be write, pin, plot, doodle, world-build, whatever. Just something creative (and related to writing).

So that’s it, they’re my goals for the week. Once again, not much, but I’m easing into this, remember? How was your week? Successful? Fast?

Settling In: ROW80 Check In

Ah ha, I’m on time! It may be a minor victory, but it’s a victory nonetheless, and victories call for celebration!

It’s felt lovely to get back into the swing of things this week. Life has been a bit interesting over here for the last few weeks, so I’m really enjoying the structure that ROW provides, and it’s nice to feel like I’m working towards something.

Let’s recap This Week’s Goals:

Write 6 blog posts, 3 for this blog and 3 for my lifestyle/travel blogDone! I really enjoy blogging, so it was nice to actually have a week where I produced 6 posts. That hasn’t happened in a VERY long time.

Get half way through The Amber Shadows. I actually got about 1/3 of the way through, but seeing as it’s been a while since I really sat down and read anything I’m not too upset.

Write a little something every day. This both did and didn’t happen. I did write something every day, whether it was a blog post, an idea for a story, a little random note to myself. But the goal was more to write something creative every day, which I didn’t exactly achieve.

Figure out plot for novel.  Now, it’s not so much a plot as a vague idea, but I’ve decided to run with it. Perhaps something new will help refresh my creativity, and not overthinking it will make everything flow smoothly.

Organise character pinterest boards. This is done, but with a new plot and new characters I might have a bit more pinning to do! 

This Week’s Goals:

Write 6 blog posts, 3 for this blog and 3 for my lifestyle blog. This is going to be an ongoing goal, so it will pop up weekly.

Finish The Amber Shadows. Even though I didn’t make as much progress as I wanted this week, it’s a very easy to read book and I’m enjoying it, so I’m hopefully I’ll be able to finish it this week.

Write 500 words every day. 500 words seems to be the magic number that people throw around, so it seems like a good place to start for getting back into writing. That should give me 3,500 by next Sunday.

Figure out a more solid plot. I’m not going to try and plan everything out, but a little bit of direction (or maybe just a title) would be good.

Create novel-related pinterest boards. I always find images are the best way for me to visualise a new project, so that’s the aim for this week.

Tune in on Wednesday for a WIPpet and another check in!