A Round of Words in 80 Days is “the writing challenge that knows you have a life.” ROW80 is similar to NaNoWriMo (and the new-and-improved Camp NaNoWriMo), except that it spans nearly three months, you set your own goals, and it comes fully equipped with a built-in support system of fellow bloggers. My kind of challenge.

Over the past year I’ve struggled with balancing new motherhood, working full-time, commuting two hours a day, and maintaining a healthy relationship with my child and husband. And let’s not even talk about diet and exercise. I’ve been portioning myself out in smaller and smaller pieces, until there’s nothing left of the original me. I’ve officially become one percent everything, and one hundred percent nothing.

So, my intangible ROW80 goal is to reclaim my identity as a writer and get my head in the game one hundred percent. Here’s my game plan:



  • Blog Sunday & Wednesday for ROW80. (Note to self: do not allot more than fifteen minutes to each post. This is a quick check-in, so you can get back to writing.)
  • Encourage other ROWers on their blogs Monday and Thursday.
  • Check in on twitter Tuesday and Friday.


  • Finish my work-in-progress. This is kind of a lark, but I really want to give it wings. I would be happy to complete ACT II by the end of this round, but finishing the whole MS would be brilliant.
  • Write ~3 scenes per week to make this work.


  • Finish Life, Animated, Rules, and Anything But Typical
  • Re-read The Owl Service
  • Harlech Castle research
  • Monthly Critiques

Every Sunday and Wednesday I’ll post the status of these goals. Up for the challenge, yourself? Sign-up, even if it’s past July 7, and let’s get started!

6 thoughts on “100% NOTHING

  1. You are 100% AMAZING.

    New Motherhood is a huge life-changer. We’re just not the same people we once were. Coping with that by itself is a challenge, and yet you’re working full time and focused on spending quality time with your family. You are simply AMAZING.

    I’ve learned, since becoming a mum, that I just can’t do things the way I used to do them. And it takes time to learn new ways, so I suggest that you give yourself a big hug, knowing that you’re doing an amazing and important job.

    Your love of writing obviously hasn’t dimmed with the life change, so you are definitely a writer and it will happen in its own time. Go easy on yourself. Get plenty of rest. Laugh. Do not make long To Do lists – in fact, don’t make *any* to do lists. Allow yourself some freedom to see what comes up instead.

    Did I mention Rest? With a capital R?

    Anyway, all the best with ROW80 and enjoy time with your husband and child. Take good care of yourself. x

    • Thanks, Lisa. That’s a great encouragement. I’m having to learn the balance between hard-earned rest and laziness, discipline and legality. But rewarding myself with chocolate and champagne helps blur the lines wonderfully for me!

      • I’m a great believer in chocolate! My preference is Green and Blacks 85% dark chocolate. Mmmmm! Chocolate is brain food, I heard from a reliable source, so enjoy. 🙂

  2. Hello, fellow writing buddy! I’m so lucky to be able to know you in “real space” as well as cyberspace. I love that we’re taking on ROW80 together, along with two other critique group friends. I totally identify with your “one hundred percent nothing” feeling, though not as much these days now that my kids are grown and my time is more my own. I’m sure many people have told you this already, but if a trillion duties are calling and your little one is one of those voices, give that time to your little one–because that time does indeed fly by. One thing I wish I had done more of when my kids were little, though, was journal about my mommy experiences and their growing up moments. The memories now all kind of meld together and I find myself asking, “Now, was that Kelly or Emily who did such and so?” You are in the midst of defining your new normal, and I so admire your commitment to keeping your writing self alive. Just be forgiving of yourself in the middle of all of it!


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