I Met Kait Nolan, and Now I’m Joining ROW80

In truth, I had contemplated joining ROW80 before, but after meeting the WONDERFUL Kait Nolan in person at the DFW Writers Conference, I just had to sign up!

Kait is one of those people you meet and instantly love.  She is outgoing, funny, and genuine.  She takes time to get to know people and I watched her do this so well, that twice she met someone who worked or lived something one of her current characters does.  Now, she’s in contact with them for character research.

I think that says something about Kait.  She’s interested in people’s stories, and she recognizes that everyone’s is different.  Kait is the founder of A Round of Words in 80 Days, a goal setting system with weekly progress updates and a community of people who support you on your journey.

Besides being the ROW80 founder, she’s also a blogger, and self-published author extraordinaire.  I’m reading her newest book, Red, right now and it’s amazing!

Kait and I at the DFW Conference!

Needless to say, after listening to my goals and what had been my setbacks, Kait invited me to jump into ROW80 and get started.  I am so very grateful that she did.

My ROW Goals for This Week are:

  • (image courtesy amazon.com)

    Blog Ahead!  I’d like to have at least 5 blog posts written ahead to get me through the time I’ll be working on Fast Draft.

  • Clean my room.  As part of the preparation process for writing, I need to unearth the mound of transitional season clothing and other lost and found objects taking over my desk.
  • Plot my novel.  This doesn’t seem like a small feat, but I got some good workshopping done at DFW Con.  Need this done before I can write the book.
  • Finish reading Moon Over Madeline Island and Back to Madeline Island for my Book Club getaway to Madeline Island next week!

My Longterm ROW80 Goals:

  • Blessings over Gratitude.  I read this post by Ollin Morales and he got me thinking that my life could stand to use a little more positivity.  I’m going to spend time over the next month journaling about blessings rather than just things I’m grateful for.  Read Ollin’s post and you’ll see the difference.  I hope by doing this, I can empower my inner writer and tell my inner editor to go drink a bottle of herself!

(image courtesy: skaggymaggie.tumblr.com)

  • Fast Draft!  To get my butt in gear, I’m participating in Fast Draft.  It’s a workshop where you write 20 pages/day for 2 weeks.  I will attempt to get my first draft written during this time.
  • Still Prepare for Blog Posts.  I’m fortunate to have several writers interested in doing interviews with me, but that means I need to stay on track with their works, and prepare thought provoking questions for them.  CJ West is featured this week!  Stay tuned to see who’s next!
  • Read.  I’ve been reading a ton, but I’ve got about 7 books going at once now.  *crosses eyes* I want to get back to my TBR Pile Challenge list and add a craft book in there as well.  Thinking of starting with Story Engineering.

That’s my plan!  I’m sure it’ll evolve as I get started, but I’m getting excited as the date draws closer for Fast Draft to begin.  

How are your goals going this week?

40 responses

  1. Yay! Glad you’re joining the crowd! I’ve had a lot of fun, and I’ve found some awesome blogs and people doing ROW80. I also get a lot of stuff done since I check in on Wednesdays and I can see exactly what I got done and what I hadn’t.

    I did Fast Draft last year. It’s super helpful, but man, did it exhaust me when it was done. Good luck with yours!

    1. That’s what I’m afraid of. But I still think it will be a valuable exercise for me to test my writing chops.

  2. Are you taking the July Fast Draft class? I ask because I’m signed up for it as well and it would be cool to be in class with you again, Jess 🙂

    I’m glad Kait was able to convince you to join ROW, she’s persuasive like that and I know you’re going to do great. ROW is such a powerful tool for staying on track and reaching goals. It is also a wonderful support system when things just aren’t moving the way we think they should. I’m thrilled you’re joining in – great move and love the goals. Actually, I may have to match you on the cleaning one, bit behind on the seasonal switch over.

    1. Well, my desk got cleared yesterday, but my desk chair is still mounded with a hodge podge of clothes I have no where to go with. Must move forward with the whole redoing of the upstairs, moving into a different room plan…

  3. Welcome to the Row, Jess!! Good luck with your goals!!

    1. Thank you Tiffany! How’s the book launch going?

  4. I thought ROW had to do with propelling small boats, and I was afraid I’d get tired. I do agree with you about Kait, though. She’s fantastic.

    1. Well, if it really did involve traveling around the world, I’d have signed up a lot sooner!

  5. Hi, Jess!! I’m in my 2nd round now and am loving the structure and friendship. Welcome to ROW80!! See ya Sunday 🙂

    1. Thanks for the welcome! Appreciate the support from all you ROWers!

  6. So glad you met her and wrote this post because of it I signed up with ROW80 today.

    1. That’s awesome! I’m so glad you did! Let me know if you need help sharing your link on the ROW linky tool. I will look for your updates! And please check out the Life List Club blog in my sidebar because we write all about goals and you’ll find multiple tactics and lots of friends there! Glad to have inspired you!

  7. Hi Jess. Kait was amazing at the conference. She’s just so much like that quiet, shy photograph on her blog…


    1. Lol. Exactly like that!

  8. Good for you, Jess! Lots of goals, good luck with all of them.

    Story Engineering is excellent, but I’d suggest Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight Swain first. Of all the craft books I’ve read, I think that one is THE book to read. Everything else you read will build on its concepts. But really, you can’t go wrong with either book. I know on good authority that both are Kait approved.

    1. Recognized your name in her list of acknowledgements in Red! Thanks for the book recommendation, I haven’t heard of that one before. Will definetly check it out.

  9. ROW80 has really helped me focus! Glad you’re throwing your hat in the ring. I have thought about JuNoWriMo and Fast Draft, but I have plenty of editing to do before I start a new project. Is there a revision hell class? I need that.

    Great goals! Best wishes for your week.

    1. There is a revision hell class coming up. Go to Candace’s site and check it out! I love that woman.

  10. You go, girl! Those are some fine goals you have set and ROW80 is just the place to be motivated and inspired. I’ll be in the cheering section, pompoms at the ready!

    1. You crack me up! Thanks for the pompoms!

  11. You are going to be very busy but it sounds like you have it all under control. ROW80 is a great idea.

    1. Oh good then my ruse is working! Hahahahaha!

      I’m just going to do my best. Thanks for your support Kate!

  12. Welcome to ROW80, Jess! I’ve been with it from the beginning, and it’s really helped me stayed focused. I’ve had the privilege of meeting up with Kait several times, and she really is great. And I think ROW80 is a very thoughtful thing she’s done for the rest of us. I hope you enjoy hanging out with the ROW80ers! We’re a fun bunch, I promise. 🙂

    1. Lol that’s what she told me. She said to dive in cause the group was really friendly. I’m quickly seeing that for myself. Thank you!

  13. Awesome concise goals, Jess. Are you sure you haven’t done this before? 😉

    Glad you are joining us in the the ROW80 (even if I’ve never met Kait in person, she’s be great to talk to via email, so yeah, know what you mean)..

    1. First time in ROW, but I know a lot of rowers and have made some goal lists for the life list club. Row will be my place to keep my writing focused.

      1. I thought you knew the drill better than most beginners. Good for you.

  14. Hi Jess, welcome to ROW80. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but you’ll LOVE it! Lots of accountability and support from tons of wonderful writers. If you are ever free at 2 PM EST on weekdays, check out the #row80 tag on twitter. A few of us sprint at that time everyday if you want to hop in 😀 Good luck with your goals!

    1. Good to know! I’ll stop by on my next day off!

  15. You go girl! Way to set some goals and jump right in there. I’ll be interested to hear your experience with Fast Draft!

    1. Well I wanted a swift kick in the pants and Candace’s advice about roadblocks totally fit me so I’m willing to give her way a try with the vast support of your way. Thanks for all the chats at the conference!

  16. Holy goals! Good luck, lady bug! Can’t wait to see how you do!

    1. *hugs* Thank you Renee!

  17. Fast Draft sounds insane! You are so awesome to brave that challenge! Congrats on beginning ROW80! I did it for almost a year and LOVED it! Kait is amazing and so are all the ROWers! I learned so much about how I write and what works for me—you will too.
    I love your goals—clean your room! Look up my friend Jolyse Barnett during the July 2nd round. I think it will be her first time also.*clapping hands like a two yr old* You’re going to have so much fun!

    1. Hahaha You are a social butterfly! I heart you so much, Ms. Marcia Richards.

  18. Welcome. ROW80 has been a wonderful boost for me! And I love that your post confirmed what I always thought… Kait is a dear! Looking forward to following your ROW80 progress.

    1. Thank you immensely for the ROW welcome. You all have been so kind!

  19. […] Fast Draft will run June 7th-21st Definitely on board are Ingrid Schaffenburg, Jess Witkins and myself. Karen McFarland and Kathy Owen are making noises about joining us. If you are in, let […]

  20. […] to all things cheetos, Dove chocolate, mugs of tea, and cheese when I write. And oh yah, I have my ROW80 peeps to keep me on task.  What’s your support system or writing pantry look […]

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