Slow and Steady Sets the Pace

September 1, 2009 at 5:22 am 12 comments

Pacesetter Michelle Buonfiglio talks about her plan to reach her UYS 2009 goals.

Buonfiglio-1Regrets; I’ve had a few…thousand!

Like right now, I’m wishing I hadn’t shot off my mouth and dared readers and bloggers to whoop my goals of ten thousand pages read and/or words written for UYS ’09.

I figured it out when I spent yesterday holed up, trying to get a head start on things.  Scored about 700 pages, but zilch Mom of the Year points. Today, trying desperately to catch up on work, I’ve only written 800 words.  Looks like you shall well and truly spank my goals by the time UYS wraps September 28.

But I’ll happily have my ego throttled, ’cause that spells success, and that’s what UYS is about. Well, not about abject humiliation before one’s peers, but rather, leaping outside our comfort zones.

Maybe the idea of asking for donations creeps you out. I totally hear you. But most of us are happy to give even $1 when a friend asks for a good cause, so consider yourself a success when you do the asking even once.

Perhaps the thought of setting a goal “in print” on your blog embarrasses you.  Last year, I didn’t reach my donation goal, but I tried and also worked hard promoting and writing about UYS often – and not just for the word count, you cheeky things.  So I consider my participation a success, simply because I lent a hand.

Mae West said, “Anything worth doing, is worth doing slowly.”  As a fan of sexy romance, that appeals. And at the start of this year’s UYS event, I’m going to take it a little easy on myself and invite you to do the same: set a UYS goal, grab a book or your keyboard, have a little fun and give raising some funds for CF research your best shot.

Let the slow and worthy doin’ begin!

What’s your UYS success story?  What’s your ’09 plan for success?


Entry filed under: How you can help, Pacesetter, reading. Tags: , , , , .

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  • 1. Michelle Buonfiglio  |  September 1, 2009 at 11:37 am

    ‘morning! I’m really jazzed about being part of UYS this year and hoping nobody on the team gets too upset with me if I get whiny cause I’m having trouble keeping up to the rest my fellow readers and bloggers! What was I thinking?

    But then again, setting the goal for reading 10K pages is really forcing me to step away from the laptop and read. And that’s my success story from last year, too. I know that sounds funny for somebody who writes about books, but it’s similar to when editors tell you they read manuscripts in their ‘free time.’ There’s just not enough time in the day to do the best part of my gigs: Reading romance.

    Has anybody started reading anything great? Oh, and make sure you tell us where you’re blogging for UYS!

  • 2. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 1, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Thanks, Michelle.

    Of course, Romance Unleashed authors are not eligible for prizes, but we do set goals as well. Last year, I came close to my writing goal, but didn’t hit it, so I’ve set the same goal again.

    I actually thought about setting a reading goal, but there is no way I’m going to carve out time to read this month and get the writing done that I need to do.

  • 3. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    I would like to mention one point about reading and writing goals because the question came up again this morning.

    How are reading and writing goals tied to donation amounts? This is answered in more detail in our FAQs–click the link in the sidebar to read the complete FAQs.

    The short answer is, we want to keep this event as simple as possible. We ask all donors to give a flat amount, not an amount per page or an amount per word. Using the “pledge per page” system requires participants to go to donors twice and it makes figuring out how much to donate way more complicated. If a donor knows she can afford $25, how much would she pledge per page? It’s way easier to just give $25.

    I make the ask like this: My goal is to write 15,000 words during the event. Will you please make a donation in support of my goal? Any amount is appreciated, please give what you can afford.

  • 4. Ann Lethbridge  |  September 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I think this is such a great event. My youngest daughter did her master’s thesis on finding a cure for CF here in Canada. It is all too technical for me, I’m an author not a scientist, but they did make a breakthrough in treating the disease in the lab.

    The difficulty is, having enough funding to keep the research going. Her research was undertaken in a university and in these days of economic problems university funding is hard to come by.
    So congratulations on the effort to generate funds.
    I will blog about this today in hopes of directing traffic your way, and will of course stop by with my contribution.

    • 5. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 1, 2009 at 12:47 pm

      Thanks, Ann!

      It amazes me how much improvement there has been in just one generation. When I was a kid, a child born with CF would almost certainly not live to elementary school age. Now, life expectancy is much longer, but living with CF is still a struggle. We can see the value of research in people’s lives.

      Money is a small thing to give–but it is a very necessary thing.

  • 6. Sally MacKenzie  |  September 1, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Had to stop by and say great post, Michelle, and thanks so much for being the pacesetter reader!

    Last year I couldn’t set writing goals since I was in the planning phases of a book. This year I’m approaching the mid point of my last Naked book, so UYS is perfect as another goad to get me to put butt in chair.

    I’m a bit of a rebel, though. I set my goal as three hours spent engaged with the story, rather than x number of words written. (I got the three hour idea from a workshop Susan Elizabeth Phillips gave at National this year.) I’m a slow writer and sometimes the pages don’t come, but my chances of getting something written increase dramatically if I spend the time knocking my head against the story. So far it seems to be working well–just offer that for any other writers–or readers–who want to “trick” themselves into get their work done. Set the timer! (And you have to turn it off when you check email or go off to make a cup of coffee.)

    Okay, off to start my writing day!

  • 7. Michelle Buonfiglio  |  September 1, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Hi, everyone! Ann, thank you so much for sharing yours and your daughter’s connection with CF. Hate to say it, but I’m pretty verklempt. You must be so touched and proud that your daughter helped create something so valuable at the same time she was learning. That’s such a valuable part of research. All the money invested doesn’t find a cure “overnight,” but so much is learned along the way that helps in other areas of medicine and science. Every dollar donated to something like UYS is kind of viral — no pun intended, cause that’d be a pretty nerdy joke. Thanks for helping spread the word. And, um, if you’re not going to count your blogging words, maybe you could donate them to my count??? [that’s just between you and me, ok?]

  • 8. Michelle Buonfiglio  |  September 1, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Sally and Teresa, you’re definitely getting into the same groove I am, the ‘make it work for you’ spirit. I like the idea of setting goals we can hit, and working them in ways that are comfortable for us.

    I think we’re all used to that idea of raising dollars for increments, like dollars per mile, or dollars per, I dunno, hot dog eaten. Hey, have you though of a Snacking Pacesetter? ”

    Anyway, the idea of simply asking folks to donate in the spirit of our making a journey toward our goal is a kind of new way to look at things. And it makes it really easy on everyone, from participants to donors.

    Lemmee know if the Snacking gig opens up, okay?

  • 9. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 1, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Snacking? That is totally taken. Sorry.

    As far as your 10,000 words goal–you know that’s only 500 words per day for 20 days, right?

    You can do it.

    I can do 15,000 too if I just plant my over-sized rear in a chair long enough.

    Speaking of which, I’m off to work.

    • 10. Michelle Buonfiglio  |  September 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm

      I have a habit of forgetting to write down my counts , Teresa, and then scramble to figure it out! And I’m also a serial editor, so I probably write 4-8 drafts of a piece that ends up @ 4-600 words. Of course, my BN post yesterday took me the better part of a day/half, but that was my problem cause I tore it apart halfway through. I just wanted to get that particular piece ‘right.’

      It’s the funny thing about writing short. You novelists have the heartbreak of writing 120K and slashing to 80 or so? I’m struggling to be miserly to begin with, then excising from that. It’s really fun in how challenging it can be — and frustrating in how many of one’s “beloved children” one ends up having to slay. If you know what I mean?

      • 11. Teresa Bodwell  |  September 2, 2009 at 12:52 pm

        I think it was Winston Churchill who famously ended a letter: “Sorry, I didn’t have time to make this shorter.”

        Writing short is hard!

        OTOH, I’ll bet I cut 200,000 words in the process of writing a 100,000 word novel. Very few of those original words make the cut.

        When we shoot for writing goals, we don’t usually refer to final words. Rather going for a big goal like this one we are looking at drafted words. So you bloggers really do have a disadvantage since you have to finalize your work as you go along.

  • 12. Unleash Your Story « Shari Creates  |  September 2, 2009 at 5:19 am

    […] hoping to meet BOTH Lori Wilde’s write 60,000 words challenge and Michelle Buonfiglio’s read 10,000 pages and write 10,000 words challenges. Fortunately, I read very […]

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Pacesetter Author

Lori Wilde is our 2009 Pacesetter Author.

Lori has sold 47 books to 4 major New York publishers--5 books coming out in 2009. She's prolific and dedicated to writing regularly to keep up with all those deadlines!

Lori promises to set a sizzling pace for all our writers to follow! Her goal for the event is 60,000 words!

To learn more about Lori, visit her Pacesetter Page

Michelle Buonfiglio Pacesetter Reader

We are proud to have Michelle Buonfiglio as our 2009 Pacesetter Reader.

Michelle hosts Barnes &’s new “Heart to Heart” (H2H) daily romance fiction blog and is the creative force behind (RBTB), a fun and positive place where readers and writers hang to talk love, sex, family, life -- and, of course, romance novels

Michelle's goals are to read 10,000 pages and write 10,000 words in her blogs and comments.

To learn more about Michelle, visit her Pacesetter Page


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