Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | August 24, 2011

ROW 80 check-in 8/24

I got a lot of great advice about how to get out of the Slough of Despond, and so much encouragement that it made me a little teary. What a great group all of you are! Many of you have mentioned Kristen Lamb’s We Are Not Alone; Andrew Mocete gave me the link to Kristen’s writing posts, storyfix, and Susan Bischoff’s blueprint.

So, I have done a bit of retrenching since Sunday. I started to change my platforms to my pen name (Elizabeth Anne Mitchell), a process that is still on-going. I started to read a lot more about the craft; I am also planning and organizing. I have a large Amazon cart waiting for my payday on Friday, full of writing and reading goodies.

My bifurcated writing lives are becoming blurred, and I am no longer sure whether that is a good or a bad thing. In many ways, the day writing informs the night writing, and the practice of the night writing helps the day writing come easier, but I worry a bit about the blurring. I know there are many of you out there who walk that tightrope–I’d be interested in how you keep things separate, or don’t worry about it.

On the goals: I had two new articles to write. One became a book proposal. I should hear by the end of August yea or nay. Another one is in the hands of a journal editor; it could be weeks or months before I hear anything. Sigh.

I also planned to revise two other articles. I’ve been working on one of those, and it ain’t bad, if I do say so myself. It was given as a paper, so it needed all the presentation stuff taken out, but other than that, not horrible. So I’m reasonably on track to attack the other revision before the end of Round 3.

I did post on the Gutenberg Bible on Saturday as my Literary Post of the Week. I am going to pull back on blogging, until I understand better what to post, although I will deliver on the promised posts on the history of profanity and one on Google Reader that Jenny Hansen suggested to Jamila Jamison and me in the wee hours of the morning.

I’ve been walking Brigid faithfully, so doing well on that goal. Riley is reacting well to the heartworm treatment, although he was in pain for the entire day after the injection, poor thing. He gets extra cuddles, which is hard, since he weighs 99 pounds!

I do spend at least two hours on writing peripherals a day; if I don’t manage to do the whole two hours without dipping into the wonderful connected world of Twitter or commenting on blogs, I add more time.

So, I’m making my baby sea-turtle steps to the ocean. It’s going better than I expected when I was back in the Slough of Despond. We are within sight of the end of the Round. How are y’all doing? You can check on everyone here.

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Responses

  1. Love the new pen name! I’m roughly 98% certain that I am going to need one of my own. I’ve allowed my writing life and non-writing life to intersect here and there (I use my full name on my twitter and G+ accounts, though refer to myself by my first and middle everywhere else), but things are starting to get a wee bit muddy, so it’s time to pick a new name.

    I think I know what you mean about blurring, though in my case, I think my biggest problem comes from making time for both the thesis and the “fun” stuff. I’d rather play in my imaginary worlds, and I really have to get strict with myself when it comes to scheduling time.

    Your post on the Gutenberg Bible is sitting on top of my to-read list!

    • I know what you mean, Jamila. It is more a matter of scheduling the time for both hats, and both lives, especially when one is a lot more fun than the other! Thanks for coming by and commenting. I hope the Gutenberg post lives up to your interest!

  2. You ask about the good and the bad of “blurring.” I’m not an academic writer anymore, but it’s still a part of the writer I am now. I think the biggest advantages for me were in learning to produce words without “inspiration” — as well as the inspiration from the subjects I encountered in my academic research. The disadvantage for me was the editor brain I came away with and that I still find very hard to shake. I think its one of the reasons I find it so hard to write fast. The habit of considering and weighing the words is a hard one to shake.

    Have a productive rest of the week!

    • Good point about not waiting for the muse in academic writer–we’d be waiting forever, wouldn’t we? I can’t shake the editor brain, as you and I discussed a few weeks ago. Thank you for coming by and commenting, Ruth. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  3. You’ve been very busy! Lovely pen name 🙂 I write under two different names, and some days that gets to be too much. Not only do they blur together, but because it’s more work – it’s extra hard to unplug. When I take days off, that means both jobs aren’t moving forward, which of course puts me behind on both. Still, it was a necessity to separate due to the differing genres and goals.

    I do believe the author platforms are important, but nothing is more important than the writing. We can make ourselves too busy and our writing time suffers for it.

    I hope the rest of your week is super productive, and pat yourself on the back for those baby sea-turtle steps 🙂

    Marie

    • Thank you for the compliment on the pen name–I must admit, I kinda like it myself!! I hear you on the difficulty unplugging–“Oh, I’m done with this job, so I’ll just put a little time into the other job.” I’m of two minds about the author platform–it is very important, but there are times, I think I’m neglecting the writing, and that is a true danger. Thank you for the pats on the back, for stopping by and for the encouraging words. I hope you have a lovely weekend, Marie.

  4. Sometimes, baby turtle steps are the way to go, and it seems that it’s been working well, so best of luck and keep it up! I’ve never been too big on the idea of a pen name myself, but I do understand the reasons for them and might have to consider them one day. So I’m always interested in reading about others’ Adventures in Pen Names.

    • Thank you for stopping by, L.S. I never thought I’d need or want a pen name, either, but it seems a good way to avoid confusing my various audiences. I also appreciate your encouragement on the baby steps. I think it is the right path for me right now. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

  5. I really like your pen name too! As a largely anonymous writer I think I will use one but the ones I have come up with so far have not really hit the mark! More thinking to do on that.

    Glad you are feeling a bit better and baby sea-turtle steps are better than standing still. Have a great rest of your week!

    • Thanks you, Em. It took me a fair amount of thought to find a name I was comfortable with, and that sounded right to me. I have managed to hike out of the Slough of Despond, and am back to looking at the half-full glass. Your point of baby steps being better than standing still is a good one, and I thank you for the encouragement. Have a wonderful weekend, Em!

  6. I’m pretty active in online gaming (the subject of my other blog) and go by the moniker Fulguralis there. I have the authorial side of things, which, fortunately, I don’t feel I need a hard separation from my personal life. Still, I have separate Google emails/identities for them all and often feel like I have Dissociative Identity Disorder. Most of the time, I manage, but every now and then I forget to be in the right “realm” when I post something and have to scramble to undo it.

    Incidentally, I prefer commenting at places where I can put in a name/URL (as opposed to signing into something) because at the end I can always ask: “Wait, who am I today?” It is when the interwebs try to tell me who I am that we start having problems. *raises fist*

    • I join you in raising my fist to the evil interwebs, Matt! Like you, I have two gmail addresses, two identities, and yes, even sometimes Dissociative Identity Disorder (I hear my kids, nudging each other, “told ya!”). I haven’t mixed myself up and posted under the wrong identity yet, but I’m sure I’ve already confused most of the participants in ROW80 (“Wasn’t she somebody else last week?”). I hadn’t thought about the comment form that asks for name and URL , but it does offer that identity check, doesn’t it?

      Thanks for coming by and commenting, Matt. I hope your weekend is a nice one!

  7. I love your pen name too…it sounds very literary and accessible.

    Thanks for the mention! I can’t wait to see that post on Google Reader. 🙂

    Keep up the good work on ROW80!!

    • Thank you , Jenny. I appreciate the compliment on the pen name. I am a little behind on the Google Reader post, as my home laptop died 😦 , but I will get it out there soon! Thanks for the encouragement, and for stopping by. I hope your weekend is lovely!

  8. Very good check-in. Very encouraging. Keep up the good work!

    • I’m glad you found it encouraging, Wendy. I sometimes get down, but this group is so supportive and helpful that it is hard to stay depressed! I hope you have a nice weekend. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


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