ROW80

Round One, Week Two — Ups and Downs

Medieval Writing, by Hans Splinter, WANA Commons

Last Wednesday, I didn’t have a lot more than a WIPpet to offer as progress  toward my goals. At least it did get me the two blog posts that I have been trying to achieve for a while, so that was good.  It was also fun to start to investigate a different aspect of a character I’ve been thinking about for a long time. A serendipitous find in a reference work opened up a whole story that has been unwinding itself in a lovely way.

I also took a brief look at some notes I wrote a few months ago about what might be an interesting A-Z blog challenge and thought about some possibilities for some more letters.

With a nudge here and there, I have been writing five sentences a day on fiction. I have been concentrating on the character mentioned above, but I also had a lightning strike about one of my World War II characters as well.

And as my pivot point from ups to downs, I did a decent job disengaging from the day job, although I realized I have to do some work tomorrow, even though it is officially a day off. Sigh.

On Friday, I had to go to New York City for a doctor’s appointment, and had planned to stay overnight to visit some of the bookstores and favorite restaurants. Unfortunately, the escalator to the track level was very slick, and I did a masterful free fall down the entire thing, managing an acrobatic split that I haven’t achieved since I was a teenager. Luckily, my doctor checked me out, and I’ve done nothing more serious than strained the ligaments in my knee, and several back muscles. Who knew I was that athletic? So, the other half and I didn’t make it to the Strand bookstore, but we did find a very nice Italian restaurant just a block away from the hotel.

I have had a pretty quiet day here, not getting the cleaning done that I had planned, but organizing lots of electronic files (some of which I had misplaced for about five years, so that was a victory). I suppose, now that I write it all down, it wasn’t a bad week, well, except for the banged up knee.

ROW80

Round One 2018 Goals

Ready for 2018

 

Happy New Year! In the oddly elastic way time moves, 2017 seems to have flown by and crawled by, depending on where I stood, whether I looked back at the swiftness of time passing, or was waiting for something, the day to end, or a vacation to begin. I no longer have the perception of the long, lazy, weekends and summers that I had as a child, but more often find myself looking back in astonishment at the end of the day, wondering who stole the hours I had planned to sneak into my office to write. At least, I managed to reset my desk to usefulness over the long holiday weekend, and am ready for 2018.

I do not make resolutions, but prefer to find words to live by. My 2017 words served me well, so I will continue to follow them: Contemplate, Plan, Organize. After that, my only hope is to plan and organize to a fare-thee-well, with flexibility and forgiveness. I have learned to seize minutes and increments of hours where I can, to set priorities and to allow myself and my writing to be a priority. I want to return to blogging, after far too long of being totally absent and completely inconsistent. I want to continue working on my fiction as well as to prepare for my large non-fiction summer project; finally, I want to pull back from my day job, which I have allowed to encroach too far into the rest of my life.

The following are my goals for the first round of the Round of Words in 80 days challenge which is described here, if you would like to join in. Please feel free to support the other participants, whose goals are here.

Work toward more consistency in blogging, beginning with one check-in and one other post weekly.

Plan the missing A-Z blog challenge topics and outline the ones already chosen.

Five sentences a day on a piece of fiction.

Disengage from the day job as much as possible, beginning with not checking email after business hours.

 

 

ROW80

Round Four, Check-in 23

Initially, I was looking back at the Round with mixed feelings because I didn’t do as well as I would have liked. However, upon reflection, I did more than I have done in a long time. In this penultimate check-in, I will focus on what I would change for the next Round. I will end on a high note on Wednesday, looking at what I accomplished.

I need to write more often. I know that there are many people who write only every weekend, or only once a month, or whatever. I am not one of those people. For me, writing infrequently is like putting down an uncapped fountain pen for a week. The ink in the nib will have dried into a hard glob, and no ink will flow. The words are stuck and have to be pried through a mesh barrier at great effort, making it too easy for me to put the piece down again to work on later. And later becomes later, and later, and finally never. It doesn’t matter that I won’t use all the words I write; it is the practice of writing, keeping the ink flowing that is important.  I have been reworking some pieces from long ago, and my reaction ranges from “What dreck!” to “Hmm, that phrase isn’t bad.”

In that vein, I need to blog more often. I had a lot of fun rejoining WIPpet Wednesday last week, although I have to admit, I fear not being able to keep up the pace, or to match the quality of the other entries–a self-imposed worry, since everyone is supportive.  I also posted a Stream of Consciousness Saturday piece for the first time, which is far easier because it is meant to be a raw piece, with only corrections of typos.

Finally, I need to be more of a participant in the community. As Eden said on the check-in post, life happens, but the support of this community helps, even if one just needs sympathy for a bad week.

So, looking at the whole Round, the goals that were difficult were to write a blog post every week and to work on the nonfiction. I need to add accountability for visiting ROWers’ blogs and responding to comments. However, as I look at the list, I did more than I did not, so I feel better.

My progress on writing and health goals since the last check-in are indicated below. I will address the organizing goals on Wednesday. I hope all of you are ending your Round on a positive note; if something (like Life) got in your way, there’s always the next Round.

Writing Goals:

Write one blog post every week. Yes, two. Wednesday and Saturday.

Write three pages of fiction every week. Yes.

Write five pages of nonfiction every week. No.

 

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day. Yes.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day. Yes.

Keep up with medical appointments. Yes.

 

Organizing Goals:

Create project folders for each writing project.

Create a coloring book profile for each character in the novella.

 

ROW80

Round Four Week Four — Casting My Lot

Last week was still a struggle with my Type-A personality, but I made two baby steps in hopes that they will entice me to spend more time with my writing. I signed up for NaNo, fully planning to be a rebel and not to worry overmuch about word count. I also joined RWA and the local chapter. I think (and hope) that having committed to joining will encourage me not only to go to the programs, but to work on putting what I learn into practice.

I mentioned last week being awash with ideas. This past week I started to write some of them down and put them into idea folders. The RWA program I attended two weeks ago had to do with brand and identity, which I am still contemplating.  In the meantime, at least I have some ideas of what sort of things I want to write. I’ve been thinking about creature comforts lately, looking at the devastation in the Caribbean and the Sonoma Valley. I know better than to promise when these ideas will appear in the blog, but they are in formulation. As for my specific goals, listed below, I am doing far better on health and organizing than writing, but I hope all the thought will eventually pour out in words.

All the best to those NaNo pursuers out there, and words to all.

Writing Goals:

Write one blog post every week.

Write three pages of fiction every week.

Write five pages of nonfiction every week.

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.

Keep up with medical appointments.

Organizing Goals:

Create project folders for each writing project.

Create a coloring book profile for each character in the novella.

ROW80

Round Four, Week Three — More Ideas Than Time

Autumn has remained in our neighborhood far longer than usual, with many trees still in full leaf. Unfortunately, rain and winds are forecast for tomorrow, so autumn may be on its way south. I’m a bit sad to see autumn go, but winter has its charms.

I have really fallen off the blogging wagon the past few weeks. I have swarms of ideas, but they tend to evaporate when I try to grasp them and wrestle them into words. Also, I am far too Type A for my own good, putting too much time and effort into the day job. It is crazy that I do so, because it is not neurosurgery, and no one will be harmed if I don’t do everything perfectly. Even so, it’s a hard habit to break.

Despite the pressures at work, this was a pretty good week, because I did manage to fit in some writing things. Saturday, I  went as Eden’s guest to the local chapter program of the Romance Writers of America. I have been reluctant, due to imposter syndrome, but I screwed up my courage. The program was very helpful, and all the members of the chapter were friendly, so I’m glad I finally convinced myself to go. It felt self-indulgent, but hey, it’s not as bad as chocolate, right?

So, other than falling on my face with blogging once a week, I did pretty well on my goals. I didn’t manage five pages of non-fiction, but I reworked the outline and schedule to make up for getting behind a couple of months ago. which was a necessary step to going forward. I met all my health and organizing goals as well. Of course, last night I managed to think of roughly six more projects so I need to set up folders and profiles for all of those projects as well.

Writing Goals:

Write one blog post every week. 

Write three pages of fiction every week. 

Write five pages of nonfiction every week.

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.

Keep up with medical appointments.

Organizing Goals:

Create project folders for each writing project.

Create a coloring book profile for each character in the novella.

ROW80

Round Four 2017 Goals

My Round Four plan is to put some time and effort into organizing and planning. I tend to rush into writing without thinking things through.  While there are many people who can do that successfully, but I am not one of those people. Therefore,  I am going to pull back and try to go more slowly.

Grounding mantra: Organize, plan, contemplate

Writing Goals:

Write one blog post every week.

Write three pages of fiction every week.

Write five pages of non-fiction every week.

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.

Keep up with medical appointments.

Organizing Goals:

Create project folders for each writing project.

Create a coloring book profile for each character in the novella.

 

ROW80

Week Nine — Dusting Myself Off

I last posted in the fourth week of the Third Round and it is now the ninth week. August became a maelstrom of crazy, of which I am still suffering the effects. After a July that was better for writing accomplishments than any months in the recent past, I fell off the cliff in August. I offer no excuses. It is time to pick myself up off the rocks at the bottom of the cliff and climb back to the surface. I am not planning to change my goals, since they are attainable and useful.

On a positive note, I have been doing very well on my health goals. Also, my niece has done a fantastic job with my websites as well as gone the extra mile to teach me how to maintain them. I spent this morning changing things and  actually knew what the heck I was doing. If any of you are interested, the other sites are accessible from the menu above.

I am glad to be back among this group. I hope you all have a great week.

Writing Goals:

One blog post per week.

Five sentences of fiction a day.

One page of writing on the book per day/

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day.

Keep track of hydration.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.

 

ROW80

Round Three Week Four Feeling Energetic

This was actually a short week for me, since I had a stubborn migraine early last week. I managed to get a lot of things done in the few days left after the migraine finally took its leave. I spent most of yesterday decluttering my home office, emptying three large boxes of paperwork and files.  Some needed to be filed, but most needed to be shredded or tossed. It was quite freeing. Today has been more of a push with electronic decluttering, although I did find a file of handwritten edits that I need to combine with the latest electronic version of the non-fiction book. I also spent some time with the websites, although I still need some help from my niece. I’m getting there, though, and will be able to turn my attention to posting on the new, shiny, sites.

The day job was a bit much the last two days of the week. I’m still adjusting to the new boss, and not quite sure how to read her. I hope it’s just the first settling-in sort of thing. I’m also adjusting to a new medication, which seems to be working well, but tends to mess with my sleep. It should settle in the next week or so, but I tend to be cranky when I’m tired. Let the world be forewarned!

If you have a chance, I encourage you to check out the RoWers on FB and on the blog. Excelsior, everyone!

Writing Goals:

One blog post per week.

Five sentences of fiction a day.

One page of writing on the book per day.

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day.

Keep track of hydration.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.

 

ROW80

Round Three Week Two Feeling Creative

Very late this week!  I had a migraine progressively worsen during Sunday, and it didn’t let go fully until yesterday afternoon. Last week was pretty good, however, and I felt more creative than I have in some time.  I met nearly all my goals (posted below), with the blog post falling off the list, but I did spend some time on the websites–well, at least giving orders to my niece about the sites! She is writing up documentation for me to make my way with it from here, which will be great, but I have reserved the right to call her in for consultation in future.  She’s done a lovely job.

So now I need to turn my eye to the drafts and get those polished and posted.  The migraine slowed down my progress the first part of the week, but I plan to get back to writing later today.  Even so, I am still ahead of schedule on the non-fiction.  I also need desperately to catch up with comments and visits to other Rowers. I so appreciate the visits and comments, it is incumbent on me to return them!

I hope all is well with all the RoWers. Have a great rest of the week!

 

Writing Goals:

One blog post per week.

Five sentences of fiction a day.

One page of writing on the book per day.

Health Goals:

Walk forty minutes a day.

Keep track of hydration.

Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.

 

ROW80

Round Three Week One — Feeling Good

After a very crazy June, I am pleased with myself about my goals this Round. If you want to see them, they are at the end of this post. I feel pretty sure that I can keep up the habits that I’ve learned, because I feel good about getting them done. I am to the point where walking feels good, and I want to keep doing it. I am on a new medication that may cause dizziness, so I need to be careful, but even so, I plan to keep moving. I walk at least 45 minutes a day, I am using the standing desk at least three hours a day, and unashamedly do tai chi and bop to the music while working. I find myself jumping into the non-fiction book wholeheartedly, which is refreshing. I created a page-a-day outline and schedule, but I am about a week ahead of time.

There are still habits to work on: I find it hard to switch between projects, so I need to work on getting those five sentences every day to keep the fiction going. I also need to figure out a way to track my hydration. I have a water bottle that I hope will be a visible reminder, and its calibration will help me track consumption. As for blog posts, I have not posted, but I am working behind the scenes on the sites, freshening them up with the help of my niece, who has a great artistic eye. I have over a dozen saved drafts that I hope to begin rolling out this Round. I need to catch up with comments and visits to other Rowers as well.

I hope everyone has a great week, with lots of words!

Writing Goals:

  • One blog post per week.
  • Five sentences of fiction a day.
  • One page of writing on the book per day.

Health Goals:

  • Walk forty minutes a day.
  • Keep track of hydration.
  • Use the standing desk at least three hours a day.