Row 80 Round 2 Goals

The last round wasn’t so good for me, but I’ve learned that life has ebb and flow, so I’m just putting the last round down to an ebb tide, right?  ( I think that’s the right phrase, being landlocked in Kansas I don’t get much ocean exposure!)

I’m going to keep it simple this time and focus on a three-pronged approach to my goals, and focus on me as a writer a little bit more.

I found a copy of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way at Bookaholic the other day, and since I’ve been feeling blocked creatively for the last, oh say, 30 plus years, it seemed worth a shot.  The book is a twelve week program for getting un-blocked and tapping into your creativity, and a Row 80 is about 12 weeks, so seemed pretty coinkydinky to me!

1.  I will work through the lessons one week at a time, and do all the homeworks involved with it.

I am also going to get serious about some diet and excercise this round.  I did the Body for  Life program several years ago and had excellent results.  I got lazy and distracted and let some things go (my middle, butt and thighs!) but it’s time, for reasons I won’t get into here, to get serious about taking care of myself.  And a Body for Life challenge lasts 12 weeks, so I’m surrounded by coinkydinks!

2.  I will commit to my clean eating and exercise plan for the entire twelve weeks.

And the writing?  It’s time to put up or shut up, and get busy writing an ugly, messy, imperfect little draft of my idea that sits and chews on my brain stem all day long.  First drafts are supposed to be ugly, messy and imperfect so I’m giving myself permission to make puke stains on the page.

3.  I will write a rough draft of my novel.  This draft will be more like a very long synopsis, but at least it will be words on the page.

So how many of you are Rocking the Row this go-round?  Chime in and lets hang out together!


Row 80 Round 1 Final Check in


This wasn’t exactly the greatest 80 days for me, for a variety of reasons.  But, coming up soon is another challenge, another round, and another chance to set goals and get back on that horse.

Only those that never ride, never fall.

Falling sucks, but it does teach you a bit of respect and gives you a chance to re-evaluate things and pick a different strategy.




After you get the dirt out of your teeth.

I’ll see you all in the next Round of Row 80.

Back in the saddle again!

ROW 80 Check In

*blink, blink*  Wow, that light is bright.   *sneezes*  Sorry about all that dust, peeps.

It’s been way too long since I touched base with my goals.

I seemed to sprain something this last month.  I had been pushing myself harder and harder, at least mentally, and I think I suffered from sort of a writing related training injury,  sprained my muse or something like that.  So, much as we hate it, the only solution for a sprain is to rest it until it heals up, and then take it easy until it’s back to full strength.

In the last month, however, while I was “resting” I did complete an article for publication that a magazine had requested, something that they will even pay me real money for!  No beads or trinkets, actual cash that I can use to buy books groceries with, and that ain’t nuthin.

March is looking to be a very busy month.  I’m putting on a workshop in April, and it’s up to me to write the book that goes with it.  I entered another reading challenge, this time committing to read 5 books over at The Roof Beam Reader’s Magical March challenge.  Oh, and my dumb ass signed up for three online writing workshops. What was that I said about taking it easy until things heal?  Monkey don’t learn.

But I have learned a bit about myself recently, and about pacing.  I’ve almost figured out how to make it all work without losing it and sitting in the corner crying and eating crayons.  I actually got that article completed on time and didn’t bite anyone in the process!  So, it’s time to try my speshul new pacing skills out on what I’m calling my Madness March.  (hmm, why does that phrase sound vaguely familiar?)

My goals for the next check in period between March 1 and March 7:

1.  Complete outline for workshop book.

2. Read two of the easier reads on my Magical March list.  (I’m saving Game of Thrones for later in case I decide I can’t live without knowing What Happens Next.)

3.  Get a jump on the writing class homework so I don’t get left behind and play catch up.  Complete any assignments within 3 days.

4. Continue to stretch my daily word count to between 800 and 1200.  Any form of writing except emails and blog replies counts.  Blog posts, homework, book outline, all are on the good list.

5.  Finish synopsis of my novel and figure out what the next step is there.

6.  Make it back around the blog o sphere and check in with my peeps, who hopefully haven’t forgotten me!  Comment on three blogs every day for the next week.

Well, that should do it for me.  How is everyone else doing?  I’ve seen several of you rocking it, good on you!

Take care and check in if you get a chance!

Row 80 Check In

Short and sweet this week:  I’ve been in the middle of preparing our taxes.  Gak.

1)  I backed off of my word count goal so I could devote all my angst and energy to  numbers.  I’m back to 1200 daily for the week and so far so good.

2)   I joined a TOPS club near the zoo so I can weigh in and have a little consistent accountability.  I can tell myself that my scale is stupid and not working and a bleeping piece of crap, but I can’t say that to the cute little old lady recording the weigh ins.  Not cool.

3)  Got the first book read in the TBR pile challenge, and I need to write a review.  However, this challenge does not seem to have stopped me buying new books.  Of course books are to a writer like chocolate is to a stressed out pre-menopausal woman…not that I would know anything about that!

4) Been making the blog luv rounds, slowly but steadily.  Met some cool new people who have some cool books out…see # 3!

How is everyone else doing?  Are you getting in the rhythm after the holidays?

Take care and check in when you can!

How about some Un-Resolutions?

New Years resolutions.  Ah, the bane of every eternal optimists existence.  Every new year offers a chance to start over fresh, re-tool our life plans and make this year the one!  The year we accomplish everything on our to – do list!  Lose 10 lbs!  Have clean closets/bathrooms/carpets/muffin pans/whatever!

And for those of you who actually manage to make this happen, kudos to you and let me know when your How-To book comes out and how much caffeine you consumed in the process.

I didn’t make any resolutions this year.  In fact, I guess you could say I resolved to Un-Resolution this year.  I’ve gotten to know myself pretty well over the last few decades, and I know I’m just setting myself up for failure by making an impressive list of things I feel like I need to do to be a better person, and watching myself go down in flames in a week or two.

So this year, I’m focusing on habits.  One habit at a time, and not moving on until the current one is established.  Research indicates that it can take up to 37 repetitions to make a habit.  And that means successful repetitions.  If you want to make a habit of cleaning off your desk at the end of the day, you have to do it 37 consecutive times in a row before that habit is entrenched.  If you miss one time, you have to start over.  Yikes!  No wonder it can take so long to train yourself to make the bed in the morning. Or make it out of bed.

My first habit I wanted to change was daily writing.  I’ve been working on that one since before Thanksgiving and I’m pretty happy with the way it’s going.  It feels as natural as brushing my teeth now, and occasionally it feels so natural I don’t remember doing it, but the words are there.  Also if I don’t do it I behave like an uncaffeinated grizzly bear with PMS, so everyone around me knows I didn’t do it either, kind of like that teeth brushing thing.

How about you folks?  Are you in the resolution camp or the un-resolution camp?

I see a lot of you are joining ROW 80!  Awesome!  Here’s to making some new habits and new friends in 2012!


Row 80 Round One 2012 Goals

Short and sweet here:

1)  Continue with escalating my wordcount.  My goal this week is 1200 a day, and it will up to 1600 next week.  I fully expect to plateau here, and I’m fine with coasting there for a while until I catch my breath.  My ultimate goal is 3200 a day, but I fully acknowledge it may take the rest of the year to get there consistently.

2) Develop an exercise habit.  I’ve discovered lately I’m becoming all about habits.  It’s so much harder to make a positive one rather than a negative one, because let’s face it, as a species we are all lazy as hell and would rather be snoozing like a cat in the sun.  I don’t quite know how that habit will develop, but I will share the process in the hope that if I can get my lazy a** to do it, then there may be hope for us all.  I fully believe that exercise and eating right will be the key to accomplishing #1.

3) Complete the TBR pile challenge.  I have a bad habit (see #2) of not reading because, well, reading is fun and apparently I inherited a big ol’ Puritan gene and I can’t allow myself to have fun.  Much.  So, completing this challenge will let me get to those books I’ve always wanted to enjoy, but haven’t.  It’ll seem like work, so Puritan gene will lie dormant for a while!

4) Develop my blog, post consistently, and increase my following.  Make that community.  There are some awesome people out there in the blog o sphere and I want to develop new relationships with them.  Again, this will come back to developing a habit of blogging regularly.  At this point, I don’t know exactly what the schedule will be because time is always an issue, but a habit is what I’m after.  We’ll start with a post weekly, not counting the Row 80 check ins.

Ok, so that wasn’t so short and sweet, but I’m totally counting these words in my 1200 for the day!  Woot Woot!

Come on along and join me in this round of Row 80!  I even signed up to be a sponsor, so don’t leave me hanging here, peeps!

Are you with me?

Row 80 Check in 3

Three for three!  Woot!

500 words:  Not quite there, but still on target for 3500 and definitely better than last week!

WWBC:  Just turned in my evo.  My muse showed back up last night, doing the walk of shame, racoon faced and high heels clutched in her hand.  Didn’t ask where she’d been, not sure I want to know.  But after a good nights sleep and some coffee, she actually showed up for work this morning and contributed some decent stuff.

Non Fiction:  Will work on that now that the evo is done.

Blogging:  As God is my witness, I will have something other than a check in before the next check in!

Taking care of myself:  I made a conscious decision to skip the treadmill this morning in order to get reaquainted with the muse.  Funny, since it was a conscious decision, I’m not beating myself up about not hitting the treadmill, and I know I can jog up and down the stairs at work a half dozen times over lunch and have a win-win. 

Self Study:  Still hanging in there.

Barbara!  How’s it going, girlfriend?

That’s it for now, kids.  See you Sunday, if not sooner!