Row 80 Round 1 Final Check in

Well.

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.

Oops.

Ouch.

Mommy!

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!

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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 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?

Book Review of “Living Write” by Kelly L. Stone

Kelly L. Stone is a licensced counselor as well as a writer, which gives her a unique perspective into what goes on in a writers head.

“Living Write” is the third of Kelly’s books on developing a good mindset for being a writer.  “Time to Write”, the first of the three, helped me realize that I had exactly all the time I was ever going to have, and the excersizes helped me figure out where there were tons of little pockets of time I could use that were just going to waste.  And that I was allowing other “priorities” that really weren’t to interfere.  Unfortunately it didn’t give me more time, but at least I quit whining about  not having enough of it.  “Thinking Write” talks about developing techniques to connect with your subconscious.  I need to re-read that one, at the time I originally read it I didn’t have a WIP, so I’m interested to see if I get a new perspecitve from the book this time.

But “Living Write” has been a great new addition to my writer’s bookshelf.  In “Living Write”, Stone discusses developing a writer’s mindset, including spending some time developing a vision for success, goals that are realistic, challenging, but fluid.  Stone is also a huge advocate of writing daily, even if it’s is just a little bit, a few words, anything, to keep you connected to your muse and your craft.

Kelly also talks about self-image, and finding ways to rewire the negative script running through each and every one of our minds that tells us we aren’t talented enough, hardworking enough or just plain deserving of having success as a writer.

One thing that I’ve noticed lately as I’ve connected with other writers, is that as a whole, we are the nicest, kindest, most supportive people on the planet to each other, but we are mean as sh** to ourselves!  Not a single writer I know would ever say the things to another human being that we tell ourselves.  Somebody would get arrested!

The techniques in Kelly’s book will help you become aware of the negative self talk we engage in, and find ways to build ourselves up instead of tearing ourselves down. Stone uses quotes and interviews with dozens of established writers to back up her points and give insight into what has helped make them successful.

When reading craft books I’ve begun putting little post it notes as markers in passages that had an impact on my thinking, and that I want to be able to flip back to for a quick refresher.  Judging from the plethora of tabs and colors, “Living Write” will be a book I refer to frequently.

For more information on Kelly and her books, visit her website here.

I would recommend them for any serious writer who is struggling with time or self-doubt issues.