Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ROW Update: Chugging Along

I watched a webinar earlier this week (or maybe it was last week - I seem to be having trouble keeping track) about work-life balance called "Tweak It".  In the webinar, the trainer talked about people who are naturals - folks who just naturally seem to do what needs to be done to keep all the parts of their lives in harmony.  It turns out that one of the key differences between naturals and the rest of us (I am soooo not a natural) is that they focus on and celebrate their successes rather than focusing on the things that didn't go right.  And that seems to be a very difficult thing for me to do - especially right now, when I feel completely overwhelmed with all that I have left to do, and the short time in which I have to do it.  But I'm going to try, because I'd like to live a happy, harmonious life, and not spend so much energy fighting with myself about the things I didn't get done.

1) Write 100 words per day.
This has been going pretty well - on the days I'm at work and can write on my lunch hour.  On the weekends, when I'm working on my home organization project, it is really difficult to feel like I can take the time out to sit down and write.  Even though 100 words only takes about 10 minutes.  Also, my parents were here this weekend to help with some home improvement stuff (my bathroom floor doesn't have carpet anymore and the tool cabinet is no longer in danger of falling on my head!), so that made it difficult to steal time to write as well.  I'm going to try to still get those 100 words a day in this weekend, but I'm not going to beat myself up about it if I don't.  My short story in progress is at nearly 1300 words, and I'm still making progress on it, even if it's not every day of the week.

2) Visit and comment on at least 5 other ROW blogs per week
Didn't get to this this week.  Sorry fellow ROWers.  I promise I'm going to get better in the future.

3) Writing Post Round Up blog post on Sundays
I didn't get this done this week either.  I was going to post it on Monday (my parents were still here on Sunday, and although we got a TON of work done, it wasn't writing work), but I had a short lunch hour and decided it was more important to get my 100 words done.

So, my progress is not big or amazing, but I'm still making progress.  I'm still writing, and that is the important thing.  See you next week - I hope you're all celebrating your successes!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

ROW Check-In - Regrouping

This round just isn't going so well for me.  The sorting and repacking I'm doing at home is emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting, and the deadline for when I need to be done just moved up.  But I'm going to get through it and come out better on the other side, I hope.  I didn't even manage to post an update last week - mostly because I was just too depressed by my lack of progress - but I'm regrouping this week, tossing out a couple goals and picking out a new, more manageable goal to replace them.

Without further ado:

1) 15,000 words for CampNaNo (July)
This goal is being scrapped.  I've only managed to write 1183 words on the project so far, and I don't see that I'm going to be able to pick up the pace on that before the end of the month.  Likewise, my goal to write another 15,000 words for the remainder of the month doesn't seem realistic anymore, so I'm scrapping that one also.  New goal:

1) Write 100 words per day.
Thanks to Beth Camp for this idea.  Since I started trying to do this on Monday, I've managed it every day.  It seems like something doable that will keep me writing while I try to navigate the current chaos.  I've actually made some pretty good progress on the first short story idea I started for CampNaNo, so I'm pleased with how this is going so far.

2) Visit and comment on at least 5 other ROW blogs per week
I did not accomplish this either last week or this week.  Sorry fellow ROWers!  I'm keeping it though, because it really should be doable.  So I'll try to do better in the coming week.

3) Writing Post Round Up blog post on Sundays
These have gone up every week, although the last two have posted on Monday instead of Sunday.  Late is better than never, right?  I'm posting less links each week than I used to, both because I just don't have as much time for reading blogs right now and because it's helpful to have less blurbs to write if I actually want to get it posted on time.

So that's my regroup.  I may up the word count goal when things settle down a bit, which they hopefully will in the latter half of August, but until then, I'm just happy to be able to carve out a little bit of writing time.

I hope your writing is going well this round!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Writing Post Round Up - Week of July 14-20, 2013

Howdy folks.   I’m late again, but hey, I’m here.  And these are some excellent posts – totally worth waiting for.  Read, be inspired, write stuff.

Robin LaFevers writes the most excellent and comforting blog posts.  She has a way of piercing straight to the core of all our vulnerabilities as writers and saying “see, it’s okay, everybody feels like that. Write anyway.  You can do it.”  This post on fear and how it can inhibit our writing progress is no exception.

This is an interesting post on confidence, and using the zen state of Beginner’s Mind to access it for writing.  I don’t fully understand the matrix used, but I found it fascinating, nonetheless. 

Here is another one of those not-really-a-writing-post writing posts.  Michele of the Get Organized Wizard site lists 7 things that kill productivity.  Though this is a general post, it’s not hard to see how these can apply to writing.

Ah, Chuck Wendig, how did it take me so long to find you?  Here is one of Chuck’s famous lists (okay, so I don’t know if he’s really famous for his lists, but he seems to write a lot of posts in that form), this one offering advice on story stakes.  There’s some good stuff in here.  Plus, he makes me laugh a lot.

A fascinating article featuring famous writers reflecting on failure.  Lots of food for thought here.
That’s all folks.  I hope your writing is going well!  Have a nice week!

Note: this is a list of blog posts and articles on writing that I collect weekly.  Inclusion on this list does not necessarily mean it was published this week, just that I read it this week and thought it was cool, interesting, and/or useful.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Writing Post Round Up - Week of July 7-13, 2013

A short list again this week – probably for the rest of the month, at least.  And a day late – hopefully not for the rest of the month. 

A lovely bit of advice for what to do once you’ve published your debut novel.  I think going back to this when (positive thinking here people!) I finally sell a book could keep me sane.

Here’s an interesting post on a particular plot point known as the Dark Night of the Soul.   Something to think about as you consider the structure of your novel.

Some excellent advice for handling criticism.

Some interesting thoughts on Jerry Seinfeld’s working process, and keeping the creativity flowing.

And finally, because this is what I really needed to hear in the midst of my crazy month, some thoughts on how to support each other as writers and not giving up.

Short and sweet!  See you next week!

Note: this is a list of blog posts and articles on writing that I collect weekly.  Inclusion on this list does not necessarily mean it was published this week, just that I read it this week and thought it was cool, interesting, and/or useful.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ROW Wednesday Check-In - Ugh

The title of this post pretty much describes how my writing has been going so far this round.  I'm in the middle of a giant sorting, organizing, moving project at home and it's taking up a ton of my time and energy right now.  It wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't saved everything I've ever acquired in my 36 years of existence (okay, that's an exaggeration, but only a small one - I've been shredding bank statements from 1995 for a bank I haven't banked at for like 8 years!).  And letting go of things is hard.  Ugh.  So yeah, not a lot of writing going on. 

And I usually write on my lunch hour - which is generally a nice change of pace from my job and makes me feel refreshed and energized.  But right now, I'm so mentally and emotionally exhausted from going through all my stuff that all I want to do on my lunch hour is play Facebook games.

But... I am going to post this update, such as it is, and then go try to put in a couple hundred words on my CampNaNo project before I go back to work.


1) 15,000 words for CampNaNo (July)

So far I have written a grand total of 603 words for CampNaNo.  I am so far behind.  I'm hoping I can grab a little time this weekend to catch up.

2) Visit and comment on at least 5 other ROW blogs per week
I visited (and commented) on a whole 4 blog posts by ROW bloggers this week (not all of them were ROW posts, but they were all by ROW folks).  I hope to do better this week.

3) Writing Post Round Up blog post on Sundays
This got posted!  It's a shorter list than I usually post, but I got it done (and I suppose shorter may actually be nicer for the poor souls who actually read it).

So it's not completely horrible, except for the CampNaNo goal, and I should even be able to meet that if I can get some good writing sessions in.  Things will get better when my living room isn't full of boxes anymore.  I hope you all had a better writing week than I did!  See you next week.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Writing Post Round Up - Week of Jun 30-July 6, 2013

It’s kind of a short list this week.  I just haven’t really had that much time to collect, so I’m throwing in a couple of links from weeks that I didn’t get around to posting, too.  But not too many, because I’m also a little short of time to write blurbs this week also.

I haven’t actually read this one closely yet, but I saved it because I’ve been fighting with the script format in Scrivener for a while.  I’m writing a musical, so I had to add in formatting for lyrics, as Scrivener didn’t have a built-in template for that type of script.  I’m hoping this will help me figure out how to work with those formatting options.

This is an old post from the archives, but it’s still really good.  All about the rhythm and pacing of dialog – with excellent examples.

I love the imagery of this post, and the analogy of the midpoint of your story to the midpoint of a bridge or tunnel.

I’m in the middle of a really stressful (for me, anyway) home organizing project at the moment.  My tendency when I get overstressed is to start thinking negative thoughts about virtually everything in my life – writing included.  Maybe this suggestion for beating negative thinking will help me get back on track.

This set of posts is another two-for-one (well, sort of).  Anne Lyle has started a fascinating follow-along series as she works on a new project.  I do so love insight into other writers’ processes!

And to cap off the week, here’s a handy checklist you can use when you’re critiquing other people’s work, or to start the revision process on your own.

That’s all for this week, folks!  There’s so many wonderful writing blogs out there, it’s impossible to keep up with them all, but hopefully this helps you find at least a few of them.

Note: this is a list of blog posts and articles on writing that I collect weekly.  Inclusion on this list does not necessarily mean it was published this week, just that I read it this week and thought it was cool, interesting, and/or useful.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rocky Road - ROW Round 3 Goals

I was so looking forward to this round.  I had a bunch of goal ideas I was really excited about and I was all psyched to take my ROW progress to the next level.  Then life happened.  I have a major project I have to get done in the next couple of months, and as a result, the goals I originally planned have become unrealistic.  I guess that’s what this challenge is all about, though, right?  A writing challenge for people with lives.

So, I’ve reworked and pared down my goals, and I’m not sure I’ve pared them down enough, but I guess I’ll just dive in and see.  

I signed up for CampNaNo this month, so I’m breaking my goals into sections – sort of by month.  Here they are:

  • CampNaNo – I set a 15,000 word goal and I’m going to be a rebel and write short stories instead of a novel.  Some might be flash fiction, some will be longer, but I hope to write at least 3 stories, possibly more, depending on length. 
August - September
  • Write 15,000 more words.  On anything – blog posts, short stories, journaling, whatever.
  • Start playing with ideas for NaNoWriMo (probably won’t start working on this until Sept.)
Whole Round
  • Writing Post Round Up blog post on Sundays
  • Check-in for ROW on Wednesdays
  • Visit and comment on at least 5 other ROW participants’ blogs per week
I'm actually feeling much better about things today than I was yesterday, so I'm glad I waited to post.  Let's get some writing done!  Happy Round 3 ROWers!