A Step In The Right Direction

Sorry this is late.  I was on the road yesterday.

So Round 4 is drawing to a close.  I can hardly count the number of people who’ve told me “I totally failed this round” or “I’m not sure if I want to do Round 4…I was so bad at keeping up with stuff in Round 3.”

My question to those of you in this boat: Did you remember to adjust your goals when your initial one proved not to suit?  Did you take a single step toward whatever goal you set?  I’m betting MOST of you did.  And you know what?  That single step is one step further than you’d be if you had done nothing.  So it’s not a failure.  It might not be what you wanted to get done, but it’s something and that counts as progress.

This is something I know quite a bit about.  See, I am an uber planner–my agent refers to me as the Princess of Planning with much amusement.  I have a great many demands on my time, so I tend to be really regimented about a lot of things, scheduling this, that, or the other thing because if I don’t schedule it, it’s not likely to get done.  This tends to produce a To Do List of Everest proportions, and since I’m only human, it means there’s STILL an awful lot on that list that doesn’t get done when I want it.  I have a really bad habit of focusing on those 42 things that WEREN’T done instead of the 17 that were.  This is something I think a lot of us are really bad about.

Frankly, I think we all need to give ourselves a break (somebody remind me I said that the next time I’m freaking out).

I did NOT get what I wanted accomplished during this round.  I finished and released my debut YA, Red.  I wrote a bunch of blog posts and interviews for a blog tour.  And…that’s about it.  Which is still an accomplishment.  But I’d been hoping to knock out another novella by now.  Instead, it’s been 6 weeks since I’ve written anything at all.  I think I’m past the panic of that.  It is what it is, and it took longer to get the last book out of my head to clear the way for the next one.  If I had stopped fighting that, I might have been able to get more done.  But I have SUCH A HARD TIME allowing myself to…well, breathe.  To rest.  To recognize that sometimes not producing is still productive and part of refilling the creative well.

So I hope you will all take some time to do that for yourselves between now and the start of Round 4 on October 3rd.  Because this will be the LAST ROUND of ROW80 in 2011.  It will be the Round that takes us through the holiday season.  The Round that is a haven for all the NaNo Rejects.  The Round where YOU WILL GET STUFF DONE.    It is also the Round I am still looking for Sponsors for, so do dash me an email at kaitnolanwriter (at) gmail (dot) com if you’re interested.  There’s a link at the top of the page that details Sponsor Responsibilities.

Meanwhile, no matter how much you feel like you failed, stop looking at what you DIDN’T get done and actually write up your final check-in post to acknowledge what you DID DO.  We are all about the positive here at ROW80.  Never forget that.

10 comments

  1. I managed to accomplish what I set out for Round 3, #ROW80, I published my debut novel, CANCELLED. But I wasn’t able to keep up with all of the updates, mainly because every week I didn’t necessarily HAVE an update. Would have been pretty boring to week after week say “Still procrastinating on editing.”

    I feel like this was a great success. As a #ROW80 first timer, I met many cool friends, and we all helped to promote each other. I learned about Linky Tools and I’m now using it to put together a virtual Trick or Treat blog hop. So big thank you Kait, because your group rocks!

  2. I’m like you, I haven’t written anything in awhile. There are so many things I could have been doing after I finished my novella early. I have no excuse like trying to get the story out of my head first. I was just LAZY.

    We all appreciate what you’ve done with ROW80. I know that I wouldn’t have done nearly as much with my writing had it not been for this challenge.

  3. Well said, Kait. I’ve been hopping around to the blogs, having to remind so many participants about this. From now on, I’m just citing this post!

    I am going to do what you suggest in the final post–what I got done, realizing all too well that if I had not participated, I would not have done any of it.

    Great job!

  4. Thanks for reminding us all it’s okay to breathe. I love to jump in with both feet, but sometimes I forget to survey things first. Not so with ROW80. This has been such a wonderful and rewarding experience. I’ve learned so much about setting goals and how encouraging it is to have other writers stopping by to check up on me.

    SO looking forward to Round 4!

    Many thanks to you for this wonderful challenge, and for all you do!

  5. GREAT post! I haven’t been as good as I would have liked about posting updates, but I have managed to always find the time to read everyone’s posts and encourage. I love this group of writers so very much. Row 80 has the best people and the best leader in Kait. I am still on book one, but I’ve written words. Of course, I’ve deleted a ton of words too since I’m re-writing, but I refuse to be discouraged. I can’t wait for the next round!

  6. ROW80 was an amazing trip for me. I had started with a hefty set of goals and dwindled them down to basically realizing this very thing a few weeks ago. I am doing more than I would have done, I’ve learned more than I could have, and have met fantastically amazing people that I might have missed had I not participated in ROW80. I even came in a few days late of the start.

    I plan to be a part of round 4 (though I’m not sure when it starts).

  7. Kait, well said and what an inspiration! ROW80 has certainly opened my eyes out to what my capabilities are -and how, like you, I pile on the extra pressure of doing sooooooo much and just focusing on what I have not achieved. But hey- achievement is achievement; I now have better idea what ROW80 is about and for the next round I’m raring to go.🙂

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