Midweek Check-in, October 17:

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Here at ROW80, we’re all about 80-day goals. I think it’s important, though, for us to create those short-term goals–quarterly, yearly, etc.–in the context of our long-term vision. Where do you want to be five years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty?

Then, we step back and assess whether our short-term goals, habits, routines, and actions are moving us toward that vision.

Something to keep in mind as we keep our noses to the grindstone for Round 4. Don’t be afraid to have a big, audacious dream, a beautiful, joyful vision for your life!

Share your check-in post in the comments section below, or on Facebook.

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Sunday check-in–and a fun new resource!

Greetings, ROWers! It’s time for our Sunday check-in. We’re almost halfway through October. Are you flying through your goals, stalled or stuck a little (or a lot), or making sure, steady progress? Any way is fine, of course! We’re here for support.

Please share your check-in post below and be sure to visit fellow bloggers and offer encouragement and support.

And I’m eager to share a new resource with you. , Amazing indie author extraordinaire Sarra Cannon has a new site geared toward indie authors. It’s called Heart Breathings. Here’s the link if you’re interested. This is a great resource for any writer thinking of walking an indie path.

Happy writing, ROW80 folks!

Word by Word: Midweek Check-in

“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.”

–Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

We are, all of us, walking our own writing path. I’m not a fan of one-size-fits-all writing advice, as though we all have the same personalities, struggles, obstacles, processes–or that we all should. We, as writers, are as unique as the stories we tell. My fantasy novel about dark faeries and goddess-worshiping witches will be quite different from your memoir about missionary work in South America. And even if we both write in the same genre, one author’s world of sparkling magic and lyrical prose will be a far cry from another author’s dark, gritty post-apocalypse with its stark style.

This is the beauty of art. That we can tell stories that touch so many people in so many different ways. That the possibilities are endless. That we can pour our souls into heartfelt prose and poetry and touch the lives of others.

And we each walk our own path. We each do it in a unique way. That’s the beauty of ROW80. That we don’t have a set formula for the challenge. We each set our own goals and can change them at will.

The important part is that we’re all supporting one another on our creative journeys. We are all telling our own stories in our own ways.

Please share your link for the midweek check-in in the comments below. And, of course, share the love by visiting other ROWers as well!

Inspiration from Ursula K. Le Guin

So much of the writing world, these days, is about author rankings and sales and marketing. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get our work out there and into the hands of readers who might be moved and inspired by our words.

But if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the focus on sales over craft, I suggest turning to the words of Ursula K. Le Guin. I’m sharing her 2014 acceptance speech for the National Book Foundation Medal:

To the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks, from the heart. My family, my agents, my editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as my own, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice in accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who’ve been excluded from literature for so long — my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction, writers of the imagination, who for fifty years have watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists.

Hard times are coming, when we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom — poets, visionaries — realists of a larger reality.

Right now, we need writers who know the difference between production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximise corporate profit and advertising revenue is not the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship.

Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial. I see my own publishers, in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an e-book 6 or 7 times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience, and writers threatened by corporate fatwa. And I see a lot of us, the producers, who write the books and make the books, accepting this — letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish, what to write.

Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable — but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.

I’ve had a long career as a writer, and a good one, in good company. Here at the end of it, I don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want and should demand our fair share of the proceeds; but the name of our beautiful reward isn’t profit. Its name is freedom.

Thank you.

Ursula K. Le Guin

November 19, 2014

Copyright 2014, Ursula K. Le Guin.

I hope you found inspiration in Le Guin’s words of wisdom. Please share your thoughts, or your Sunday check-in link below. And remember to visit other bloggers and show support. We could all use it!

The Spirit of Autumn…

We’re soaring into Round 4–the final quarter of 2018, if you can believe it! So, share your goals post below, or your first update, if you’re ready. And be sure to spread the love by visiting other ROWers’ posts as well.

For those of you embracing the spirit of Halloween…

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Week 12: Final Round 3 Check-in

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It’s the end of Round 3, and that means it’s time to share with us what you’ve achieved in this round. Maybe some obstacles came your way. Maybe you had to change course. Maybe you mastered a new skill in your writing. Maybe you overcome a major hurdle. Maybe you achieved all of your goals–and then some!

Tell us! Share your link below, so we can celebrate with you!

Round 3 Week 11 Sunday

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Good Morning!

It’s that time again!  Have you all been planning for Round 4?  Hope so, because it’s almost here.  Wednesday will be the final day of Round 3; then as usual, we’ll take a 10 day break to settle ourselves in for the face to 2019 (also known as Round 4).  Do you need help setting your goals?  Do you want to suggest changes we could implement into Round 4 (or next year)?

Use the comments or our FB discussion group to let us know.  And don’t forget to share your updates,

Round 3 Week 11 Wednesday

Oops!  I missed again here today.  Have been trying to reset my sleep schedule for England and had to go to Lowes for cabinetry today, and well…  just plum forgot about online stuff.  Sorry, folks.

I guess that tells you how much I’ve been able to do with MY writing lately.  How about you?  Have you been having any success getting your words in?

Let us know in the comments:

Round 3 Week 10 Sunday

Oops!  Dropped the ball this time….  Distracted as usual.  You too?  It is a busy time of time of the year for a lot of us.  Let’s just make sure we take some time each day for our writing too.

How do you carve out moments for wordcrafting?  Tell us in your check-in below.