Round 1 Check-in 1-29

As we close out our first month of this ROCing ROW80, this might be a great time to look at the goals we set at the beginning of the year and see how they are supporting our grander ideals for ourselves and our futures. It’s never too late to adjust things. Just keep your gaze forward. As they say “Eyes on the prize”. 🙂

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Round 1 Check-in 1-25

How is everyone doing? Are you feeling creatively blocked or are those ideas flowing fast and free? Let us know by sharing your progress at the linky below.

For those looking for a little encouragement from both sides, here’s a great post by writing coach and author KM Weiland on what Writer’s Block can teach us: 6 Lessons Learned From 4 Years of Writer’s Block as well as an argument for pressing forward and writing now by Mr. Write Now (Khalid Uddin).

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How To… Again

Claire Farrell shares some ideas on how we can stick to it

(Please note, this is a repost from our very first sponsor posts of the challenge, How to Stick to It from January 17, 2011.)

I love how enthusiastic people are in January.  New resolutions, plans to improve ourselves – it’s always fun to list the things we would like to do next.  Most of these plans are forgotten pretty quickly and before you know it, it’s the end of the year and people are planning their new, oh, wait, I mean, last year’s resolutions.

How can we stick to our plans?  Publicly challenging ourselves with ROW80 is a great start.  But all great starts need decent finishes too.  So how do we keep ourselves on track?

First is to pick manageable goals.  Goals that suit you – don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  In theory, lots of things seem easy peasy but when we sit down to do them, we think of anything, literally anything, to avoid getting on with it.  If it’s too overwhelming, break it down a little more and complete one small step at a time.  It’s the first round so we’re still figuring out just what we can do – but even the easiest of challenges can feel ridiculously hard once life starts complicating things.

Be prepared for off days, random destruction of whatever it is you need to complete your challenge, and the rest of the world demanding your attention.  Falling behind?  You can catch up, no problem.  Take each day as a fresh start.  If you’re trying then you’re succeeding.

Suddenly feel like you don’t have time?  Make it.  There’s always something we can cut to bump up our work time.  Trust me, I have five smallies – I’m the Queen of Making Time.  No time is an excuse, I’m good at those too.

That’s why challenges like ROW80 are so useful.  We all know the excuses, so they won’t work this time.  But it’s not a mad rush to the finish line, it’s figuring out what we can produce on a regular basis.  It’s instilling a sensible work ethic and a steady routine that should benefit us in the long run.  It’s public accountability and the camaraderie of us all being in this together.  It’s hard to focus when you’re working alone but seeing your progress during the weekly updates is going to be a real motivator.

It should be fun too.  If you’ve had enough for one day then take a break, have a look at what everyone is doing.  Don’t try to match them – their goals are not your goals, but maybe get to know them, cheer them on and know that they will do the same for you.  Writing doesn’t have to be a lonely existence and when it gets tough, the rest of us will push you towards that finish line.


Claire Farrell

Round 1 Check-in 1-22

And we reach yet another Sunday… How has your Round 1 been going for you? Do you feel like you’re making solid forward momentum? Do you feel you need to make a few adjustments? Let us know in your post on the linky.

Photo by Bich Tran on

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Round 1 Check-in 1/18/23

Typing Away (cred Gfycat)

Here we are… already over a week into our 80 days of Creativity, of words and writing…. of art and Achievement. How are you feeling about your progress so far? Let us know below at the linky.

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ROW80 Reprise, Inc.

Andrew Mocete takes us on a tour of Problem Solving, Inc.

(Please note, this is a repost from our very first sponsor posts of the challenge, Problem Solving, Inc., from January 10, 2011.)

I wish remembered where, but I once read a interview with John Lennon about his song writing process.  What struck me most was he told the interviewer he’ll sometimes stare at his instrument for hours without writing a single note.  The next day might be the same thing and day after that too.  For him, this was being productive because he knew his mind was working things out and eventually the music would come.

For someone highly respected and considered a genius at his craft to have gone through the same aspect of the writing process as I did was huge.

How many times have you stared at a blank page with no idea where the story is supposed to go?  How many times has what you’ve written looked wrong and you knew it needed something more, but didn’t know what?  Well according to John Lennon, this is part of the process.

When we get stuck, we get frustrated because it feels like we’re not getting anything done.  But then there’s that eureka moment where it all makes sense and we wonder why it took so long to figure it out in the first place.

I don’t know why these solutions come the way they do, but I do know there’s a part of my brain working around the clock solving my problems.  And there’s a lot of them.  So how does my staff of diligent neurons decide which of my many issues to work on?  I think it’s a kind of *whatever voice is loudest gets seen first* type of thing.  A problem on your mind will cause you stress which affects your overall health.  It only makes sense to solve that problem first.

If you’re making time to develop your skills as an author everyday, then when a problem does come up, that little section of your brain will keep working until it’s solved.  Conversely, if you only develop your skills when the mood strikes, problems will get solved when and if your brain can get to them.

Staring at that blank page or ugly looking chapter may seem unproductive, but it’s telling your brain what you’re doing is a priority.   It’ll get the message and help you reach your goals.


Andrew Mocete

Happy New Year, ROCing ROWers!

Here we are, just peeping into a New Year, new goals, new projects, new ideas….

All Things New

Are you ready?

On January 9th, the ROW80 challenge A Round of Words in 80 Days starts ROCing. The ROC80, a Round of Creativity welcoming wordsmiths and artists of all types is an 8- day challenge to offer that little extra connection in these socially disconnected times while challenging its participants to make real progress toward their creative goals.

You need a goal, a measurable goal (you can change it later if you find it doesn’t serve your long term needs), and you need to let us know what that goal is (as well as any others).

So tell us about it! And then, on Wednesdays and Sundays for our check-ins, let us know how you’re progressing. Visit others in the challenge. Support them, get support, maybe even make connections for future projects… Get involved, make friends, and create!

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