Round 2 Week 8 Wednesday

Sunshine and showers, time for spring flowers…  like these lovely crab apple blossoms from the tree in front of our house.  Enjoy them…  and if you feel up for it, write a short poem about what those first blooms of the year.  And let us see what you’ve written in your check-in one week from now.

As always, here is your linky.  Hope to hear from you, here, in the comments or on our FB thread:


Round 2 Week 7 Wednesday

Spring Peeper cred: (below linky)

Let’s talk.

Well, let’s write. After all, communicating things to others is our goal as writers, much as it is for the sweet chorus of peepers outside my window this evening.  Though maybe we have other things we want to say than the little amphibians do…  ( or maybe not)

Thing is, every species on this planet has found ways to connect with others of their kind, to share interests, warn of danger or make …  suggestions.

As ways to communicate go, writing is pretty cool.  Maybe not quite as magical as a moonlit backyard full of chorus frogs, but…  it’ll do.

Here’s the linky… one of our many ways to communicate with your fellow ROWers:

(photo cred: USGS – United States Geological Survey, Public Domain,

Round 2 Sunday 5

Let’s take a minute here and share some on how we reach our audiences…

Obviously we at the ROW80 have worked with blogging for a while.  This is the seventh year of A Round of Words in 80 Days as a blog-based challenge.  Since our inception in 2011, we’ve adjusted things some to welcome people from other forms somewhat.  We now have a Twitter hashtag (#row80) and a Facebook group.  But there are many different types of social media platforms out there.  Perhaps we could do better?

Reaching out for ideas…

I just got done reading an article in the October 2008 (yeah, I have a bit of a magazine backlog going on here) that advised against fiction authors of trying to build an audience by blogging.  One of the best reasons not to blog, according to the piece?  Back when was indexing websites, it found there were more than 112.8M active blogs with around 175,00 new blogs being created daily.  Also, many of these bloggers were updating their pages at around 1.6M posts per day(!).

All the while…  around 500 books were being published daily (not counting self-published…  the author estimated doubling that amount to include self-published material).

Also, as all of us who blog know, it takes a lot of energy to be a good blogger and gain an active following.  Maybe this works for you.  I find that when I blog, my mental energy becomes blog and “content” driven, as opposed to focused on my fictional endeavors.

There are some wonderful online creativity blogs out there: Story-A-Day and Six Word Memoirs  are two that come to mind immediately (perhaps because Story A Day in May just started, and I know several ROWers who participate).  These creative communities help push writers to write and create daily, sometimes for a limited time, sometimes year round.  This is a great thing for writers.  It’s a focused community, a way to practice and improve skills and even a way to show off a little.  No bad thing!

These days however, writers have to wear more hats than ever (some of which make it hard to show off one’s self well…  just do a Pintrest search for weird hats), and I wonder if blogging in general is not, as that old article said, perhaps not the best way to go for reaching an audience.

Do you find your audience through blogging or other social media? What works best in your experience?

As always, you’ve got plenty of options for checking-in: here at the linky or in the comments, and at our FB page. If you have other suggestions for ways to “keep in touch” please, let us know.

Round 2 Wednesday 5

Happy May Day!

Last year at this time, my son and I were enjoying the sights around Rochester Castle during the Sweeps Festival, a dizzying multi-day event full of music song, Morris dancers…  and an incredible view from the top of a crenelated tower.

Complete with white cliffs and coffee!

Nothing so exciting for me today, but… it IS time for a check-in.  And if you’ve got a picture of that special writing spot where you’re most creative, feel free to post that with your check-in.  I’d say I’d love to write and create in an old castle, but to be honest, they are pretty drafty.  Especially one like Rochester that has been bombed a few times.  😉

Post your link here, in the comments, or at our FB page.

Round 2 Sunday 4

A sense of place….

How much does where you are affect your writing where you get down to practicing your craft?  Are you able to channel your characters in any setting or are you like Alice Walker who once was quoted to attributing her move from New York City to California as necessary because Celie, Shug and other characters in The Color Purple didn’t feel comfortable enough to settle down and talk to her?

Hopefully your need for the perfect place doesn’t exert its force on your lifestyle to that sort of degree often, but maybe you have a favorite spot that just ‘connects’ you, or maybe you (like me) find certain places trigger the right feelings for special scenes.  Maybe you are like a darling lady in our local writing group who writes a certain kind of scene when she orders eggs at Denny’s.  We all grin when she orders, because we know more than her dinner will be hot.

*fans self*

We’ve all got our ways of doing things.  If you’d like to share your favorite (and maybe even some of your awesome outcomes), post a picture or note about it for our Wednesday (Week 5!) Check-in in your post/comment.

Oh! And it’s that time again for today too… tell us how you’re doing at the linky (or our other ways: Facebook, the comment section, or any mix of the three):

Round 2 Wednesday 4

Writing wisdom is a mutable thing.  It depends on the person, on the type of writing needed…  sometimes it even depends on the time of the year.  For example, Sunday I was talking about a Writer’s Digest article I’d read on writing with a “buddy”; today I read opposing advice in The Writer’s Book of Wisdom by Steven Taylor Goldsberry:

Writers prefer this (solitude) arrangement.  We are, in fact, like Hobbits, about whom, Tolkien said, “Their elusiveness is due solely to a professional skill.”  We perform better that way.  Our greatest work for human is accomplished as far from humans as we can get. (p 11)

It does go to show how very personal the writing process can be.  So if you’ve ever wondered why the words aren’t coming, if bouts of writer’s block suggested you “just weren’t meant to be a writer”, or myriad other “Writer’s Worries” fill your head…  fear not.  You don’t have to look far to find some thoughts on the process or the craft or even the business that will be able to help you personally.

The only thing you need to do as a writer is…


And a great way to get started on that is by posting you check-in.  We’re already a quarter of a way into this Round of Words.  Hope it’s going absolutely smashing for you all.  🙂

Round 2 Sunday 3

I’ve been going through my backlog of old writing magazines lately, trying to pare down the excess of “things” about my house for the move we need to make this year.  The stuff we allow ourselves to hold on to when we settle…

Well, I found a nice piece by David Fink in the Inkwell section of this past October’s Writer’s Digest about The Buddy System (not to be confused with a prior Writer’s Digest piece by Kevin Alexander by the same name).  It echoed for me, because I am the kind of person who writes (and works best with face-to-face contact with other creative people.  I don’t need to show my words to anyone else, I don’t need to share key-click time the way Hicks describes, but there is an energy—much like the energy that the NaNoWriMo people capture when they hold write-ins during their November marathons—that comes with writing with other people.

For some,  online sprints via a site like Twitter or Facebook can suffice, but perhaps you aren’t feeling the same magic that a more ‘personal touch’ offers.  Have you thought of using something like Skype or Hangouts to video chat (both ideas Hicks mentions in his article)?  Set up a coffee date with some writing friends where you sip-talk-write-repeat for an hour or so?  However you go about finding your words, may they keep coming.

and coming…


And while you’re at it, it’s check-in time.  You know what to do: