Midweek #ROW80 Check-In

Whoops, forgot to get this up.  We’re barreling toward the end.  Report in!

If you’re interested in being a sponsor for Round 2, email me at kaitnolanwriter (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Disney, Potential, and Nothing Too Small by Lucy Ball

Even those of us who have never visited Disney Land or Disney World have still likely experienced the contagious joy and playfulness of our inner child, the spirited nature of dreams Walt Disney spent his life celebrating. Walt, himself was famous not only for his creativity and legendary imagination, but for his words of wisdom about the power of dreams, determination, and about setting and following through with goals.

Today, my family and I are fortunate to be visiting one of the Disney complexes, a magical land filled with hope and optimism. And sadly, my six year old is too sick to leave our room to join in on the festivities that go on without us. As she sleeps, I find myself thinking about the hundreds of quotes and memes I have seen stream across social media that are intended to inspire and uplift. Of those, Walt’s quotes are some of the most meaningful of all.

And so I find myself contemplating Walt’s legacy and lessons he objectified, as my six year old daughter rests quietly. I could consider the fact that she is too ill to go to one of the theme parks as a disappointment. I could be discouraged or even irritated that we aren’t joining her sister and her father today at Epcot. Instead, I’m feeling it’s a gift that we are staying here at the resort for the day instead. Don’t get me wrong, I could have done without waking up seventy-five times with her throughout the night to help hold the waste basket while she wretched repeatedly. I know she would rather be greeting her favorite characters and seeing the incredible attractions while her father and I do absolutely everything necessary to avert inevitable mid-day meltdowns. And yet, she’s resting peacefully.

She will likely wake up happy and chipper as can be. She’s probably even dreaming about the magic of the stories and their characters, the rides and the shows she’s experienced, and the wonder of seeing her imagination materialize in real life before her very eyes.

Some people don’t know that Walt was actually a co-founder of what we now know as the Walt Disney Company. His partner and original Disney CEO was, businessman and brother Roy Disney. In fact, Walt sadly died before his dream of a “Disney World” came to fruition. It was his brother Roy who would oversee construction and follow his brother’s dream through with the opening of Walt Disney World in Florida.

So what does this all have to do with goals and writing and #ROW80? Obviously, I could share quote upon quote by Walt Disney about setting goals and following your dreams and so on. Instead, I sit here watching my child sleep as I consider how incredibly simple the original inspiration for this magical celebration of art and imagination was.

While the Disney Company is an unrivaled entertainment and media empire, it is also a reminder to us all about the incredible potential in the simplicity of seeing the world through eyes of a child. Even Walt Disney himself, often reminded loyal fans of how this magical celebration of imagination began.

Sometimes we hesitate to attempt, we refuse to consider possibilities because our dreams seem overly simple. Or perhaps we feel too small in comparison to the enormity of the world to follow through with any idea that is less than epic.

To believe that no idea is too simple, no goal is too small, and no idea is too insignificant is to entertain an ideology our world is in desperate need of. It is within the minds of those of us who share these beliefs that the potential for magic in its purest form can be discovered. We are all slight in comparison to something or another.

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” ~Walt Disney

~*~

Lucy Ball

Sunday #ROW80 Check-In

March.  Geez.  We’re in the final weeks of the round, and it feels like the year is FLYING by.  Maybe that means spring is actually around the corner.  Whether you’ve kept to your goals or changed them, I encourage you to focus as much on the process (or more) than you focus on the end result.  If you get the process down, the results will follow.

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Don’t Break The Chain by John Holton

It’s the beginning of 2015 as I write this, and the various how-to sites are full of productivity “hacks” (i.e. hints or tips… why they don’t call them that, I have no idea why), about increasing your output and establishing new habits. One that comes up all the time is the “Seinfeld method,” the way Jerry Seinfeld established himself as a great comic.

When he was starting in the comedy business, Jerry figured out he had to write every day if he was going to make it. He bought a year-at-a-glance calendar and a red Magic Marker, hung the calendar on his wall, and, each day when he had finished, crossed out the date on the calendar with the marker. After a while, realizing how much fun it was to see his calendar gradually fill up with red X’s, he made it his goal not to have any dates that were not crossed off. He called it “Keep The Chain Going.”

I realized he was right, and that I had experienced it myself. I started on 750Words.com back in February 2012, and committed to completing the 750 words each day. The site told me after three days “You’re on a 3 day streak!” Then it was 4 days, then a few days later 7 days, then 30, 60, 90… Soon I was doing the 750 words just to see the number go up by one every day. Then, for some reason I can’t remember, after I had reached a streak of 403, I broke the chain. I felt terrible; I had broken the chain. I managed to get myself back on track, and, after a couple of false starts, I’m now (as of this writing) at 54 days in a row. I don’t want to let that chain get broken. And there have been times I’ve sat down at the computer at 11:30 at night (2330, if you keep time the way I do) and finished just before midnight. And, as tempting as it is to generate 750 words of “Lorem ipsum aliquat” etc., I’ve never had to rely on that to keep the chain going.

It’s been the same with my blogging. Last July, I challenged myself to blog at least once a day, every day, Monday to Sunday, for as long as I could. July 1 was the start of the Ultimate Blog Challenge (where you post daily for the month) and just kept going. Today, the chain stands at six months, eight days. I go to my web page and look in the upper left-hand corner at the calendar there, with all of its days marked off, and I don’t want to break that chain, either.

“Keep the chain going” is a technique that works for me, and for Jerry Seinfeld, and for others who have used it to establish a habit. Seeing the chain forming and keeping it going is a powerful incentive.

So, if you’ve been having trouble keeping a habit going, why not give it a try? Print a calendar (here’s a good source), use one of those calendars you get for free at church (it’s the beginning of the year, after all), or use this. Write your goal at the top of the page and hang it where you can see it. Every day you complete your daily goal, cross off the date on the calendar. Soon, if you’re faithful to the process, you’ll see a chain forming. Then, don’t break the chain.

All right? All right! Straight ahead!

~*~

John Holton

Sunday #ROW80 Check-In

Today is my birthday.  In a perfect world, I’d have the WHOOOOOOLE day to myself to write but…we don’t live in a perfect world (social obligations and all that).  So I’m scraping together time around various and sundry birthday festivities (we’re going to see The Kingsmen).  I’m determined to FIND MY GROOVE AGAIN!

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Midweek #ROW80 Check-In

We are hurtling toward the end of February (seriously, where did the first 6 weeks of the year go?).  I’m still working on finding my footing and some kind of routine.  How are y’all doing with your goals?

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