General

What Keeps Me Coming…

What keeps me coming back to RoW80

by Elizabeth Mitchell

To my surprise, I realized a few days ago that I have been in RoW80 for six and a half years, having joined for Round Three in 2011. In that time, I have only officially sat out one Round, although, if I am honest, I have been spotty about my accountability in several other Rounds. However, I found that I did not come close to meeting my goals in the Round I sat out, while in the ones where I hung in despite missing check-ins, I got more accomplished than I did on my own.

Therefore, accountability is among the reasons, and perhaps the most immediate one, that I have participated in RoW80 all these years. Having to admit in writing that I spent far too much time bingeing on Netflix or playing video games means that I often will do some writing to avoid the self-inflicted shame.

Flexibility in that accountability is the second reason that I keep returning to RoW80, “the challenge that knows you have a life.” Since July 2011, I have changed day jobs, moved 1,146 miles, rented one house, bought another one, gotten tenure, written four esoteric academic articles, and suffered various slings and arrows of life. The ability to adjust goals when life happens is unusual in many challenges (NaNo, for all its positive values, does not care what life hands one in November), and invaluable to me.

However, the third reason I have remained in RoW80 all these years is the community. When I joined in 2011, I was living in interior northwest Florida, 40 miles away from the nearest RoWer, and more than 100 miles from any local groups of writers. I am lucky now to live in a place with a vibrant and supportive chapter of RWA, a wonderful NaNo group that meets throughout the year, not just in November, and a couple of RoWers who live close enough to meet often. Even so, the online community of Row80 is special to me. I would not have joined NaNo or RWA without my involvement in RoW80. I have made several friends through RoW80, and I am often surprised to realize that I’ve never met them in person. The group is supportive and generous with its time and expertise.  Having a tough time with a plot point or how a piece reads? We have a lot of experts in the group. Send out a hail on the Facebook page or post a link to your blog and you will receive help. In the way that some communities have, RoW80 has its own spirit, its own ethos, that has not changed despite changes in admins and added formats.

Have a day job meltdown or family crisis? No one will chastise you for not meeting your goals, but will cheer you on to start back on them as soon as you are able. Since I have been knocked down by life in the past five years, I can say with experience, don’t undermine yourself by feeling apologetic for not getting enough done, or being laid low by life. Just keep working on it,  knowing you have support, not judgment or negative criticism. Many years ago, I was struck by a statement in a RoWer’s goal post. C. M. Cypriani wrote, “Where before I wrote in solitude, I now write with friends. I enjoy sharing my writing now instead of hiding it, embarrassed, worried no one would like it. The support I’ve gathered has been phenomenal.” I agree wholeheartedly.

 

Round 1 Week 5 Wednesday

So…  last week we tried our first Flash Fiction prompt.  This week… no prompt, but you’re still welcome to try writing something for it (prompt and “rules”) if you’d like.  Next week we’ll have a new one for you, and a list of links to all the people who participated (so get your written if you are interested).

Also, Monday will have our next sponsor post, this time from Elizabeth Mitchell.

Stuff is happening at the ROW80.

Here’s today’s linky:

Leave us an update there, here in the comments, or on our FB page at the pinned post.

Round 4 Check-in 17

As Shan Jeniah noted on our Facebook page, we’re now well past the half-way point and heading into Week 9 of this Round of Words.  Time to start looking at how things have been going and shift focus if necessary to end this year and this ROWnd out with a bang.  And maybe time to even peek into the future to see what the next ROW80 could bring…

Whatever your state of being is at the moment, why not take a few minutes to let us know how you’ve been doing—here or on the FB page—so we can help cheer you on toward a climatic finale.

Round 4 Check-in 14

image cred: Spot 27

Have you ever tried doing something you’ve always believed you couldn’t do?

How did you feel about that moment when you finally chose to take that step?  Did you even feel like you had a choice?  Was it simply the best choice you could make in a sea of bad choices?  Or did you boldly step forward, knowing that you needed to try this thing, to prove something to yourself or to another.

How did you feel?

This is the place our characters need to be…  maybe they actively want this thing you’re having them do.  Maybe they dread it horribly.

But they need to change, to be frightfully aware that they are leaving their comfort zone.

Because that is where the story is…  and we want to hear about it.

Round 4 Check-in 5

Super Sponsors

Yeah, we have them.

Really.  Remember when I said some cool changes were  the works for the ROW80?  Well one of those cool changes went into effect for this Round of Words. We have a great new crew of sponsors intent on helping motivate you ROWers toward your creative heights.

So, if you would join me, let’s raise a cheer for our gallant crew:

These generous folks (and yours truly) will be visiting you throughout the round to cheer you on and support you in your writer’s journey.  Be sure to stop by their pages and cheer them on when you can too.

And in the meantime why not let us all know how you’re doing at the linky?

Round 4 Check-in 4

When Delays Happen…

This Round of Words is all about finding a way to keep going even when things are in flux and myriad commitments (and surprises) take our time.  The fact that this (and the last) post were somewhat late is an example of that.

We keep going, and we get the job done, even though the deadline in passed.  And though there are reasons, we don’t dwell on them.  We just keep plugging away and get something done.

I hope your writing, your editing and marketing—even your ROW80 fitness goals—are all moving along steadily.  But even if they aren’t…  do what you can today and tomorrow.

You’ll get there.

And as always, tell us at the linky:

Round 4 Check-in 3

Courtesy of Memegenerator.net

You all have probably heard the saying “Time flies like an arrow” and its humorous second half “fruit flies like a banana.”  Well, we know how crazy life can get, allowing deadlines to whirl past us at breathtaking speeds.  Heck, I’m writing this post late because I just got caught up with other things.

Life happens.

But Life shouldn’t stop us from writing—not if we’re determined to write, and we love our craft.  Still, it can be hard to find the right words  and sort through the multitude of possible ideas out there into a literary sense.  So we’re offering something new here at the ROW80…  a bi-monthly flash fiction prompt, just to grease the cogs a bit, courtesy of our sponsors.

I’ll start with today’s offering:

It’s the party of the Century… last century, and it’s happening in the wax museum.

Feel free to share your offerings with your check-ins or if you’re shy, keep them to yourself (we hope you share).  Here’s the linky:

Oh, and, if you’re looking for some history on the phrase “Time flies”, here’s a fun Wikipedia entry.