Round 2 Check-in June 5, 2019

Sometimes you just have to rip away what’s in front of you to find a suitable base for your dream project… or, as with the case of repairing our old deck and porch, to get a project ready to sell.

Either way, it can feel daunting to look at your old work with an eye for destruction.

Fear not.  Like a phoenix, your project will find new life, full of color and fire.  And somewhere, someone will be looking for exactly your story, your house, your dream…

Can you tell I’ve been spending a lot of my time lately doing home repairs so we can sell the old house (and editing my Swan Song Series stories)?  How about you all?  What’s your ROW80 achievement list look like this week so far?

Let us know, as always, in the comments or on our FB page.

Round 2 Check-in 5/29/19

Ever just sit and listen to the sounds around you for inspiration?  Not the ‘favorite song’ type of inspiring, but the white noise of the stove vent, the distant rumble of cars down the road….  the silence when the night peepers have finally settled before the storm…

Outside we’re having a visit from Donner und Blitzen.   A theatrical pair!  But what in interesting are how many sounds overpower even that thunderous duo.  The ice maker on the fridge as it drops ice and draws more water, a fan, the neighbor’s garage door opening….  need a toich of WD-40 there!

Our writing deserves to feel real.  Can your readers inmerse themselves into your story worlds with the imagery you offer?  If not, maybe you might need to turn off your writing playlist and just listen for a minute or two.

Tell us what you do to appeal to a reader’s sense of hearing in your check-in.  Here in the comments or in our FB thread

Check-in Round 2 4/30/19

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this is what the ROW80 is all about. We’re a supportive, friendly online community of writers and creative thinkers, a group where we know you have a life beyond your keyboard and screen.  Yes, we’ll challenge you…  challenger you to grow, to test yourself, to do things you’d only hoped to try “someday”.

Someday….  like today.  Write those words today.  Submit something…  today.

“Someday” is here.

And…  once you’ve done that little thing (or at least taken steps to get yourself to that point), tell us about it so we can cheer you on.  Leave us a comment here or in the Facebook thread.  And have a great week!

Round 2 Check-in 4/28/19

You too?

I thought it was only me.  Well, good thing we’re in this thing together.  That’s what the ROW80 is about.  We check-in and support each other when the words are flowing and when they aren’t.  That’s the way we ROW.  So leave us a comment and let us know how you’re doing.  Here or on our FB page, whichever works best for you.

Final Round 1 Check-in (Plus, 5 Books/Blogs to Read Between Rounds to Fill the Creative Well)

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash.

Hi, ROW80 folks! It’s Denise, stepping in for the tireless Eden Mabee for the last check-in post of Round 1.

Maybe you pushed hard and are now soaring past the finish line, dripping sweat but filled with pride at all you accomplished. If so, savor that feeling. Victory tastes sweet!

And if you’re a few blocks back, wondering if you’re even heading in the right direction anymore? Well, let me tell you, that is okay too. Here’s the thing. No matter where you are, you’re in the race–and your only competition is yourself.

ROW80 is all about setting goals that move you toward your own personal definition of success. What I love about this group is that we all have such different goals, and we all support each other. Whether we’re newbies or pros, whether we’re writing a novel a month or trying to get a few words on the page, we’re all one another’s cheerleaders.

So, please, share your ROW80 Round 1 wrap-up post in the comments below, be sure to visit others, and most importantly, as we enjoy the pause between rounds, be sure to take a break.

In case you’re looking for some inspiration during the break, here are a few recommended reads:

  1. Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin. This one is all about habits–how they’re formed, why they’re easier for some of us than others, and how to make changes stick. Rubin created what she calls the Four Tendencies–four different ways of dealing with internal and external expectations–and in Better Than Before, she helps us identify our “tendency” and learn how to best achieve our goals and form habits based on that personality type.
  2. Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays, Mary Oliver. We lost beloved poet Mary Oliver in January. Her poems have reminded me to lead a life close to nature, to seek inspiration and wisdom there, and that the best art is created by listening closely to the world around (and within). As we move toward spring, I’m always called to her poetry, and I hope you can find some inspiration in her words as well.
  3. “How to Crush Your Writing Goals,” Sarra Cannon (blog post and video). Sarra is not only a talented author whose books have moved so many readers, she’s also launched a website and YouTube channel for authors, helping them define success on their own terms and meet their goals (sound familiar, ROW80 folks?). This might provide some much-needed inspiration for setting your Round 2 goals. Disclaimer: I’ve signed up for her HB90 Quarter 2 Bootcamp!
  4. 12 Things to Remember When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed,” Courtney Carver, bemorewithless.com (blog post). Trust me, I started off 2019 with a serious energy deficit. I’ve worked hard to implement so many of the solutions Courtney recommends–especially remembering that mental and physical health is more important than “all that other sh*t you think is important.” (And trust me, if we forget this, our bodies will remind us in the most unpleasant of ways!) If you need some inspiration when it comes to saying no, setting boundaries, and committing to yourself, this is a great and quick read.
  5.  Dear Writer, You Need to Quit, Becca Syme. I needed this book, guys. So. Freaking. Much. Becca’s whole thing is about questioning the premise. Every piece of advice we get as writers, whether it’s about process, quantity, marketing. You name it. Her words help us cut through the noise.

There you have it. Fuel for next round. I hope Round 1 was a good one. Don’t forget to share your link, check in with your accountability partner, and visit fellow ROWers to cheer them on!

Stay wild, stay magical, and stay creative! See you next round!

Round 1 Check-in 2/10/19

We’re halfway there!

Well, technically, yesterday was the halfway point for this Round of Words.  That means we’re already heading to the homestretch.  Time to start think, even in just a bit here and there, about what you might want to change or try out in Round 2.

If you’re ambitious, I even put out a call for Round 2 Sponsors this past Wednesday. 😉

Today though I want to ask you all about time.  How much time are you all spending on your writing?  Do you think it’s enough, not enough….  too much and it’s begun to take over your life?

I can hope you’ve found a sweet spot (I haven’t yet), and well…  if you’re struggling with characters who demand all of your time and attention 24/7, I can only suggest diversions of chocolate and bubble baths.  Sorry.

I CAN offer some consolation for those who feel they aren’t spending enough time on their writing.  Little bits add up…  You don’t need to block out a huge expanse of your day for writing to make serious progress.  I’ve mentioned the 10 Minute Novelists group before.  There used to be a great little site called The One Minute Writer that proved to me how much one could accomplish in just 60 seconds (the link goes to the Internet Archive version of the site).  Add a moment or two of planning while exercising or washing the dishes… YES, you can be ‘writing’ while cleaning your desk, sharpening your pencils or getting your groove on with some of your favorite music!  When you work in smaller blocks of time, sometimes you actually do more than if you try to cram all your writing time into a large block.

But what happens with all these little disjointed bits and pieces you might wonder?  Well, sometimes they are disjointed, but often your mind will be working on the story while you’re not putting words on the paper too.  Your mind is still writing, still adding ideas and subtext to the story, and it will help put those together for you the next time you put the words down.

It’s a bit like ‘sleeping on an idea’ but you’re able to get other things done too.  Win win.

As the song says, “If two become one, what is the one the two become?” What can you create in small bursts?  What will the combination of your mind and your busy schedule come up with?

Check-in Sunday 1/6/19

Just a quick check-in for Sunday…  and a welcome to those ROWers who’ve jumped in to our challenge a bit late.  I

It’s okay.  If you’re thinking of joining us but don’t feel comfortable starting late, don’t…  don’t feel uncomfortable that is.  We’d love to have you.  Just post your goals in the comments of the new check-in (or at the goals post linky), and you’re in.  That’s all there is to it.

Well, that and writing….  This is a writing challenge after all.

And speaking of writing, for those of you who’ve been ROWing all week, how’d you do?  If you were having trouble getting started, did you find yourself procrastinating on key steps, gathering resources, cleaning, catching up with social media?  Don’t despair.  There’s research out there that says procrastinating can be good for your creativity.  You may need to spend some more time contemplating your projects and this procrastination is your brain telling you that.

You can’t procrastinate forever though.  So if you’re just having trouble getting started… maybe some of these ideas will help?

Let us know how you’re doing in the comments or in our Facebook group.