Inspiration

Round 3 Wednesday Check-in 7

Writing… it’s been around a while.

The tools we’ve used to share stories have changed a bit over the course of human existence, but the need for us to share information and inspiration in written form seems to have only increased.  I spent most of the morning today at the Berkshire Museum, enjoying paintings and skeletons, as well as taxidermy and gem displays.  In the (aptly, but oddly named) Curiosity Corner (it wasn’t a corner at all), there was a wonderful segment about language.  It was small, dense even, with examples of ancient and modern writing, maps where various language groups are prevalent, and even an interactive station where someone could touch a location on map-screen and listen to speakers from a region through headphones.

I liked these tablets.  The biggest one is only the size of my palm, and if you click on the image (I uploaded a full copy so you could zoom in if needed), you can see how deliberate and detailed the writing is on it.  To imagine the care needed to effectively engrave one’s thoughts into what was wet clay at the time…  Amazing!

It shows exactly how determined human beings have been to record their thoughts and experiences in a written form.

So we at the ROW80 are carrying a very noble and enduring human experience.  We have so much to share with readers, now and in the future.  It is pretty darned amazing.  At least I think so.  Hope you do too.

Tell us all at the linky or on our FB page

Round 3 Sunday Check-in 4

Lately, as I’ve plotted and planning some changes to the ROW80 site, I’ve been looking over our large archive of inspirational posts.  A common thread or two has shown up—the need to “just write” even when the words don’t seem to want to come out right (or sometimes at all).  And of course, the “how do we find ideas”, but that’s a topic for another post.

The thing is, we do tend to cripple ourselves from the first with ideas of how we should be instead of how we plan to be.  This may seem like I’m splitting hairs here, but it’s pretty simple really.  If we feel we ‘should’ be able to write great stories, then that crappy first draft will be a heartbreaking experience.  But if we plan to write great stories, we can set goals to get us there, step by step..

And of course, this works for so many things we do, not just writing.

As for the quote…  think of it combined with this one:

I could, of course, add a hundred others, all threading together.  The point is… write, made wonderful-terrible words, then write some more.  And somewhere in there, those great stories will happen.  For you, for someone you care about…  perhaps even for a complete stranger.

BTW here’s your check-in linky for the day:

Round 3 Sunday Check-in 3

Hi, and welcome to a bit of a retro-ROW Sunday.

If y’all will come with me as I meander throw some of the delight archives of inspirational posts we have here at the Round of Words in 80 Days, savor with me as well, these lovely pieces of advice…

First, from Belinda Kroll in her lovely piece Live the Life You Imagined:
A Round of Words in 80 Days is meant to remind us writers that we have lives outside of writing. Not only that, but the life outside of writing is often what inspires us to write in the first place! My inspirational post will be short today because I want to practice what I preach. I want to get out there and live.

The image of a writer (and the wardrobe, given the sheer number of hats we have to wear) has gone through several shifts in the past decade.  The good thing about this…  we get to set what that image will be for ourselves.  The bad news is, of course, we get to set what that image will be for ourselves.   Since it’s the same cup, half-empty or half-full, why not focus on the positive.  Claim your status as a writer and how you want the world to see you.

Make that who you are.

Secondly, Alice McElwee reminds us of the most important part of being a writer in her post It’s Not About Quality OR Quantity:

Ignore the word count. Ignore the grammar. JUST WRITE.

It doesn’t matter if you write 50 words and they are all misspelled, as long as you write. And while you’re writing, write every day. Five minutes, twenty minutes or an hour – doesn’t matter how long, how much or how bad – just write.

Writing is the only way our stories will get finished. Worrying about our word counts and grammatical problems isn’t going to finish our story. Click-clacking at our keyboards, however…

Writers write.  It’s a phrase we toss about in the ROW80 so often it’s become almost a joke, but it’s what we do.  And if that isn’t you yet… make that who you are too.

Lastly, it’s check-in time once more.  How’s that writing (and all those other things that make your writing life the wonder that it is) going for you?  Let us know at the linky:

1st Sunday Check-in Round 3

Really… but you’ve got to ‘do’, not just ‘try’

We’re now into it, ROWers. And that’s a good thing (really!), because now is a perfect time to consider our goals and our progress for the rest of the round.

It’s also a good time to think about how we made our goals.  We all know about making our goals S.M.A.R.T., but sometimes even that isn’t enough.  Life gets crazy on us.  It’s like water in some ways, always able to find those empty spaces where we thought we could catch a breather….  Does this mean we should have to schedule every moment we want some freedom to write, or even to relax?

No.

But we should schedule some.  That way, even when Life gets a little punchy, there are moments set aside solely for ourselves and for our craft…  for the job we’ve chosen (or, if you’re like most people I know who write, the job that chose us).  Because it matters, and because we matter.  It’s how we ‘work’.

And speaking of how we work…  how are things working for you?  Tell all at the linky:

Round 2 11th Sunday Check-in

End in sight? Not really… It’s a continuing journey (img: Eden Mabee)

As we start steering into the last few days of this Round of Words, it may be time to take stock of how you want to continue your future as a writer (or your future in whatever you choose to do).  It might be that there is a new Round 3 approaching, it might be because I’ve been watching the sagging number of ROWers in the linky (I am one of the biggest offenders here, sorry to say).  But some of it might be the things we’ve told ourselves as we plan our goals and writing careers.

One of the first things we old-timers probably have all come to accept is…  Writing is work, often hard work.  It’s definitely gratifying work.  But the term “labor of love” starts with labor for a reason.

The reason I bring this up is that I’m often seeing in the exact opposite discussed in social media these days.  And of course, there are the challenges like NaNoWriMo that suggest that yes, writing is hard but also suggest that it can be done quickly in a frenzy of energy and caffeine, and probably should…  Not bad if you can pull it off, but then we come down to the next important thing to remember about writing: Editing is even harder work, (and it can’t be avoided).  Even if it’s just a quick skim-through for consistency, the writer is not done just because she/he write “The End” on a page.

The journey of a writer often starts at those words.

So..  in keeping with this being a writing challenge that knows you have a life, remember when you consider your progress and start planning your goals for Round 3, to leave time for everything that makes you a writer.  The easy parts, the hard parts…  even the chocolate (follow ROWer Erin Zarro for her regular chocolate report).

Here’s an article on “Follow Your Passions” that inspired some of this post.

And here is your linky….

Round 2 8th Wednesday Check-in

Art is everywhere

We all know that being creative is challenging… especially when it involves trying to make a living on that creativity. But there are good things about being writers and creators to be found in so many places. I took this photo tonight across the state-mandated ‘wet land’ the developers had to provide for drainage between our local Walmart and Lowes stores. It’s a bit of an environmental wreck, filled with litter, but… somehow in this waning sunlight, it was beautiful.

Our stories are like that too. Sometimes we get caught on the flaws and miss the magic of the words we’ve written until just the right light shines through. Then suddenly, we know we’ve got something good. It may need some work… but we’ve got this.

When was the moment you first realized you had something? Tell us about it… and let us know how you’re doing on those goals. Just follow the little blue froggie to the linky: