Lazy days, hazy days… up here in the northern hemisphere, we’re feeling the draw of beaches and playgrounds, not to mention air-conditioned libraries and cafes, over the urge to work toward goals for fitness and careers. Strange how summer has become the time to relax… it used to be the other way around, when we were a more agricultural society.
Wonder what we’ll become in another hundred years or so… What do you think, writers of the ROW80? All you speculative fiction peeps in our group, why not give us a glimpse of your futuristic visions in your check-in. You can tell us what you see coming up in the comments, in a link, or on our FB page, as always.
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
Star Wars fans were out yesterday cheering each other with memes and jokes of “May the 4th be with you”.
Today is Cinco de Mayo.
Tomorrow is International No Diet Day.
Seems if you take the time to look for it, there’s always something to smile about, something to look forward to and bring joy into our lives…. That can happen with your creative life too. Give yourself something to look forward to every day, even if it’s just getting to see a gorgeous background on your computer or the feel of your favorite pen.
Celebrate! (and then tell us about it in your check-in)
Sorry to leave you with yet another short check-in today. I promise that I’ll have something more substantial for you by Wednesday. The crazy may not be over, but there is a lull in the fervor for the moment. And I don’t know about you all, but some good discussion about writing, stories, and where ideas come from all sound very good to me.
Interested? Well, then, why not get started by posting a line or two, or maybe an image that you find incredibly inspiring. On Wednesday, I’ll gather up the links for your posts and add them to the Wednesday check-in post for everyone to see.
Who knows? Maybe we can inspire each other in the process.
And, as always, since this IS a check-in, let us know how you’re doing here or on the FB page.
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.
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?
Well, perhaps it’s not morning where you are… it’s not really morning still here either. So that’s “OK”. We’re live now.
Today is the first day of Round 1, 2019. A new day, a new year, new words, new commitments, new ideas… are you ready? Our first check-in comes up Wednesday.
Now, many of you have posted your goals for this round of words (I haven’t… just like this post, I’m running bit off schedule). If you haven’t yet, feel free to go ahead and do so now. The linky and the post will remain active for another few weeks.
If you aren’t sure of where to start and what to do, well, here’s a good place…
Seriously, start writing. Start creating. Or, in the words of my husband, “Do anything, even if it’s wrong.” You can toss out a page of crappy first draft words, you can edit them, you can save and frame them as a memorial to the moment you decided to BE a writer instead of dreaming of one.
Apologies for not getting over to visit your blogs, ROWers. It’s been a challenging couple of days. I’ll be making my rounds a bit late, but I’m already buoyed by all the progress I’ve seen mentioned in the comments. Yes! Rowers Rule!
Short check-in, here… as I said, a challenging (not bad, just challenging) couple of days. Hope you all are having a great half-week. Let us know in the comments or at our FB page.
Oh, and a small PS here: Will be announcing plans for the next Round of Words (officially starts on the 31st, but we’ll be doing our first check-in on Jan 2), this Sunday. If you have any ideas or suggestions for things you’d like to have us do, let me know. And have a great week of creativity.
As we get deeper into the holiday season here at the ROW80, some people might be thinking they will have to set aside their aspirations to publish or create to make time for family gatherings, gift shopping, office parties, cooking… Basically, when it comes to writing excuses, it’s far easier to come up with some than it probably should be.
One of those that comes up frequently is “I don’t have time to write.” This really is an excuse, and here’s an example of why:
A recent discussion in our local NaNoWriMo group involved writer’s block and wordcount on a busy schedule. Shan (our FB page maven) mentioned a method she uses to get writing when she’s feeling stuck is to use “teeny-tiny little sprints: 1:11, 2:22, or 3:33“. That’s not a huge time commitment. (And what better way to get an idea down when you are inspired?)
And the best part? These small bursts pack a huge punch. If you happen to be a Writer’s Digest reader, this December issue had a great piece on the 9-Minute Novelist. Author Jeff Somers does the math for you, from nine minutes a day to write (and revise) up to two novels in a year right on down to the One Minute Writer (an 80K novel in around 4.5 years).
As some of us are racing through this month of words with huge wordcounts, there are those of us who are looking at their goals, about to give up and just wait for the next round before they ‘do something’ to achieve their dreams.
If this is you… please, don’t stop. Don’t give up. The 20 or so words you managed to get out before you set the page down in frustration are five words you didn’t have before. And they will make new words easier to discover… simply because you spent the time to get those out, to think of what to write.
The mind works best when it has something to ponder… so ponder, consider and throw a few more words on the page. You have words within you.
As always… let us know how you’re progressing toward your goals in the comments below or on our FB page.