I’ve been going through my backlog of old writing magazines lately, trying to pare down the excess of “things” about my house for the move we need to make this year. The stuff we allow ourselves to hold on to when we settle…
Well, I found a nice piece by David Fink in the Inkwell section of this past October’s Writer’s Digest about The Buddy System (not to be confused with a prior Writer’s Digest piece by Kevin Alexander by the same name). It echoed for me, because I am the kind of person who writes (and works best with face-to-face contact with other creative people. I don’t need to show my words to anyone else, I don’t need to share key-click time the way Hicks describes, but there is an energy—much like the energy that the NaNoWriMo people capture when they hold write-ins during their November marathons—that comes with writing with other people.
For some, online sprints via a site like Twitter or Facebook can suffice, but perhaps you aren’t feeling the same magic that a more ‘personal touch’ offers. Have you thought of using something like Skype or Hangouts to video chat (both ideas Hicks mentions in his article)? Set up a coffee date with some writing friends where you sip-talk-write-repeat for an hour or so? However you go about finding your words, may they keep coming.
And while you’re at it, it’s check-in time. You know what to do:
Welcome to Week 3 of this Round of Words, folks! By now you’re probably starting to find your stride, getting a sense of where you can stretch out, and where you might need to ease back and spend a bit more “quality time” with your craft.
Well, I’m here to add another thing to think in this grand process. Reading… (yes, really, I said reading).
I probably don’t need to say this, but in case you didn’t know, one of the easiest (and often most fun) ways of becoming a great writer is by being a voracious reader. It doesn’t have to be “great literature” (though a bit of that stuff has it uses). Reading works from multiple genres, perspectives, formats… there is something glean from it all, something that your creative mind will be able to weave into all the other little somethings you’ve gathered before, something to breathe life into those pieces, creating something new and uniquely yours.
So… what are you reading these days? Have you found it helps your craft? In what ways? Has it hindered you at all?
We’d love to hear your stories… and your updates. Let us know how you’re doing at the linky (or the comments, or on our FB page… you choose):
Oh my! Time has just been flying, and I have been doing the cray-cray dance for most of it. Sorry to drag you all in during one of its many refrains today by not having the check-in posted on time. The ROW80 is supposed to be about balancing life: dreams and career… and the general mundane day-to-day. Thing is that sometimes a great, big monkey-wrench gets thrown into the gears and some things that were chugging away well enough need to be completely rebuilt.
That’s where we are at (and I’d be lying it I said things had been chugging away well enough before this, so…) at my house. Not that you all should have to worry about the chaos that is Chez Mabee, but just wanted to let you know, I hadn’t forgotten you… I just got sidetracked for a few hours.
Still, back now and with your weekly Sunday check-in. You know what to do: here, the linky, the FB page. Make it happen, Cap’n. 😉
Pretty stones, from Flickr (by me)
Well, here we are, now fully invested in this Round of Words, a full week (plus) into things and we’re starting to see where we shine and where we could use some polish. That’s no bad thing… there is amazing stuff hiding there that the world can’t see quite yet. It may take a bit of work, some careful chiseling, some grinding even, to bring out the beauty of the gem that is your story, but it will be worth the time and effort.
Are you seeing it? Let us know at the linky… or if you prefer, on our FB page or via the comments:
It’s time for that oh so very unsettling second check-in of the round, the one where the rush of new beginnings have wore slightly and progress hints at lagging…. enthusiasm can go a long way here, but it can also lead us to make some risky choices.
It’s easy to say “I’ll do better next time” and try to plow through, even to the point of trying to catch up on any missed goals at this point. Thing is… if you are lagging, it might be wise to pause instead of pursue and take a moment to consider why you might not be hitting the mark.
It could simply be a blip, a freak bad day or something like it that can be made up easily. Or it could be a sign that you set goals too high. Maybe you set goals that don’t fit the project you need to be working on… whatever the reason, you’ll save time and your sanity, if you figure out what happened and work from there instead of pressing forward through a potential mire.
Bad days happen, projects get stalled… Life happens. We’re here no matter what, ROWing on toward our dreams.
Here’s your linky… As always… you can check in here, at our FB page or both:
It’s here (WOOT!), the very first check-in for Round 2. A chance to shine and set a clear course for a creative twelve weeks of words, research, editing, reading… and pretty much everything else that makes for a healthy writer’s life. We’ve got ROWers who offer chocolate updates… it’s ALL good. 😀
Hope you’ve gotten a solid start these past few days, but if you haven’t, that’s OK. Just point yourself forward and continue on. You’ll get there.
For now, here’s our linky. You can leave us a link to your progress in the comments, at the link or on our Facebook page.
“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley…”
To a Mouse by Robert Burns
Things haven’t been as organized here at A Round of Words in 80 Days as they should, or even could (I fear), be. A lot of the grand plans have gotten mislaid… or even sidelined as life has taken its due. We are, thankfully, The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life.
One thing that doesn’t change however is the way we ROW.
We have goals.
We set our goals. We state those goals. We share our progress in achieving those goals, and then we check-in with our fellow ROWers and offer support and encouragement.
How you go about setting your goals for the next twelve weeks is up to you. Some of us like to establish S.M.A.R.T goals with specific targets in mind. A few take a more casual approach, setting their goals as Life does its thing. Some like to propel themselves forward in small steps, while others leap bravely into the year.
There is no one way to ROW, no “one way to achieve your dream”. You need to set some goals, but then… the rest is up to you.
State your goals here:
Officially, the Round ends on Thursday, but that’s mostly because we have to give a few days for everyone to tally their progress (even if I’ve commented on the arrival of the end of the round for weeks now, I’m sure I’m not the only procrastinator here who hasn’t done a solid run-through of their accomplishments).
Truth be told… there’s a lot to be said for any progress is good progress. We have a lot more to do as writers these days, a lot more hats to juggle and a lot more “bosses” (or at least audience members) to answer too. But, hey… Let’s go for broke; let’s aim for a solid 99 and 44/100 % success. Ivory Soap success…
You can do it.
BTW, a cool thing about Ivory soap? It’s easy to carve. You can make a lot of things out of it.
Kind of like the progress you are making on all these goals you’re setting.
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….
cred: Me.me (Facebook)
The End is Near
Oooh! Look at that counter (see the right of the screen… well, unless you’re using as phone that doesn’t show the side-bar… then, look down the page). Now… that does look like the round is coming to an end. Or is it? This is the ROW80… and we do this challenge all year round. So… does it ever actually end? (I know that some of our ROWers actually do keep going all year round, even when the challenge is officially on break.
Next week’s Wednesday post will be the last of the Round (though you can still check-in with your goals on the following Sunday when I put out the Round 3 “Goals Post”). Even with my constant panicking about the end coming… it doesn’t really feel like we’re already there.
Does it to you?
Tell us at the linky: