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:
Well, this week hasn’t quite gone the way we’d all hoped. Sorry about that. I didn’t get to check over all the blogs for people’s posts, and I didn’t post the “Goals Post” for the upcoming Round 2 on Monday as I’d planned.
Good news is, that those of you who wanted to take part in the drabble prompt now have until next Monday when I will have that Goals Post finished and ready.
Until then… it’s our last week of Round 1 and our check-in of the week. Got news to share?
You know what to do:
Not much news for tonight. Tomorrow I’ll be posting the “Goals Post” for our upcoming Round 2. Hope to see you all posting soon-ish there (goals posts stay open for several weeks, so feel free to drop in as you need to update your plans).
Until then, it’s check-in time. You know the drill: you can check in here, at our FB page or both:
a week and a half to go! Do you feel it too?
If you haven’t started looking over your progress this round, you may want to start. You may even want to start making plans for the upcoming Round 2. One of those plans, if you are fearless and friendly, could be to volunteer as a ROW80 sponsor next round of words (friendly is required… fearless not so much, but it sounded fun to write). Here’s how: So You Wanna be a Sponsor
As for the rest of the news… I’m going to give you all just a touch longer to get any drabbles in for the prompt from last Wednesday’s prompt (I want to try this one too; I’ve been stumped by this form for some time, and I’d really like to break my fear of them). Next Wednesday I’ll post all the participants, and… if there are enough, we’ll have a vote for our favorite.
The Goals Post for Round 2 will go live next Monday so the overachievers among us (and we have many) will be able to get a head start on their plans). Do you know what you’ll be doing for Round 2?
Lastly, it’s check-in time. As always… you can check in here, at our FB page or both:
If you don’t remember…