Round 1 CHeck-in 10/18/20

Yep!  We’re almost there.  Just one more week and then…  Poof!  Round 1 disappears for a whole year.

Hard to believe that it’s flown by so fast.

I do hope all of you are staying well during this very interesting of times.  If, like us, you’ve been encouraged to stay home and avoid contact in groups larger than 10 people, it may seem like this is a writer’s dream.  Time home to work on our creative endeavors, no commutes, no loud crowd drowning out the voices in our heads…

Beware of too much silence though.  Too little activity can be as bad as too much.  So, in this home stretch, I encourage you all to add in a small fitness/activity goal for your own creativity.  And no…  Netflix marathons don’t really count as running.  😉

Add some extra walking in.  Find a local park or Nature Reserve and see an area you haven’t looked closely at before.  Try making some baskets at a local park.  Use Youtube videos to learn some new dance moves or some other new skill (there are some nice beginner guitar videos there).

And if you’re used to working with a partner, try adding sprints and meetings via Skype, Facetime, FB Messenger, Google Hangouts…  the list is pretty big these days.

Most of all, even while you need to isolate yourselves because of the virus, you shouldn’t isolate yourself from the world.  It’s where stories happen.  It’s where creativity lives and is ready to meet you.

Here’s your linky!


Round 1 Check-in 3/15/20

(Courtesy of Guy Smiley’s Guts)

For history buffs and their very creative counterparts (like, maybe Shakespeare or someone like that 😉 ), today is a great day for writing and connecting and… planning (though I imagine for the conspirators that killed Caesar, that was done a few days or weeks prior).  It’s a well known day for stories of all kinds, truth and…  well usually NOT the truth. (Like what really happened to Caesar….)

And this is a good thing, ROWers.  It shows that your mistakes don’t mean as much as your ability to get back to your project and produce it, produce it, produce….  Basically, you define the story you want people to most remember about you.  You define what YOU want to remember and know about you.  Step by step, challenge after challenge…  round after round.

As we start looking toward the end of this Round of Words (we’re done on the 26th, folks, so it’s coming soon), we should start looking at what we’ve accomplished and what we still want to focus our energies on in Round Two.  Remember that the end of one 80 day adventure just means you can start the next ROWnd with a shift in focus and a sense of refreshment…  even if you’re working on the same projects as you’ve been working on for the past couple of years.

So…  start thinking about what’s to come, what you’ve accomplished…  what you most enjoyed about your ROW80, and what you’d prefer to tweak a little.

And while you’re doing that, you may want to check-in for the moment and let the rest of us know how you’re doing.

Here’s your linky:

Round 1 Check-in 2/2/20

Thinking, thinking

Sometimes, despite all our best intentions, it can be hard to get our heads into the game (so to speak), and we find ourselves staring more often into space daydreaming of characters and plots than actually putting words on the page. If you’ve found yourself in that place at the moment, don’t fret. The ROW80 is the Writing Challenge that KNOWS you have a life, and sometimes life comes with distraction and lack of focus.

Challenges are a part of life. And life is where the best stories come from. So allow yourself to indulge (occasionally) in these little difficulties. They will bring depth and realism to your writing. Just remember, you have to pick up the pen (or keyboard) and get those words written eventually. Even daydreamers wake up eventually. 🙂

Oh, and here is your linky:

Feel free to leave your links here, in the comments, and even on our FB page. We love to hear from you.

Round 4 Check-n 11/17/19

Another day later than planned…  Sorry folks, but I was having a lovely weekend with my family here in Jersey-land and just lost track of time (I didn’t even get any writing done—Eep!).  I wish I could say I regret it more than I do….  after all, I do aspire to be a published writer, and well, writers write.  Thing is, writers also relax, play, sleep…  and generally act just like other people with obsessive compulsive habits and overly curious natures. 😉  They just write the next day and the day after that and the day after….

So don’t feel bad if you have a slack day.  You are probably need those off moments from story telling to recoup your inner story archives, to have enough tools and energy to build those great words you want to share.

Anyway… here now and bringing you our regular Sunday check-in.  You know the drill…  here, in the comments, on your blogs, and/or our FB page.

Round 3 Check-in Sept 11, 2019

Hope you all don’t mind my making this a very quick post, but at the moment, I’m not feeling the words… Not the way I’d like to at least.

Ever have that happen?  How’d you break out of that slump?

Tell all in the comments: your check-in, your hopes, dreams, frustrations… here or on our FB page.



Oops! Round 2 Check-in 6/2/19

It’s a good thing that the ROW80 is The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life, because lately, Life has definitely been doing it best to interfere with writing.

So let me apologize to you all for being late with our Sunday check-in.  Oddly enough, I missed it because I WAS writing…  as in JuNoWriMo started yesterday (I’m being a rebel this year since 50K just doesn’t seem like an option), and I was happily filling notebook pages when I wasn’t sanding the deck or hosting writing sprints.

Forgive me? 🙂  Thanks.

And while we’re at it, let’s check-in in the comment section below and tell each other how we’ve been doing.  Or if you prefer, there’s always our Facebook group maintained by Shan Jeniah.

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.

Round 2 Check-in 4/17/19

Many apologies for the brief posts lately, but…  life has been a bit extra cray-cray lately.  That said…  the ROW80 is the Writing Challenge that Knows You Have a Life.  Good thing too, since I’m sure I’m not the only one in this group that’s been busy-busy.

Hope you’re all doing well despite that.

Let us know.  As always, you can leave a note in the comments or on our FB page.  Best words to you.


Round 2 Check-in 4/7/19


Ever find yourself being “Happied Out”?  Like you’ve had so much fun doing things you love that you just need to settle down and work on stuff you don’t, because the fun isn’t fun anymore?  That feeling you get when you’ve had a slightly too long vacation?

It can happen in writing too.  That Zone we all hear about, the place where the words just flow and the characters seem to just flow through the air and onto your page without any real effort on your part…  it does exist.  Not that many of us get there regularly.  We’re the Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life, and we know life comes with distractions.  Distractions and the Zone just don’t seem to inhabit the same physical or spiritual plane of existence.

Thing is, we tend to be so very happy when we’re in the Zone.  Things make sense.  They work.  We feel the progress, the creative energy…  we feel powerful.  And we feel like it’s effortless.

Thing is…  when everything is easy, it’s nice for a while, but after a bit…  things lose their wonder; the stories don’t seem as good.  It’s because our brains thrive and develop when we’ve challenging ourselves somewhat.  The stuff we do all the time…  we let go, we give up some of the control and let it all go on automatic…  and we can’t be sure what we’re getting is what we really wanted.

That’s the time our brain is saying “give me something new to do; I need a challenge”.

Fortunately, there are all sorts of ways to challenge yourself as a writer.  You could try a new style or genre.  You could switch point of view.  You could try writing articles or copy, poems or screen plays.  Maybe you could try writing a video game (design, not the code….  though you could try that too).

And what if you’ve never found yourself in the Zone…

Well, here are some posts with ideas to try.  Feel free to pick and choose,  The Zone is a fleeting, personal thing.  Sometimes the path to it changes even…  Don’t be afraid to try and try again.

Have you found yourself in the Zone before?  Have you found yourself in need of a challenge?  Tell us what you’ve learned in your check-in, here or in our FB group.