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?
We talk a lot about goals here at the ROW80. The whole concept of A Round of Words in 80 Days is based on them and ways to achieve them. And, of course, since this being a writing challenge, the general assumption is that you joined the ROW80 because you want to be a writer… that you might even want to become a published author.
But… what if this isn’t the case?
What if this had once been a dream of yours and your dreams have changed? Are you finding the steps along your path don’t match your vision of where you should be in this journey?
Did you maybe wonder if this wasn’t a good thing? The world beyond our desks and stories (and hopefully in our stories too) changes constantly. Why shouldn’t we change and move with it, adjusting our stances and positions to remain stable as we follow the trail before us toward that dream we’ve held? When there’s a fork in the road ahead, do we just stop, do we turn around, or do we look at our options and choose what seems to be the best course and follow it?
Have you ever questioned your determination to be a writer or author? Has the desire to create worlds and share your stories overruled your doubts or do you still struggle with this? Has becoming a writer taken a greater or lesser place in your life plan?
Let us know in the comment thread below or on our FB page. And have a great week! 🙂
I confess… I added this picture because it reminds me more of my cat, Fluffle than any other reason, but…I do have to wonder at how fast we seem to have passed through this past November. Even this Round of Words… heck, even this year has flown by with wild abandon.
I feel like I’ve only just started!
How about you? Is the nearing end of year feel unnatural to you? Are you ready to start anew in 2019?
Or are you more like me, seeing this upcoming “end” as really more of a soft bend with angles? Like a spiral… I won’t presume what direction your spiral takes, but it’s always moving, always circulating with so many similar points to be hit on its way around. And yet… you are never in exactly the same place as you were the last time you passed by this point.
It’s kind of magical actually.
But with only a few more weeks in this Round of Words, and with the upcoming new year, it’s time to start evaluating our progress and start plotting our goals for next year. And for those of us who just finished NaNoWriMo, it’s time to start editing (or maybe simply finishing) our recent WIPs.
Thankfully some of the best blogs for writers out there have some great advice for us. Here’s just a small sampling of what I came across today:
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).
Creeping toward the end of the year, meshed solidly in the throes of the word-orgy that is NaNoWriMo, or stuck for ideas… we’re all somewhere in our ROW80 journey. And no matter where you might be in your own journey, it’s a good time to be writing.
Let us know how your writing (and all your progress in achieving your goals) is going, here in the comments, or in our FB group.
Another month finished… only two more for this year, only two more to make those word count goals, to finish that short we’ve been toying with. No trick here… we know what to do. Write every day, even when our muses might be off gorging on leftover candy and some Netflix reruns…
Though today we might be taking time to indulge in festivities and sugar, we know tomorrow we write. For some of us, it’s because November 1st is the opening of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). For others, it’s because it’s what we, as writers, do… we write. Whatever our reasons, we have a plan and we’re moving forward. You have a plan and are moving forward. You are a writer, a creator, a dreamer.
Will you have setbacks? Sure. But will you write? Definitely.
Because in the ROW80, we are here for each other, and we know that we have to write, have to create, have to appease the muses. Or at least the little voices in our heads that say…
Leave your updates in the comments or on our FB page.
It’s Sunday! Another week has passed, more words, new ideas (and some elaboration on the old ones…).
Trick-or-Treating is in full swing here in northeastern NYS, because Halloween falls midweek yet again. Many organizations are setting up Trunk-or-Treat events to let the kids show off their costumes and gorge on sugary treats without interfering with the school week. A long way from the mythology of ghosts and goblins upon which the holiday was based…
Both are fertile grounds for evocative stories however, and I hope you all get a chance to enjoy some chocolate (or the sweet treat of your choice) and creative inspiration over the next few days.
No tricks…. just leave your check-in below or on our FB page.