Another #ROW80 check-in and musings

Time to review last weeks goals and revise, rinse and repeat. Or something like that.

Didn’t do so well.   Monday came pretty close to a bust, as did Tuesday (and yesterday once the realization that I wasn’t making half the progress I’d hoped finished sinking in; I allowed myself a “de-stress and forgive myself” dayworked wonders).    Mostly the week consisted of a lot of “Ooh, shiny!” moments where I spent too much time dawdling over webpages and blog posts from fellow ROW80 people.

Monday, the only thing I could truly say in its favor is that I spent a bit of time getting my blog together and that I edited some of the photos I’ve accumulated.   Not that I took more as I’d intended to do as well, but at least I did something involving photography.   They are posted on Google+ for a bit, but I will be doing some more work on them, adding watermarks and such.  I’ve already had someone ask me if I would be willing to sell one.

Why is it my only creative “sales” seem to be in non-writing venues?  I sold a drawing I did for a guy at the Rensselaer train station for $10 once in ’93.  I’ve been offered money for one of the pictures I took last year of a flower from my front yard…. I’d like to get offered money for my stories some day.

Other limits… I need to limit my Facebook time (big surprise there…not!).  I only play one Facebook game Fairyland, which I mostly played with my son.  I have set myself a limit on that, as well, to only play it once a day.  This involves visiting ten other people’s gardens instead of returning every visit each night.  It cuts the time down a lot.  I visit people who had visited first and plus two other people who are my “every day” visits (one of those Fairy Friends has a blog here; well worth the read) because we “chat” that way.

The other goals… or things certainly NOT done:

No “Timeline”…

I didn’t even really try that hard.  I checked out some software, and I did some brainstorming.  I did some reworking and revamping of a few story concepts so they actually all fit together.  But beyond about a thousand words “scratched” into the keyboard, I haven’t actually put it all into order.

Score?  Half a point

Typed in pages…

Here’s me being really  “off“… I thought things were going real well on Wednesday.  Then on Friday, I remembered (don’t ask me how I could forget something as elemental as this) that a “page” of handwritten writing is front and back of a paper only on Friday, and I really only had three pages done.  I’m at ten now.  I won’t have it done by tonight.  But I did learn about planning time for that work better.

Score? Half a point

Writing 500 words a day on the WsIP….

This went well.  It wasn’t as “every day” as it should have been, but I’ve managed to do well over that limit even including the skipped days of Monday and Wednesday.  The stories became richer, and I finally began to understand some motivations of the characters much better as well.

This was a BIG win.  Score? 2 points


Fortunately (or not,) I can do some of the editing (mostly basics) during the typing phase.  I also managed a certain amount of “does this really belong in this story” level snipping (and adding as well).  I found a few places where the characters were not acting according to the situation they were in and their established natures.  I still consider this only “first draft” level work I’m dealing with (I count handwritten drafts as zero drafts where I’m usually just trying to get the ideas out.  I can imagine stories in my head all day, but to actually see them on the page means “seeing” them.

Anyway, editing didn’t make as much progress as I would have liked, but some occurred.  It did happen, and it did work.  Score? 1 point

I also can add to my “not done list:

I did not go and renew the YMCA membership this week.  When I was home, I hibernate happily.  When I was out and about, I forgot or was too busy running all the errands I should have done on my hibernation days.

I did dance every day, sometime for song after song after song (Wednesday was notable for that). And on Friday, I participated in a Zumba class with my son at his school.  The energy level was limited because I’d somehow twisted my ankle on Thursday, probably while trying to dance with my son in out crowded computer room (I must get that computer out to Chachu).

I did not resume reading fiction for fun.  I did join the 50/50/ME challenge and start reading a new book, but I only started that on Wednesday.  I’m 3/4 through the book at this point.  No, I have NOT watched a movie–except for some videos posted on Youtube, Vimeo and one on FORAtv, I’ve been video-less.   I did say this would be the hardest part of the challenge.

Learning software… I did some of that.  Not as much as I should have, but in just researching Timeline software, I had to find that out what each program could and could not do.  I also found a wonderful post on Writer’s Bibles on the Write Thing blog that taught me a few tricks about the Table of Contents feature in Word that I hadn’t known (I’m an old Wordperfect user…old as in the DOS version 5.1, not just as in overly familiar).

So yeah, another win.


Review and adjust accordingly at the end of the week… Well, since I’m doing that now as I should be, this is a win as well.


Lots left undone or “part done”.  Some not attempted at all.  Such a failure rate would be unacceptable in most places of business.   But another facet to consider is the fact that this is a learning process.  And I DID learn a lot this week.

REST and rejuvenate!  I’d started off the week stressed and burned out.  Between holidays,  a sick child and just trying to figure out what I wanted to do and how I should try to do it, I came into Monday with block of knotted muscle and caffeine tolerance that  made new work impossible.  Pretty much a recipe for failure.  I needed a day to de-stress, and the gods of Procrastination made sure I took it on Monday (and then the goddess of Guilt gave me most of Tuesday as a bonus).  Lesson here?  I really need to build in some “fun” as well♦♦.

Surprisingly, even with Guilt and Defeatism drive me at full throttle by Saturday morning, I managed a ton in the evening.  I think because I realized halfway through the day that unless I was going to just stop writing, I had to forgive myself for letting go and get back to work.

Electronic drugs!  Next I needed to find out a way to deal with my online “addictions” such as Facebook, Reddit, and, and Science News and…  and even Fairyland.  It felt horrible telling myson that we couldn’t go play snail races some nights.  He has his own garden and loves “watering the flowers” and “catching wild animals”.  He was a bit upset, but having his own computer back helped.  Since Friday evening, he has made  four different animated videos,  all some variation of the 123 Pinball Countdown from Sesame Street.  Considering he is five and drawing all his art work with a mouse, the work is amazing.  I promise, I will post screenshots when I figure out where my husband saved them on the computer.

So beyond my Fairyland limitations?  I ‘m trying some smaller quantities: “read and comment on blog post a day–two max♥♥;  1/2 hour of Facebook in the morning, 1/2 in the evening;  no more than 1/2 hr on Reddit;  ten Fairyland gardens;  1/2hour  actual news reading.  The numbers are flexible.   I won’t be angry with myself or depressed if I go over the limits.  They are more there to help remind me that there are other things I should be doing.

Writing!  (I had to save the best for last.)

I need to add a blog goal for myself; not just these check-ins.  Since I actually intend to do something like a review of the books I am reading (movies I’m supposed to be watching) for 50/50/Me, that seems covered, but I think there needs to be something more.  I’m waiting to enact this one.  Let’s see how week two works out.

The WsIP are feeling a bit overwhelming in their number.  I will be winnowing my focus.  Unfortunately, this past week I actually discovered connections between most of the major works I hadn’t even realized, so now I need to make sure I don’t cause too many continuity problems for myself in the near future.

Oh, one last thing…  Sleep!  I intend on getting more.  Good-night (or good-day) to you.


♦♦Today I spent hours just talking with my husband.  We played family games like Labyrinth and the “U-Build It Mousetrap together with Marcus.  And I did a lot of reading.

♥♥ While it was quite wonderful to “meet” people, I came to the sad realization by Thursday morning and I’d started repeating the same Monday pattern “yet again” for the check-ins, that I need to actually set myself a limit. It’s too easy to find myself reading all the great stories and not write a single word of my own. I know.


17 responses to “Another #ROW80 check-in and musings

  1. Phew….exhausting! I wanna dance with you! ;D


  2. Perhaps narrowing your focus a bit would help. It seems you have a large assortment of “pans in the fire”. Prioritize (want this first, then this, etc) and handle them layer by layer. On the social media (and we have all been there on this one) setting time limits and specific actions that I wanted to accomplish helped me. The specific actions (responding to tweets, for instance) comes first, then whatever time is left in the limit is for fun. Hard part, at first, is getting oneself to go when the dinger says time is up. Something to consider.

    Have a great week, Eden 🙂


    • You just nailed the problem in two, Gene. I’m trying the ‘limit time’ idea. Will everyone keep posted via the check-ins. (Though I’m glad to hear success stories.) Thanks for stopping in. 🙂


  3. I agree with Gene that it sounds like you have a lot going on and perhaps narrowing your focus would help. I hear you on the social media!! Best of luck with the upcoming week 🙂


    • *laughs* I am hoping to design a smorgasbord I guess. But a lot of it is just the “learning curve” involved in doing things ways I’ve never done before. I’m actually finding that I “play” a lot more than I’d thought. Not that it’s bad I do, but when I look at a day that I felt went by too fast actually was spent on browsing an extra half-hour (and often more) just clicking through links because I want the internet to “entertain me” (or as we say in our house “Internet, show me something”). If I do that twice a day, that is an hour that could be spent actually relaxing (online activities seldom relax me) like a hot bath or a walk outside… Little things do add up.

      Thanks for visiting, Raelyn. I love your name, btw. It’s lovely.


  4. Wow Eden, you are trying to do a lot. I don’t know if you can even categorize this as failure because you were expecting yourself to do so much. It is so much better to focus on fewer things and get them completed than to aim for a bazillion things and get next nothing done. OMG, I have so been there a time or two, my friend. I’m glad figuring out ways to make it work. Good luck this week!


    • This coming from Wonder Woman…. I read a bunch of your blog this past week (*looks around quick* See? It’s all the fault of you amazing ROWers–distracting me *giggle*), Yolanda, and you are a ball of energy! But seriously, you are right. I don’t know if I feel a sense of “failure” so much, just a chance to do better. My husband is fond of saying “don’t beat yourself up trying for perfection; just try for better; if you achieve a little bit more better then you are doing it right.”

      Thanks for stopping in. See you round the ROW


      • In the film/television industry there is a saying of “more better.” When you’re lighting something you could be there forever making it better and better and better and it will never be perfect. At some point you have to acknowledge that the next better isn’t that much better and so you’ve reached “more better.” Then you stop. This is a great lesson when working on everything up to the penultimate draft of the story or anything. When you’re not really moving forward and the time needs to be spent on other things, stop.


    • This coming from Wonder Woman…. I read a bunch of your blog this past week (*looks around quick* See? It’s all the fault of you amazing ROWers–distracting me *giggle*), Yolanda, and you are a ball of energy! But seriously, you are right. I don’t know if I feel a sense of “failure” so much, just a chance to do better. My husband is fond of saying “don’t beat yourself up trying for perfection; just try for better; if you achieve a little bit more better then you are doing it right.”

      Thanks for stopping in. See you sound the ROW


  5. I’m glad you gave yourself some time to rest and rejuvenate. We really can’t get much done, especially deep creative work, when we’re worn down and burnt out.

    You got a lot done this week, so I hope you’re giving yourself kudos for all of that. 🙂


    • Thanks, Kim.

      You are right. I really have to look over the list of stuff I’ve done and remind myself that I actually got it done, and that it is more than I had done before. Goals are good, but there is no sense in dwelling on the failures beyond a moment of “so why didn’t this work?” Beyond that? pthhtbbb! There are better ways to spend my time like laughing and spending time with my family and friends.

      (and knowing how many pans you have in the fire, I hope you’re patting yourself on the back too.)


  6. It’s important to read other people’s work because our support and input create energy in another writer, but if we don’t write SOMETHING ourselves nearly every day, we’re doomed. Some days I’ve written stories with my niece and nephew which are almost as good since children’s imaginations are mind-blowing and stimulating.


    • I so agree with you on this. It’s watching movies that I have trouble with. It’s less of a problem with trilogies though–I never want stories to end. 😉 Characters are what and hold me to anything (I’ve never really watched soaps, but I suspect I would be an easy addict), be it books or film. A television series that catches me is a dangerous thing, and I tend to deny myself the pleasure for as long as possible, or at least until there are several episodes to watch all at once.

      As for writing something… Good reminder! Off to make another post… more (fan)fiction (though without me saying so, I bet no one would notice).


  7. Electronic drugs says it all. I quit sugar, but I think my bigger problem is the sugar drug of social media. I am working on it, but I too get the “Ah, Shiny” moments way too often. I keep telling myself I need to go somewhere without a wireless signal, unplug and write.

    But you are still writing, and that’s important. Hang in there. You’ll find your groove and your focus!


    • Oh, Tia, you have it in one–the need “to go somewhere without a wireless signal, unplug and write”. Couldn’t have said it better myself. (and, if you’re like me, you hesitate to actually do it, but feel amazing once you do).

      Thanks for stopping in. Have a great writing day!