The ROW That Should Have Been

This isn’t quite the end of the ROW, but it seems a good time to reassess this thing I have (as my husband points out) put myself through.  Maybe consider things I have done or need to do.  Not as easy as it feels as if it should be–it’s as if the mind became stopped with all the social media and blogging.

That’s how I feel of late.  I have nightly dreams about blogging and commenting on blogs and nightmares about making a dumb statement because I’m overtired (another thing that seems to have happened since starting this process–I am perpetually tired and dosed up on pain relievers for the tension headaches).  I’m overtired.  I’ve taken to spending far more time at my computer trying to keep up with the blogs and the pages referred to in each blog, plus my research and my ….

It has to stop.

Deutsch: Zentrale Heterochromie: Grüne Iris, u...

Image via Wikipedia

No, not my participation in the ROW80.  If anything, all of this grief has taught me an incredibly useful lesson.  I need to participate, because I need to find my functioning point.  Until this, I hadn’t realized how little I was connecting with people.  Not just online, but in real life.  I was able to write fiction, but it seemed to be the product of me evading the rest of the world unless I wished to “use it” for research or creative fuel of some kind or another.  Or escapism.  Plenty of escapism.

But I also didn’t have to “answer” to anyone; I didn’t have to connect.  If my husband asked how the writing was going, I could ask him to read a section and he would say something along the lines of “Eventually”, (which isn’t as bad as it seems, since he did start reading stuff, though not for long).  The point is, my writing world and my real world lived in two different vacuums and it was nothing to get completely swallowed up in them and have nothing to do with the other.  And the only common ground seemed to be my son and my husband.  They were part and parcel of me…  And I couldn’t escape them in either place.

Not that I wanted to.   Most of the time….

So, let’s look at what my original goals way back at the beginning of January were….  Eek!  Looks like I didn’t get very far with most of them.  If I had to do a line by line: well…

  1.  Review Progress Weekly: I did pretty much review and adjust my goals on a weekly basis.  In fact, I completely rewrote them once.
  2.  Learn New Creativity Tools: Failed on this.  After my failure with Tweetdeck, I stopped.  I never picked up Triberr or the mind-mapping software.  Heck, I never downloaded and setup the memory check disk that I was going to make to find out WHY my desktop machine will sometimes just randomly reboot itself on me or just freeze (no blue screens here).  
  3.  Connect with Fellow ROWers: This I actually glowed at!  If it is possible to be too successful at something, I may have done that here.
  4.  3 Gym Visits a Week: Never renewed my YMCA membership, and am only getting back into exercising now, the old-fashioned way….yardwork!
  5. Fiction for Pleasure:  HAH!  I’ve spent most of my reading time on reading challenges….  And while some of the books were enjoyable, they always had this sense of “duty” to them.  I probably shouldn’t be doing reading challenges any more than I should have tried the 50/50/Me challenge.  But I am doing some, and I think they are worthy endeavors.
  6. Dance: I can’t say I managed every day, but yeah, I managed most days.  At least and 80% or greater success rate on this one.

Fortunately these goals were my “goals for the year” and I still have time to keep working on the,.  What do people say?  That it takes at least 30 days to do something before it becomes a habit?  Well, it’s not a habit yet (heck, with today’s post, I hit 171 days of writing at 750words.com and I still have to force myself to remember to type my words every night).  Maybe I just don’t have the kind of mind that builds habits as easily as some people do.

Critters - Clear It

Critters - Clear It (Photo credit: avlxyz)

No…  that’s certainly not it.  One only needs to look at my tea collection and my special pens and notebooks, or my need to have things in hardcopy to do line edits.  The biggest problem I had as a member of the online critique group Critters (which, BTW, I highly recommend to anyone in the speculative fiction areas.  They deal with short fiction mostly, but they also have a great program for novels) was hard copies.  It got to the point where I had so much paper devoted to these stories by other people–I was literally losing my own stories in the stacks.  And the trees?  They were so piked off they didn’t want any hugs from me.

But my quirks and habits aside, I did have another original set of goals focused solely on writing:

  1. But I never created that timeline.  It may end up being a Round 2 goal of it’s very own.
  2. I reworked the typing down to 5 pages (which I missed this week by one page, but since I had six for last week, it came out even)
  3. I managed about 350 words on my WiPs a day, not 500.
  4. Editing was so inconsistent it’s hard to tell if I kept up with it.  Some days I managed almost 10 pages, others I didn’t edit a word, not if the spellchecker didn’t complain about it…

So…  There we are.  It’s a process.  And despite all the failures, the successes seem to be holding their own.  I never meant it to be a one Round of Words game.  It’s about learning how to become a professional writer and about how to live as one.  Processes take time.  Learning often takes time.  And I have over forty years of relearning to do.

It’s all good.

So…  Here’s the linky tool.  Please check out some other ROWers and give them some love.   That’s part of what this community is about.

Advertisements

10 responses to “The ROW That Should Have Been

  1. Ah, Eden, it is a process, just as you say. If it helps any, I have no idea how many days it takes moi to develop a habit but I suspect that at thirty days, it’s still a warm feeling in my stomach and not a part of my heart. Like you, I didn’t start ROW80 for just one round–I notice you and I are listed as sponsors for round two–it seems we want to go round our writing completely, a process in itself.

    Thanks for all the support, Eden!

    Karen

    Like

    • I think we all have to find our place in the spectrum. I’m sure somethings become habits very easy for all of us; others? Not so much. Some things may always be a struggle. Hopefully writing won’t be one of those. 😉 But there are those days… Those days when the thought of facing that blank page seems unbearably challenging. That’s why the ROW, and little challenges like 750words, seem to be doing the best good. (oh, and word sprints… I think #teamsprinty is the best thing since sliced bread for helping get me writing)

      I did notice that you were doing sponsorship for the next Round. It does seem that the process needs many layers.

      Thanks in return, Karen. It’s been wonderful meeting you via this process. 😀

      Like

  2. It wasn’t that long ago that I was where you seem to be on the blogging circuit. I had to take a step back. It was all I could think about anymore and it defeated the purpose. Everything in balance. As for your goals.that’s the great thing about Row, you can adjust your goals. You’re in the discovery stage of finding out what works for you right now. You’re doing good Eden. 😉

    Like

    • Thank you so much for commenting on this, Debra. That sounds exactly as I’ve been feeling, and while I know it’s not going to make everything resolve itself, it is nice to know that others have been here too. Kind of the “this too shall pass” sort of thing… And you are exactly right about the way the ROW80 works. It’s flexible enough to work with one’s life and process, and “demanding” enough to make sure we keep our eyes on the goals.

      Thanks again for visiting.

      Like

      • You’re welcome, Eden. I’ve only just recently accepted the fact that I can’t do it all. I allowed myself to let some of it go. You may find you’ll have to do the same. You may find a way to make it all work. Just remember, at the end of the day what matters most is you, your family and your WIP.

        Like

        • Yeah, I guess you’re right. Just because my son believes I can do anything, it doesn’t mean I can do everything…. One of those lessons we all need once in a while, hmm?

          Like

  3. Hi Eden, I so understand how you are feeling. Though I feel like I have learned so much, one of the things I learned was that I have to pare down the blog hopping and pick and choose what challenges I participate in. I also found myself more concerned with how many words and not always writing about anything important. That is actually when I started doing some of the challenges because it spurred me to create again and not just write. Now I am going to take some time for myself, regroup, re-plan, and clarify my goals for April. Because it is spring and anything is possible. Be kind to yourself, treat yourself to something wonderful even if it is just a bubble bath and a good book, because you deserve it.

    Thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement.

    Peace,
    Morgan

    Like

    • Thanks so much for visiting and for your reassuring words, Morgan.

      You’re right about how the “count” can interfere with the quality of writing. I sometime wonder if 750words is as destructive as helpful in that regard. What seems to work for me there is getting involved with the #wordsprints. It seems silly to say there is a creative energy that passes through the computer, but I believe there is because I almost always come up with something useful in a sprint or #wordmongering.

      Like you, I intend to regroup and replan some things for the next round. Each step will bring something new, I am sure… and now, I am sure that those things, while not always what I expect or think I want, will be good for me.

      Warmest thoughts to you, Morgan.
      –Eden

      Like

  4. Sounds like you have learnt a lot about what works for you and how much you can take on, which is just as important as completing the goals themselves in my opinion. Hope to see more of you next round! 🙂

    Like

    • Thank you, Emily. You’re right. The lessons are often more real for the failures than they are for the successes. And you’ll see me next Round. I took on a sponsorship… Looking forward to it, and to meeting even more fellow ROWers. Have a great break!

      Like