Why do it?

ROW80LogocopyThese bi-weekly check-ins can make things so hard sometimes.

I mean, that day of wild dancing with the Muse makes for a great report, but the afterhours flumping really hurts any sense of achievement.  And of course, days and weeks of (hopefully) steady progress, no change

I try to not get too frustrated by this bi-polar aspect of my writing (or how the ROW80 has highlighted it for me).  I’m not always successful.  The highs can be exhilarating and addictive.  The lows can be depleting and heart-breaking.  And the steady-as-she-goes….

That can feel pretty boring at times—both to read about and to write about.

I think that’s why so many writing “challenges” out there exist like NaNoWriMo, Story-A-Day, NaPoWriMo, JuNoWriMo, etc.  The Writer’s High, the ecstasy of writing lots of words fast is a damned powerful thing.  It doesn’t often last.  For me, a NaNo Writer’s High usually wears off about halfway through the week, then I need to recover for another weekend burst of speed and inspiration.  Talk about exhausting!

So…  Why am I going to try to convince you to join yet another Novel Writing Month challenge?  Would you believe me if I told you it was for the sprints?

It is, actually.   At least, for me, it is the sprints.

See, I used to be one of those flump on the bed with notebook and pen people…  then I started writing on a computer.  Great for editing and a bit of a time-saver on occasion…  but there’s something about the distraction a computer offers (even a computer without internet access) to the distraction of sprawling amid comforters and pillows.

But I’ve found that getting involved with the writing community for sprints helps me move past certain distractions. So, these days when I join a WriMo, I often do so knowing full well that I might not make those precious 50K words, and I don’t care.  I do it for the social aspect, for the accountability that sharing wordcounts offers…  I do it for the sprints.

The Things We Do

The Things We Do

So, why not join me this coming June for yet another word frenzy.  Rebel like I am (I’ve already stated my goal for this year’s JuNoWriMo will be 50K word added and deleted…  I’m in full re-write mode on Courting The Swan Song, and I have no intention of braindumping this year).  In the end every writing challenge is yours to use as YOU need it.

Besides…  there are some nifty prizes.  No cookies, but still nifty.

(This need for accountability and social contact with other writers is also why I’ve stayed in the ROW80…  the Writing Challenge that knows you have a Life, for so long.)

And speaking of accountability…  here is my ROW80 check-in:

  • write every day…  oops!  I kind of blew yesterday unless one counts eliminating about 50 words from a section of CtSS (I’m counting it, since editing and reworking a story is part of the writing process)
  • spend time with my characters daily…  yep.    I’m in the preplanning stage for JuNoWriMo, so I’m spending a lot of time with them.  Though Tuesday, I somehow found myself spending more time trying to figure out Release than CtSS.  Which isn’t that bad, I guess…  except the Swan Song series comes before the Parvenu series in my world’s timeline.
  • still not there with my push-ups…  I can do eight mediocre ones now (up from my zero in January).  And somehow, despite months of doing them regularly, I still find those the last 5-10 jumping jacks at the beginning of class kill my right leg.  I will keep doing them though.
  • daily time with my camera….  yep.  Though I need to get some editing done soon.  And since my desktop PC is starting to act flukey, I need to transfer all my images to backup storage as well.

That’s it for me.  Why not go visit other ROWers too and see what they are doing?

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9 responses to “Why do it?

  1. I’ve gotten to a point where I am okay with the steady, not-dramatic progress (I even held myself back during April Camp, so that I could have energy for moving other things more gradually forward).

    Sooner or later, every project seems to hit that ‘tipping point’, and then the progress can be electrifying…till then, it’s laying foundation, putting up framing, wiring and plumbing…

    As for out of sequence novels – I feel your pain. Trueborn isn’t remotely chronological, at present, because I spent years seeing it just as separate, non-marketable story threads I played with…now, I’l send years getting the eight existing novels twitched and tweaked gradually into order…but that’s OK, too – and part of the rationale behind writing poetry, short stories, and the Kifo Island series – shorter things that don’t need to be in order, or begin that way – and I can use them as my revision laboratory, because Chameleon is a huge meal to devour, even in smallish chunks…

    Hooray for all the progress, the push-ups, the surges and the ebbs (which you know I feel are absolutely essential to the process of growth!).

    I’ll be joining JuNoWriMo, probably this week or next. It’ll be my impetus to finish Generations (Iris’s Kifo story), and to hopefully begin Sea Changes (Donovan and Karina’s Kifo story; and a happier, lighter romance). I want the icky stuffs out of the way, and the lighter and brighter moving in for June (and I have a Trueborn to be named later to plot, too)….

    See you at the sprints (I’m with you on loving sprints!). =)

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    • I wondered what was happening with Trueborn. Glad to know!

      And hooray for joining JuNoWriMo. I hope to see you during sprints (though it’s not likely for the ones I’m hosting since I’ll probably be doing daytime ones… don’t know the schedule yet). They always need evening/overnight sprint hosts if you want to try hosting a few….

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      • I might be willing to give hosting a try….let me think on it another day or two….and maybe you can point me in the right direction if I decide to do it.

        Trueborn tends to be something I play with in the second half of the year, semi-intentionally…semi just as it turns out. I’m not sure yet what story I’ll be developing for July, but it will be….something. With Niaan and/or Kaivelt…

        Because, of course, you never could have guessed that! =)

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  2. You have similar goals to mine. I’ve been falling down on my goals of late, what with life and medical stuff and all, but it’s good to see someone else with similar, simple goals. And, in a way, it’s also a little nice to see that even simple goals can be a struggle for others besides myself.
    I like your goal of time with your camera every day! I might try adding that, to get into the habit of actually USING the camera app in the phone I carry around everywhere with me. I just never think of snapping pics, you know?
    I hope you make more progress with your goals in future. 🙂 But hey, any progress is progress, and better than no progress, right?

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    • Health issues have a way of trampling the best of intentions and more plans than we’d like to admit…. You’re doing what you can, and you’re doing it when you can. No one can ask for more than that… (though we all have this tendency to do exactly that to ourselves)

      Thank you. I totally get the issue with using the cellphone camera. It’s an oddly hard habit for me to get into as well. I still don’t have it down quite yet.

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  3. I love doing the writing challenges. Even though I normally write at least 50k in a month now, I still love joining in for all the WriMos. And sprinting with other people certainly helps keep me focused.

    Good job this week. and 8 mediocre push-ups is still better than the practically 0 I can do(I can handle modified ones a little better, but still…)

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    • True! I can’t remember not seeing you in a WriMo, Fallon. Hopefully I’ll see you this June again too.

      Thanks for the encouragement. It’s a work in progress. 🙂

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  4. I love what you say about making challenges work for you. You are so right! Last year during June instead of the 50K, I planned to write 1 short story and 1 novella. So I came out of the month with only around 35K words, but two complete projects, and I didn’t feel one bit guilty because that’s what I needed to work on at the time.

    For the same reason I didn’t NaNo last year – November was all about the editing/publishing process. But this year I’ve timed JuNoWriMo so perfectly I’m hoping to complete one full novel (75kish), and possibly attempt a second in July. I’ve never done back to back novels before, but if I get both outlines to the right point, I’m going to try it. There are just too many stories waiting to be written. 🙂

    Oh, and I love the sprints too. Adore them.

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