Tag Archives: ROW80

ROWmodels: The Lessons Learned From You

Hello ROWers and Readers!  It’s December 5th and this round of ROW80 is wrapping up (pun intended) this holiday season!  And I am sooo impressed with the hard work you all have done!

I think there are several of you deserving of a round of applause, so let me introduce this week’s…

ROWmodels!

Kat Morrisey had me giggling with delight at her very upbeat post about completing NaNoWriMo – I Didn’t Win the Lottery, But I Did Something Better!  That girl is a dancing fiend now that she’s finished her novel draft!  And she’s inspired me to create some new goals for myself this ROW round.  Thanks, Kat!

Nicole Nally is another NaNo winner!  She completed her novel draft and is anticipating the edit process.  I’m excited for her and the thrill of completing such a powerful word goal!  Go rock those edits and keep us posted, girl!

I hope all of you have come to know Ryan King because he has been a fabulous ROW Sponsor!  Seriously!  This guy has been leaving many comments of support and I know how much a kind comment means to me on my posts, and Ryan leaves aplenty!  Kudos to you, Sir, on your successes with writing projects and weight maintenance during the holiday season.  I am envious.

Ruth Nestvold’s post about her plights and processes as an indie author is post you CANNOT miss!  She’s got some interesting info out there about our industry, what she’s tried, what’s she trying, and shares the successes she’s achieved along the journey.  I found this post particularly interesting and really appreciated her sharing.  Thank you, Ruth!

My ROW Goals this week:

Inspired by many of you, but knowing I’m COMPLETELY strapped for time, I’m making my end goals very manageable.  I hope.

  1. Clean my desk.  Find the wood underneath it.
  2. Clean my room.  Find the carpet underneath it.  🙂
  3. Finish reading The Language of Flowers, On Writing, Football Sweetheart, and Geek Love this month.
  4. Journal at least twice a week.

A Couple Announcements:

Long overdue is the announcement of the comment/twitter winner of a free copy of Come Sunrise, reggae album by TUGG.  Thanks to all who left comments and tweeted for my musical guests !

The winner is Jenny Hansen!!!

*****

And it’s another edition of the Holiday Yum blog fest today featuring Natalie Hartford’s French Lace Cookies!  What are you waiting for?!

Advertisements

Announcing the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge and other ROW News

(amazon.com)

Hey ROW80 friends!  I hope all of you enjoyed your Thanksgiving!  Mine was short but sweet since my parents came up for the holiday and spent it with my honey’s family.  Everyone hit it off splendidly and I was happy to have a bit of home before starting my midnight shift for Black Friday.  I did an 11 hour shift that day and worked through the weekend, which equaled about 7 days in a row.  Today was my first day off, and I admit it, I didn’t write on my novel.  I had a Downton Abbey marathon.  It felt good to be a bum for a day.  Real good.

But…exciting things are happening!

ROWmodel Awards are back!

ROWmodel of the week goes to Jessica Fritsche and her post, Know When To Fold Em.  After struggling with her WIP finding hole after hole, she set it aside to go back to a different project and is a busy writer bee using this new project for her NaNo novel.  She cracked out 4,000 words in one day and sounds like she’ll keep going strong!  Go Jessica, we’re all rooting for you!

Honorary ROWmodel of the week also goes to Myndi Shafer for Making It Happen:  Work How You Can, When You Can.  You’ll never guess where Myndi sometimes goes to get her writing done.  This girl’s got gumption; and she’s using it to make her dreams come true!

The 2013 TBR Pile Challenge has kicked off!

So exciting!!!!  Adam at Roof Beam Reader has launched the 2013 To Be Read Pile Challenge!  Haven’t participated before?  You must!  I love it!  The challenge, should you choose to accept it, involves picking 10 books (plus 2 alternates) off your bookshelf that have been sitting there for at least a year.  Books with a publication date of 12/31/11 or before all qualify.  You have the course of 2013 to read your 10 books and link back a review of the book along the way.  Complete the challenge and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card!  I’m working on my book list now!

What titles would be on your list?

A Reggae CD Giveaway!

Looking for some new jams?  I’m hosting a music giveaway with Wisconsin Reggae band, TUGG, for a FREE copy of their full cd, Come Sunrise.  All you need to do to enter is comment or tweet one of the interview posts I did with the lead singer, Andrew Hughes.  Part 1 is about the changing music industry and Part 2 is about social media and the music business.  Chime in!  We’d love to hear your voice!

Last, but not least, The Redhots are back!

Tune in this Friday for another FIERY edition of The Redhots!  Marcia Richards and I are back introducing you to two REDHOT ladies you’ll want to know on Twitter!  Want a hint for who it’ll be?

  • The first is going to tell you how to feng shui your house!
  • And the other is the founder of the largest book club in the world!

Two Redheads.  Two Opinions.  Keeping it REDHOT.

Share with me, my pretties!  How was your holiday?  How is ROW80 going?  What books are on your TBR list?  Could you use a new reggae cd?  And who do you think our Twitter guests will be?

I Was Thinking of Throwing a Pity Party, But What Would I Wear?

Ever feel like the only days you have are ones where your relationship’s rocky, everyone at work takes you for granted, and no matter how you style it, the hair you’re trying to grow out is going to look like a mullet for awhile?

That’s how I’ve been feeling this month.  And I hate it.

When I started this writing journey 2 years ago, it was the hardest thing I’d done in a long time.  I hadn’t written anything in so long, writing a book seemed like climbing Mount Everest.  And the disappointing thing is…I’m still on Everest.  The reality of it is:  I’ve made bad decisions.  

image courtesy flickr CC – Mrs. Inman

The hardest piece of being a writer I’m still struggling with learning is what Writer Social Media Jedi, Kristen Lamb, describes as this rule:

Feelings lie.

If I come home exhausted from work, I don’t write.  If I planned on journaling or blogging, but my honey wants to hang out, I don’t write.  If my sides hurt because I’ve done a triple back flip, ribbon dance and glow stick original performance just to get into my “cute butt jeans,” then I may not write…because physically sitting down in those pants is painful, and they don’t allow me to eat chocolate.

What have I been doing all this time?

My biggest dream in the world and it’s the first thing I’m always giving up. 

I think I’ve officially hit my rut.  I’m four years past graduation.  The “I’m an adult” now highs of a salaried job and better clothes are starting to wear off.  When I think of my future, I see this:

image courtesty Flickr CC – Mrs. Inman

Whatcha think of this look?  Is it the right dress for my party?

Don’t get me wrong, there are things I’m thankful for everyday.  I’m thankful I have a job.  I’m thankful for my family and my honey’s family who are supportive and loving and who always make me laugh.

I am also so grateful to this blogging community who’s come along with me on this raggle-taggle journey.

You guys are amazing!  And I whole-heartedly call many, many of you dear friends!

My biggest problem is that I’m still wishing more than I’m doing.  And facing that reality is one of the worst self truths I’ve had to come to terms with.  I’m going to blame Walt Disney.  Thanks a heap, Walt, for making Ariel the only other redhead I knew! 

When I become a real writer, I’m going to wear THIS!

image courtesy flickr CC – Mrs. Inman

I wanna be where the writers are…I wanna see, wanna see ’em scribbling!

I’m taking the week off from highlighting ROWmodels in an attempt to whip my own goal list into shape.  Wish me luck, everyone!  Tell me your success stories!  What helped you transition to more writing time?

The Incredible ROWmodel Mash-up

It’s another phenomenal week of ROW80 ROWmodels!  These ladies are making me ROW with envy!  What a talented and genuine group of ROWers we have! 

Suzan Butler is a writer All Star!  Have you been keeping tabs on this lady?  Wow!  She’s really got some writer stats I’m envious of.  She’s got a holiday book coming out, is participating in NaNoWriMo, working on a cover for a client, blogging consistently, and budgeting just right.  She even got her first publishing check!  Woohoo!!!  I highly commend Suzan for her commitments and follow through on her goals.  If any of you are looking for ideas to kick start your ROW goals, I think Suzan’s set up is a phenomenal example of how to do so!

Carrie-Anne Brownian shared a topic I’m sure many of you feel strongly about in her ROW80 update.  She faltered on whether or not to set a story aside when she was struggling with where to go with it.  I had this similar concern some time ago when I was trying to make a story work, and I thought the time away was helpful to get new perspective and energy around it.  But what are your suggestions?  What have you tried and what’s worked well?

Other writing struggles relayed to us from New To Writing Girl in NaNoWriMo 2012 – The First Few Days.  Writing Girl got to thinking about her book’s opening line.  She had always been a no editing while writing writer, and now NaNo’s got her tongue!  What writing struggles are you dealing with?  What are your tips for opening up your novel?  Do you find that after you start writing, you end up moving the start somewhere different than you first thought?

Deniz Bevan links us to a really interesting challenge for this time of year called the 100 Things Challenge.  Have you heard of this?  Really interesting idea for any ROWers and readers who are looking for ways to cut back or re-organize their lives.  I will definitely be implementing this somehow.  My room needs an overhaul!  Plus she shares her latest book picks of the new and old Sherlock Holmes stories!

I’ve got book and word count envy of Em at Loves to Read, Wants to Write for her AH-Mazing results in both categories!  She’s on book 73 of her 100 book challenge this year, which I think is incredible and I DEMAND that she share with us her favorite titles for a recommendation!  😀  And her NaNo word counts are totaling up to 6, 670 as of Sunday.  Go, Em, Go!

Congrats to all our ROWers!  You’re some successful, talented peeps!  Thanks for letting me toot your horn!

Image courtesy Creative Commons – Mrs. Inman

And now a little update on my ROW80 goals:

  1. Books for November: Olive Kitteridge (must be read by next Tuesday for bookclub) and Football Sweetheart.
  2. Set up two future interviews for the blog!  One that I’ll be doing and one I’m hosting!  Done!  Stay tuned! 
  3. Participated in the WANA International class Good Fences, so I’ll be practicing my new buzzword “Boundaries”  Sing it with me!  Too many get togethers recently, this hasn’t happened.  Keeping it on the list for next week.
  4. Use my days off to blog ahead and/or (as time permits) plot and work on the WIP.  That’s the plan for today!
  5. Clean my room.  I organized more of my clothing piles and did laundry again.  Still no sign of the missing pants, but I took 2 pairs in to get hemmed, so I guess I’m good now. 

What are you most proud of this past week?  Who else do you think should make an appearance as a ROWmodel?  What’s the best goal you’ve set for yourself this season of ROW?

Happy Halloween! Meet this week’s ROWmodels!

Hello fellow ROWers and Writers!

I’ve got some exciting ROWmodels to showcase this week! 

Kicking things up Charleston-style, is the lovely and talented Julie Glover who shares with us The Roaring Twenties and #ROW80.  There’s a fabulous photo of Julie and her hubby getting ready for a 20’s themed party, which is my favorite period of history.  And she shared with us some awesome hit films and books of the 20’s!  But the reason Julie is truly awesome, and a ROWmodel this week, is her stellar dedication to her goals and follow through!  Julie has been working on her novel, blogging consistently, even did some plotting work on a new project, and has been working out zumba style!  Way to go, Julie!  You’re my idol!

Also on this week’s ROWmodels Hall of Fame is Jeff Clough with There’s No Such Thing as Free Time.  Jeff tells it like it is when it comes to the many hats a writer has to wear nowadays to be successful.  There’s the actual writing cap, but what about all the work you do researching, editing, marketing, coding, designing, etc.  We’re busy people!  While he wasn’t working on as much writing this week, he made some headway on his reading goals and will have some web changes to look forward to so keep your eyes peeled!

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair…

Happy Halloween Everyone! 

I hope we’re all getting to celebrate by dressing up, trick or treating, or handing out candy today!  I’ll be in costume at work most of the day, but plan on watching scary movies all night tonight!

What’s your favorite scary movie?

In Honor of Halloween, Marcia Richards and I are announcing the winners of the Halloween Contest today!  

Thank you to all those who submitted photos, commented, tweeted, and Facebooked the contest love! Marcia, Fabio, and I had so much fun with you all!

The Five Winners of the Kindlegraphed copies of Fabio Bueno’s new release, Wicked Sense are:

Ghost in the Attic by Julie Glover

And the Grand Prize Winner of the Print Edition of Wicked Sense and Halloween Goody Bag is…

Renee Schuls-Jacobson!!!

Isn’t she pretty?

Another beer, Frauline?

She takes winning seriously!  Very seriously.

Congrats, Renee!  Well deserved! 

Thanks everyone for playing and to all the winners, enjoy Fabio’s new book!  Marcia and I certainly did!

Last but not least, my ROW goals:

  1. Finished reading Wicked Sense and Little Bee this week.  Started reading Olive Kitteridge and Football Sweetheart.
  2. Set up two future interviews for the blog!  One that I’ll be doing and one I’m hosting!
  3. Participated in the WANA International class Good Fences, so I’ll be practicing my new buzzword “Boundaries”  Sing it with me!
  4. Use my days off to blog ahead and/or (as time permits) plot and work on the WIP.
  5. Clean my room.  The search for the missing pants continues!

Have a very happy Halloween Everyone!

What I Learned from Zombies and Tapas…

Hey there, ROWers!  Another week by and some of you are gearing up for NaNoWriMo with a vengeance!  Others are creating and maintaining meal plans.  And there are some of us (raises hand) who are just trying to get by each day to the best of our abilities.  Well, fear not!  There’s always great work being done in our learning moments.  I for one, had been whining that I haven’t written anything recently on my WIP, but you know what, the time away from it made me realize where I could strengthen the plot and change some characterization in places.  It was good to go away for a little bit.  It’s made me miss my work, dearly, but now when I have free time I’m really excited to visit it again!

What I am excited for completing this week has been in reading.  I finished reading Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer and will be helping run the Great New Books final discussion on this title today!  Stop over and participate!  The more the merrier!

This book is unlike anything I’ve encountered.  It’s a love story set in the language of space.  A perfect housewife with a hidden identity, a man with Asperger’s who only knows how to communicate with robots.  Together, this couple will defy the odds and demonstrate a very real, albeit unique, kind of lasting love.

There was also some great ROW updates this week and I’m sharing my two favorites!

ROW(Models)

First up is Christina Olson who participated in the Run For Your Lives 5K race in California.  The race, for those that may be unfamiliar, is your typical obstacle course run with walls to climb, puddles to cross, hills to speed down – although you’re doing this while zombies are trying to attack you!  Isn’t that brilliant?  I love it!  Christina participated as a zombie this year and takes us through the make up process of her zombification.  (complete with pictures!)  She may not have gotten all her writing done, but it sure sounds like Christina gave herself a little play time that recharged her, supported others, and made her confident to tackle her goals for the next week!  Sometimes we need that!  Way to go, Christina!  Loved your zombie post!

Next up is Tia Bach from Depression Cookies, a fabulous mother/daughter blog.  After a dinner out for tapas with her husband, Tia took her dinner home and made it a writing plan!  With the notion of writing small chunks of plot plans and character sketches, this pantser writer started…*gasp* outlining!  And because she’s my idol organized, she also packed a NaNo bag!  Curious?  You’ll have to head to her post to see what’s in it!  But this girl is motivated and moving forward!  Way to go, Tia!  You didn’t even need zombies chasing you to get your write goal in!  😉

Plus, I’m a total fan of tapas!  Check out my rumchata tapioca parfait I enjoyed last weekend!

How did your week go?  What were your learning lessons?  

And don’t forget!

This friday, Marcia and I are interviewing our first author for The Redhots!  His book has been getting lots of 5 star reviews!  Tune in on October 26th to see who it is!

Until then:  We’re kicking off Halloween with a fun photo contest!  You could be a winner of one of 6 prizes!

From my brother’s Wicked-Themed party 2 years ago!

What you need to know to enter:

1. There are three categories you can enter one time each:

  • Costume – your best ever, be it scary, cute or funny
  • Outdoor decorations – your scariest or most creative
  • Party room decor – you can include your Halloween tablescape, your unique pumpkin carving, and your room decorations

2. Post your pictures, up to 3 only, at our Twitter hashtag: #TheRedHots between October 19th and October 30th. The winners will be announced on Halloween!

3. For extra chances to win, you can choose to do the following:

  • “Like” Marcia’s and my Facebook pages
  • Tweet about the contest three times between the 19th and the 30th linking to our posts
  • Subscribe to our blogs

The prizes:

  • Grand prize will be an autographed print book by our indie author plus a Halloween Goody Bag.
  • 5 bonus prizes of a Kindlegraphed ebook from the author

Good luck!

Lessons in Willpower From Your Friendly Neighborhood ROWers

I believe the celebration I declared on Facebook once my Regional Visit was over was “Can I get a chorus line?!” 

No seriously.  It’s one of my favorite musicals!

A Chorus LineGod I hope I get it!  I hope I get it!  …  I really need this job!  Please God I need this job! 

Yah, that about screams my generation right now.
But it’s also full of spandex and sass!

So now that the 12 and 13 hour days should be dwindling a little bit, I’m ready to get back into those writing goals.  Last week I organized some basic goals to try to unwind a little bit, and you know, finish the laundry…

Goals:

  • Do the laundry and find the two mysteriously missing pairs of jeans I used to wear often – I found one!  Contemplating putting a reward out for the other…  If you have any information regarding whereabouts of lost pants please contact me at 1 – 800 – HOT PANTS or email me at CuteButtJeans@LaundryMishaps.com  
  • Grocery shop and cook a big ol’ batch of chili mac so I actually have some leftovers to eat – I went shopping!  (not for food, but who’s asking?!)  Fortunately, a pre-planned meeting with my mother in a parking lot resulted in a legal exchange of chili mac she made for a shoe horn I thought she might want.  True story.  
  • Finish reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand – Done!  OMG – AMAZING BOOK! 
  • Spend the weekend with my boyfriend, celebrating our six year anniversary!  Weekend getaway, Tony-Award Winning Production of Avenue Q!  Fancy dinner! – Fabulous, romantic weekend despite rainstorms the whole time.  The food was good, the play was great, and we really needed a weekend away.  Glad we had the opportunity.  Very thankful I have him in my life. 
  • Spend tomorrow’s day off writing!!! – I did only work on blog writing, but still counts!  Also attended an author’s book reading and signing, more on that coming Friday!

Joe and I enjoying a cocktail before the performance!

This week’s goals will focus on getting some blog posts written ahead and doing a bit of plotting/revision to the WIP.  Also planning on finishing reading Shine, Shine, Shine by Lydia Netzer for Great New Books discussion on October 24th!  Be there, or be square!

My ROW80 Role Models:

This week’s Role Model Awards go to three ladies who exemplified virility and vigor to achieve their writing goals even when life got in the way!  All of you will be receiving your invisible ROW80 statue to display on the furniture setting of your choice.  I advise against the floor, it does have some sharp edges, and it’s invisible so…

S.J. MayleeMaylee’s post this week recognized that finding your writing process is a constant trial and error.  There’s no magic formula that is going to work for everyone.  You have to try new ideas, take concepts and roll with them, and still be true to your learning style and productivity.  Even better, Maylee was cognitive enough after working a grueling schedule to realize that even though her day job would be settling down, she’d have to stay focused so she didn’t lose her free time to things like social media black holes, reality TV marathons, duct taping the snooze button down, etc.  Word up, girl, I will heed your advice!

Shawn Murray:  A book in hand lover to the core!  This girl bragged up her extensive Writer’s Digest collection – and it is extensive, if Murray ever wanted a summer home in Maine, she could build one out of Writer’s Digest magazines.  Sharing her best Ah-ha! Moments from the current issue, Murray shared with us how daily distractions can misplace our willpower, actually hindering our writing goals.  Interesting notion indeed!  Check out her post for tips on combating the ever piling up inbox and that custard filled donut that’s calling your name.  Then channel your willpower to best influence your writing time.

And Karen Rought gets the ROW80 Award too for admitting she  has a life.  Yes, Karen, it’s true!  Weeks will happen where you feel down in the dumps over what writing you did or did not complete.  I’m so right there with ya!  But I’m really proud of how you owned it, and then channeled your update post into something positive.  You celebrated the successes along the way, both the ones on your original goal list and some new ones too.  Kudos!

That’s all for this edition of Public Service Announcements brought to you by the proud sponsors of ROW80 – the Writing Program that Knows YOU Have a Life!  (Especially Karen Rought 😉 )  

Who inspired you this week?  What were your learning lessons?  Do you know anything about my missing pants?

How to Best (NOT) Prepare for the Fall Writing Season

Oh epic fail!  I am totally wearing the Pants Of Shame this week, you guys.  Here I talked up baby steps and plausible – adjustable goals, and I didn’t complete a one of them that I created.

So, if we’re counting, I did NOT:

  • Read one chapter of Stephen King’s On Writing
  • Finish reading Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer
  • Journal anything – uber fail there
  • Blog ahead 3 posts

The Regional Visit I’ve been preparing for at work is today, so I think once that’s behind me, I’ll get a lot more of my ROW80 goals done.  Many of you have again shared this last check in that life has a way of interfering – or in my case piling up in the form of laundry and living off of take out.

So this coming week’s ROW goals for me need to be tweaked.  Here’s planning on! –

  • Doing my laundry and finding the two mysteriously missing pairs of jeans I used to wear often
  • Grocery shopping and cooking a big ol’ batch of chili mac so I actually have some leftovers to eat
  • Finish reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  • Spend the weekend with my boyfriend, celebrating our six year anniversary!  Weekend getaway, Tony-Award Winning Production of Avenue Q!  Fancy dinner!
  • Spend tomorrow’s day off writing!!!

(avenueq.com)

So this weekend will bring some fun and hopefully some writing time as well.  Not to mention, the premieres of both Vampire Diaries and The Walking Dead!!!  *Squee!*

Role Model Alert:

There’s lots more exciting news out there than that.  For example, sharing with you who I think wins the Hall of Fame for ROW80 Role Models this week!
*****
To start us out, Sonia G. Medeiros shared How Not to Starve During NaNoWriMo, a post full of links and meal plans for the busy writer on the go!  I love that she shared this!  If you’re like me, you survived NaNoWriMo on Dove chocolate, cheetos, and caffeine – a diet not for the weak of heart or amateur junk food artist!  The blogs Sonia linked to give you all kinds of freezer food plans for the newbie cook to the bulk foodmaker master!  If that’s not enough to convince you to try some recipes out in preparation for the NaNo Write Fest, Sonia’s vivid description of how NaNo Not Eating could turn you into a zombie will!
*****
My other ROW80 Role Model this week is E M Castellan who shared Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing.  I too love Gaiman’s work, and these tips are both smart and inspirational!  Thank you, E M, for sharing them!  She’s my writing idol this week because she’s done an amazing job of preparing and sticking with her writing goals!  E M has stayed up late to get her writing done, read and planned to create some upcoming blog posts, and recently hosted an author interview!  Busy lady!  Congrats on a great week, E M!
*****
How’s your week going, ROWers?

My ROW80 Role Models

Over the last few weeks as people have been decompressing their Round 3 achievements or opportunities, and preparing for Round 4, it seemed I was not the only one who felt they fell short of what they wanted to accomplish.  I believe the phrase Gene used was “Chaos happens.”

Even our fearless founding leader, Kait, struggled with balancing the day job and the writing – though the outcome for her word count was tremendous and she deserves a medal!

So while I thought I was a big slacker niblet noob (yah, I’m owning that phrase), turns out, I wasn’t alone!  Many of you, through Facebook and my blog, shared your own “chaos theories” and barriers that made round 3 not as momentous as we all would have liked.  But in keeping with last week’s theme, it’s all about the learning lessons.  

So I’m challenging myself to do things differently for Round 4.

The definition of stupidity is trying the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

I’ve never claimed the title Stupid.  Disgustingly and annoyingly persistent perhaps, but I’ve synonymed it:  Perseverance!  And I’m also really good at taking  liberty with parts of speech, like say turning a noun into a verb!  See my talent abound!

Ok, back to ROW80!  I am a people person.  I am inspired by people – things they say, questions they ask, stories they share.  Many of us are in ROW80 because we have a support system here where people will empathize with us through the hard times and scream and cheer with us through the good ones!  Since this round is going to be a much smaller set of goals for me, I want to use my time to highlight MORE OF YOU! 

Every week, I’m going to call out a Role Model of ROW80!  And this week’s winners of Fame and (no) Fortune are Kait Nolan and Gene Lempp.  You can read their specific ROW posts by clicking the links at the top of this post, but these will take you to their blogs as well!  Kait and Gene are both honest and incredibly helpful individuals who dedicate as much time to their writing as is humanely possible.  But both know that life does get in the way.  I’m really psyched for the two of them and their new strategies to accomplish their Round 4 goals.

For me, they gave two big takeaways that will help me set my goals:

  1. Writing everyday is not realistic for us all.
  2. When you know “Life” is going to drop you into an Indiana Jones movie set and watch you run, set small, achievable goals. 

*applause, applause*

Thank you Kait and Gene for those stellar bits of advice!  I was racking my brain trying to discern how I would tackle writing every day or setting big goals for ROW when I’m working 12+ hour days, and will be throughout the holidays.  The writing plan that works best for me now is maximizing my precious days off to work on writing and crank out the: blog posts, plotting, journaling, WIP – whatever needs to get out.

As an example, Kait set a goal for herself to write 2/3rds of the days of the month (or 20 out of 30 days) which allots her days of guilt free reality check happiness, yet also demonstrates she’s a lean, mean (not really) writing machine!

What I expect Kait does 10 out of 30 days of the month.
(image courtesy Mrs. Inman – Creative Commons)

And Gene shared that he combats life interruptions by breaking his goals down into weekly goals, and then into tiny bite size daily goals.  He’s able to keep ongoing track of his accomplishments and opportunities and adjust as needed.

That fact alone is why you all need to be friends with Gene.  He is excellent at calming the jittery, wide-eyed faces of a writer in meltdown.  I shall now refer to him in all future posts as Gene Lempp, The Writer Whisperer.

Yah, he’s like that cool.
(image courtesy Mrs. Inman – Creative Commons)

So, taking what I learned from this week’s Role Models of ROW, I shall create a weekly plan of what I want to accomplish but give myself the wiggle room to know it may not happen every day.  Which reminds me of something else Gene taught me, and has since become the mantra for my life – See what I mean…The Writer Whisperer!  Gene reminds me from time to time that I may not be moving as fast as I’d like to, but I am still moving forward.  One day at a time, right?!

This week:  

  • Read one chapter of Stephen King’s On Writing
  • Finish reading Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer – prepare to discuss with Great New Books
  • Journal something – I have a lot to get off my mind and this process helps.
  • Blog ahead 3 posts. 

*****

Your turn!  What are the big takeaways you’re implementing this ROW80 round?  Who’s been a role model for you?  Please share a link for that person, I’d love to meet them!  What are the focuses this week on your goal list?

Round 4 of ROW80: It’s All About the Learning Lessons

This week begins Round 4 of ROW80, but it’s only the second round for me.  I came into ROW80 as a sponsor, which was awesome because being a cheerleader for so many of you I met some amazing new faces and you guys are a talented and determined bunch!

Jess’ Quick ROW80 Promotion:  Here’s my invitation to those of you who haven’t participated in ROW80 yet but are looking for a nice little kick in the pants to get hoppin’ on your goals with a phenomenal crew of people!

You can learn more about ROW80 at its blog by founder, Kait Nolan.  ROW80 is the writing process that knows you have a life.  Hallelujah!

Finding the Right Fit for You:

Round 3 for me started out successfully.  I was fresh back from the DFW Conference and participated in a 2 week process called Fast Draft where I, hold on to your hats, actually PLOTTED a book.  Not PANTSED, but PLOTTED.  Once I knew how, it was liberating!  I had somewhere to go when I hit writing walls.

But then life happened.  I’ve been beating myself up a lot lately.  I’m disappointed that all I’ve been able to accomplish is the upkeep of the blog.  I haven’t worked on my book for a month.  I’m going on two years of blogging this fall and am not feeling any closer to finishing my book.

Two weeks ago I was inspired by one of my ROW80 mates to carve out time each day and get writing done.  It didn’t work out.  My full time job is retail management at a leading department store, and we’re preparing for the holidays now, plus a regional visit with all the big wigs.  I’m putting in extra hours and still feel like I’m drowning at work.  It’s leaving me totally fried when I get home.  When you add in the other “hiccups” of family troubles or scraps with your partner now and again, it starts to add up.

But hey, I don’t claim the title Perseverance Expert for nothing.  I still want to work on my book.  I’m still excited by its story and have an idea for a second book, which is a good thing – we’re supposed to have another book planned, right?  So, I’ll keep writing.  But a plan that writes a little each day doesn’t work for me.  Even if it’s only a small amount of time.  On days that I work 12-15 hours, I’m just too dang tired.  And friends and family get crabby if I write instead of hang out with them.  I do want to set some limits, which is why I’m keeping my days off.  My few and very precious days off are my time to get a couple of hours of writing done for the week.  It’s a slower process than I’d like, but for now, it’s the one that works and I have to focus on the positive.

What works for me, may not work for you.  I think everyone needs to find the right plan for their process.  It’s all about the learning lessons in ROW80.  I’m very grateful to be a part of it and know I’ve got people on my side.  I’m sure rooting for all of you!  Hope this holiday season allows time for carving pumpkins and also a little writing time for each of you!

Good Moments Matter!

Wanted to share a happy thank you to my friend Vicky, a YA author who just landed herself an agent!  Congrats, Vicky, and thank you for the Joules Journal giveaway.  I got mine in the mail this week, all the way from the UK!, and it was a much needed smile after a long day!  New pages always inspire the written word, so here goes!

And…  you can have your very own fabulous writer’s prize this week by entering my book giveaway of Michael Perry’s newest release, Visiting Tom, by commenting here!  Comments must be in by end of day Saturday!  Good luck!

Have a fantastic week everyone!  

%d bloggers like this: