1

Really? It's Wednesday already?  And time for another ROW80 check-in?  I'm not sure I believe that.  I think someone is messing with my calendar this week. (Month?)

Putting on the brakes
Putting on the brakes

The past week or so has been especially hectic, and I am feeling the strain.  Right now, I feel like I have too much going on, too many things to do, not nearly enough time and other resources.  I would like to go hide in my room and read novels for a few weeks.  Instead, I'll be going to a meeting after work and then finishing up some overdue writing.  Maybe novel reading tomorrow.

So, that check-in:

  • Fiction writing–at least two sentences, at least four times a week--Nope.  Haven't written anything in almost a week, and I'm feeling twitchy, and I'm behind getting things sent to my writers' group, and I need to remedy this very, very soon.
  • ROW80–check in on my assigned sponsor blog numbers and as many more blogs as I can after each check-in--Yes, but I was way behind this time.  I just checked in on them today for Sunday's posts!  So embarrassed, but I thought I should just admit it.
  • Creative+Practice–at least five days a week--Yep.  I did finally take a day off from this on Sunday, just to see if I could have time off now and then and still smoothly go back to it.  It was kind of uncomfortable, and I actually almost forgot to do it last night.  Still, I think not making it a have to every day thing is the best plan.
  • Inner Excavation–something each week, what or how much doesn’t matter as long as I do a little bit--Nope.  Haven't done any of this for over a week as other pressing things have taken priority.  This weekend I will make some time.
  • #Wordmongering–I want to try out this Twitter sprint, so I will give it a try at least once a week (possibly starting tonight to see if Mondays might be a good evening for it with Wednesdays and Thursday being other options)--Nope. 
  • Yoga practice–continuing three days a week--Mostly.  I missed a day last week, and today I am going to have to do a very short version when I get home because I have to leave to go to a meeting.  My body feels better when I do this three times a week, though, so I am pushing myself to remember to get it in.
  • Walking–I want to add in a short walk, maybe less than 10 minutes, once a week--Nope.  Walked a lot on Saturday doing errands and going shopping and to a movie, but I didn't specifically take a walk just to be walking.  I will keep trying.

I may need to tweak a few things with my goals.  I'm not sure yet.  I need to get a little bit of time and space to examine everything and see what might need changing or adding.  I also need to examine whether something needs to be changed at all or if it's just that I'm having a particularly busy couple of weeks.

Sometimes things get busy and even the best-planned goals fall by the wayside, but we blame ourselves instead of acknowledging that life goes that way now and again.  I will let myself get past the busy times and move on from there.

 

 

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Another quick ROW80 check-in.  It's late, the weekend was fun and busy, and I am tired but in that really good, accomplished way.

This weekend, I immersed myself in lessons on stretching outside my comfort zone.  I spent most of two days making and painting the cover on an art journal:

Book of Days Cover
For Effy Wild's Book of Days class. Check it out at http://effythewild.com

For the sake of getting to bed on time, I'm going to make this really easy on myself and skip the detailed list.  I'm on track with my goals and looking forward to the coming week when I am planning to get in a couple of longer writing sessions. I'm also figuring out when I can fit in some editing time since I have a short story I want to get ready for submission. See you Wednesday with more.

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7

Time for a ROW80 check-in.  That's good.  I've been feeling a little pressured and anxious this past week.  These check-ins always give me a chance to examine things and see that it's actually not so bad at all.  They give me a chance to soften my vision and see things in a kinder, less stress-filled light.

Pillows
My cute and cozy new pillow to soften my chair.

There are too many things that are hard.  I think maybe we need to spend more time looking for the softness, adding softness where we can.  I don't think things have to be hard to be good.  We don't have to have it rough to be successful.  That's my thought for now.  I don't have much to add to it, at least not yet, but I think this is something worth thinking about.

So, that check-in:

  • Fiction writing–I finally got a chance to settle back into my story over the past couple of days.  It's not finished--I thought it would be by now, but it's going to be a little longer than I realized--but I am happy to be getting it down.  It's a pretty terrible first draft, and I am struggling a bit with sharing that with my new writing group, but I think it's important for me to get it down and get it out there.
  • ROW80–Checked in on my sponsor blogs.  Still working on fitting in more.
  • Creative+Practice–Still doing this daily.  This week we are using our own prompts, and I found myself using this  line from Mary Oliver's Poem "The Summer Day"--
    "Tell me , what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?"
  • Inner Excavation–I haven't gotten to this for about a week.  Too much other stuff going on, but I look forward to returning to it.
  • #Wordmongering–No.  When?  I don't know.  It's such a great idea, but it never seems to fit in for me.  Not sure if it's just not a good fit for me or if I just need to find the right time.
  • Yoga practice–I'm having a better physical week this week (except for my allergies), so I'm backt o this.
  • Walking–This weekend should have time for a nice walk with the camera
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4

It's Sunday--time for a ROW80 check-in.

Tracks

 I didn't get quite as much done this week as I thought I could.  I was prepping for and then teaching a Swords for Scribes workshop yesterday, and today I've just been tired and have not done much of anything.

Since Wednesday, I've done Creative Practice every day.  It's really becoming an important anchor in my days and a way to get my thoughts ordered at least a little bit.  I've done a little bit of Inner Excavation work, mostly reading and taking a few photos (you can see some in this post).  I've added a few sentences to my short story and haven't gotten to the critiquing I need to have done by Wednesday.  And I didn't manage to make time for #wordmongering.  I also lightened up on my yoga for a few days because I was in a lot of pain, and after the busy, active day of teaching yesterday I didn't have energy for a walk today.  I did check in on my ROW80 blogs.

And yet, although this isn't the greatest check-in I've ever had, and I didn't get to everything I had planned, I feel like I'm on track.  The things that didn't get done got set aside consciously because I was having a rough physical week and didn't have the energy to do it all.  I chose to let some things go for a few days, and I know exactly how and when I'll be picking them back up.  This feels really good, and it makes me feel that I'm not only on track with my goals but on track with building a life I want to be living that will feel good for me.  So I count this week a success!

How about you?  Are there things that you might set aside for a short time if you are feeling overwhelmed?  What can you do for yourself to make things easier?  Easy is good!  Treat yourself to some ease when you can.

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5

Astronomical Clock Prague
Time to check in on the ROW80 goals:
  • Fiction Writing: On Monday I wrote a couple of sentences of my story, so I hit my bare minimum.  Last night things started flowing better.  I wrote three pages, so I'm still on track to get a first draft done by Sunday night or Monday morning.  I do need to get to the reading and commenting for my writers' group, though, so I will be scheduling some time for that tonight and tomorrow.
  • Row80 Blogs:  Checked in on my peeps and one other blog.
  • Creative+Practice: This is Week 6, and I have not missed a day!  I find myself looking forward to it, and it has become something that I just assume has to fit into my day so I make it happen.  This week we're starting to play with paint and colors on the pages, and I love that.  I'm feeling like I'm spending a little more time with my C+P and giving it more attention by taking the time to paint a little, color a little, decorate a little, and I am getting more of the brain sorting benefits from giving that little bit of extra time.
  • Inner Excavation: I just started Week 3, and I am in love with this chapter!  I may be staying here for a while.  I am enjoying this work and the community.  It is making me feel very connected to my intuition and inner self, and I needed that.
  • #Wordmongering:  Um...I am going to try again tomorrow night.  I don't seem to manage to pick a good time when I'll be uninterrupted to do this.
  • Yoga:  Still doing the three days a week.  Yesterday, I got Permission to Curve by Anna Guest-Jelley of Curvy Yoga.  (It's on sale through Friday for 50% off, too.)  I am reading through it and may change or add to my routine soon.
  • Walking:  Planning for a short weekend walk, probably on Sunday

In MuseCraft™ happenings, I'm working on my coaching program for writers, The Writer's Muse.  I'll be opening up spaces for individual coaching in mid- to late-September.  If you're interested in a spot, or if you'd like to try out a short (around 15 minute) consultation session (I will only have room to do 10 of these, so if you want in let me know soon), send me an e-mail: kim@musecraftonline.com.  I'll be getting pricing info up later this week.  Also, keep an eye out for info on group writer's coaching which will be coming in October if all goes as planned.  I'll be getting an official post up about all of this soon, but I thought I'd offer a sneak peek.

That's it!  I'm off to do my yoga now to help me have a good check-in on Sunday.  Happy writing!

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4

Roadrunner
Roadrunner

I'm going to do just a quick ROW80 check-in tonight as it is late and I have been at a wedding all day and evening, and now I am tired.  Here's what my creative world looked like from Wenesday to now:

  • Fiction writing–Not much happened with this since Wednesday. I figured out the ending to my story and added that to my outline on Friday, but I haven't done any writing over the weekend.  I am reminding myself that as I practice these habits I am working on, sometimes wobbles happen when life gets busy.  I will just move on now. I want to have a first draft of the story done by next Sunday's check-in.  I also want to have the stories from my writers' group read and commented on by then.
  • ROW80–I checked in on the blogs under my assigned number but once again didn't get to any others.  I will work on this.
  • Creative+Practice–I am continuing with this and finding it easier to just sit down and do it even on days when I feel "too busy" for it.  I think it is helping me learn that I can do things even when I don't feel like it.  It also helps me get my scattered thoughts together, so it's important to me to keep doing it.
  • Inner Excavation–Once I decided it was okay to just brush the surface of Chapter 2, I actually ended up doing a spread and writing a poem.  I'm just starting on Week 3 even though today is the end of that week.  The group is very laid back and flexible, and everyone is working at her own pace, so I'm feeling okay about this right now.
  • #Wordmongering–I did a little bit of this Thursday evening, but my computer had a tantrum and froze up on me.  I will do it again this coming Thursday, though, because I think that's a good day for me to give an extended amount of time to my writing.
  • Yoga practice–I did 2 out of 3 days this week.  Friday I was really sore and stiff and just couldn't get myself going.  Back to it tomorrow.
  • Walking–I didn't get in an official walk this weekend, but I did a lot of walking today and was also pretty active yesterday.  But I do want to start building that weekend walking habit.
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Since I've been talking about this here, I thought I'd share some of what I've been doing in the Inner Excavate-Along with Effy.

Back Then 04

The poem reads:

Back Then

Times were different then
Times were better
We tell ourselves
These stories of the past
Hiraeth
Unattainable
and
Unreachable
I do not know what I am homesick for
I only know I haven't found it yet

Hiraeth is "a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past." (Darned if I can find where I got that particular definition from.  If I find it again, I'll link to it.)

It's a feeling I get a lot--I think it is tied in to my creativity somehow and makes me long for the story places I create or something like that.  It's a concept I think about a lot, and it seemed perfect for a chapter where we were examining the past.

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8

Today's ROW80 check-in brought to you from a couple of my favorite sci-fi shows and as much humor as I can grab to help me settle my whirling thoughts.  (Bonus points if you read that subject line in "Bones" McCoy's voice.)

In today's check-in reminder post, Kait asks if we lost our stride over the long holiday weekend.  My stride?  Maybe.  I thought it was my mind that went missing.  I suspect this happens to a lot of writers when they are starting a new project, trying to fit it in with everything else already on the table.  There's not enough time!  Or maybe there's just not enough organization?

Typewriter

Right now, I am feeling anxious and behind.  I think it's actually leftovers from having a lot to do in a short time over the weekend.  That and leftovers from being really anxious about sharing my work with my new writers' group.  But my first story is shared with them, even though it wasn't the story I originally thought I'd be sharing, so things are good.

When I took a look at all of my notes and partial stories for Division Zero, I didn't have enough time to pull anything together that would be sharable even as a first draft.  So I shared a story set in the same made-up city, a story that I actually want to get into shape and submit.  So I shared something I wrote last year rather than anything newer, but it was a real share, not just any old piece of writing just to have something to send to the group.

Still, all that trying to pull things together in a short time during a really busy weekend has left me unable to settle down.  I have to breathe and remind myself that everything is okay.  Everything I needed to do got done, and the only thing I'm a little behind on is Inner Excavation, and I plan to give myself some time to play with that tonight and tomorrow.  The anxiety is really an after-effect, and it would be awesome if it would go away.

It's funny.  I used to have confidence in my writing.  I was shy and uncertain about a lot of things, but I knew I was a good writer.  In February, 1993 I walked into a room full of other writers, about fifteen of us all told, and I read a first draft story to them with no hesitation.  I did tell them up front that it was a first draft, but I wasn't scared to share my work.  Last night (okay, since Sunday night), getting ready to finally send off a story to my new group, I was an anxious, jittery wreck.

Maybe the difference is that back in 1993 I was in school for a post-grad teaching certification in English.  I had recently taken a short story writing class and was doing a lot of writing for school.  Maybe my confidence came from all the positive feedback I always got in school and workshops.  Maybe I am anxious because I've been away from sharing my work with anyone for almost a decade (I did share a few first-draft short stories last year, but not with specific in-person acquaintences and not with the intention of getting feedback).

It feels good to be sharing my work with a group again.  Uncomfortable right now, but that's at least in part because I don't handle change very well.  But I can feel that once I get into the rhythm of this every-other-week group and have it as a regular part of my life, my writing is going to soar.  I'm excited.  Scared that they will think my work is awful, but really excited to be making this real, concrete commitment to my writing.

Okay, on the the check-in details:

  • Fiction Writing--I got a lot done since Sunday.  I got a lot of my Division Zero notes together, rearranged the order of some of the stories, got two-line character sketches done for all of my people, revamped and outlined the first story in the series.  I also re-formatted a story from last year and got that sent to my writers' group.
  • Row80 Blogs--I've been checking in on my assigned numbers, but this week I didn't get to any extras.
  • Creative+Practice--continuing this daily and still finding that I look forward to it and am pretty easily making sure to fit it in each day.  It's a great way to do a little something creative and also get my jumbled thoughts a little bit in order as I do the daily journaling.
  • Inner Excavation--I am behind on this.  This is Week 3, and I am still in the beginnings of Week 2.  I hereby give myself permission to just do some writing for Week 2, skip the visual art portion for now, and move on.
  • #Wordmongering--I haven't done any this week yet.  I plan to get in on it tomorrow (tonight I'm giving to my Inner Excavation work)
  • Yoga--Continuing a three-day-a-week practice.  Some of the poses are still pretty hard, but I can feel a few of them getting a little easier as my muscles get stronger, so this is good.  I am not really noticing any pain relief yet, but it's only been about a month.
  • Walking--Nothing to report here as my intention is to do a short walk on the weekends and sadly it isn't the weekend yet.
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5

I can't believe it's already Sunday and time for another ROW80 check-in. These long holiday weekends go by so fast, and they really mess with my ability to tell what day it is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, what have I done since Wednesday?  So much!  And as always happens to me, doing a lot of creative work plus going to some creative events over the weekend has left me with a landslide of new ideas I want to play with.

For now, though, here's what I've done.  Maybe more on new ideas at a later time.

  • Writing--I've continued with Ordinary Girl a bit, but I am also dusting off my short story series from November to take to my new writing group.  I'm feeling a renewed excitement for those stories, plus I like going into a new group with short stories.
  • Continuing with Creative + Practice and really liking how it helps me create a transition point in my days.
  • Haven't done #wordmongering again since last Monday.  I plan to schedule it for Wednesday night this coming week as I will have the house to myself all evening.
  • I had to skip yoga on Friday because my hips, back, and left ankle have been really painful for a couple of days, but I did do some walking downtown on Friday and around a steampunk convention yesterday.
  • I haven't done anything on Inner Excavation the past few days, but I should be able to ease back into it tomorrow when I am back on a normal schedule again.

I have really enjoyed the past four and a half days, being on my own schedule, going to artsy things and creative events.  My mind is turning to thoughts of doing more coaching and really getting MuseCraft up and running so I can have that life all the time, but I'm not sure I know what goals to add in right now, so for the moment I'm going to stay in daydream phase on the coaching front, but I may be adding some things in later this round.

Meanwhile, see you Wednesday!

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