4

It's Wednesday and time for a ROW80 check-in, but I am really not feeling it today.  Writing a blog post is way down on the list of things I feel like doing right now (top of the list is reading followed closely by painting, in case you were wondering).  But sometimes we have to do the buisness part of our creative lives to keep ourselves going.  So here I am, checking in and moving on ahead.

Keep it moving
Move it along

Okay, since I'm here, I guess I'll let you know what I've been up to.

  • Fiction writing–I finished (again) the first draft of my short story; the first ending was really not an ending.  I think it's a little better now.  Tonight I am going to go back to the beginning and add some desription and also a few paragraphs at the very start to set the scene because I jumped in a little too much in the middle and left my readers lost.
  • ROW80–check in on two blogs each weekday--Doing pretty well with this.  Some days I still get busy and forget to check any blogs, but I do it more days than not, so that's progress.
  • Creative+Practice–at least five days a week--I have really fallen away from this.  I need to re-establish the habit because I feel like my writing and other creative work goes better when I'm sorting my thoughts and clearing my mind with CP.  Now I just need a plan on how to get back to it...
  • Art Journaling–something each week, what or how much doesn’t matter as long as I do a little bit--Yep, doing this pretty regularly.  Some weeks I do one double-page spread, some weeks two, but I have been doing something every week.
  • Exercise–three days a week cardio, one yoga session--this is the first week for the new goal of four sessions a week.  So far I have one, but I'll be doing a cardio session when I get home, so I am on track here.

I took out a few things that I really wasn't working on.  This is the goals list I'll be focusing on for the rest of this round.

For the rest of this week, here are my goals:

  • Add in a new beginning on "Crush" (short story) and send it to my writing group
  • Find someplace to keep my CP journal so I see it all the time and remember to use it
  • Do one art journal spread
  • Exercise three more times

That's where I am right now.  Feeling very happy that I sat down and did this check-in even though I was resistant.  Do you ever get like this, where you just don't want to do the things you know will help you feel good and help you reach your goals? What do you do when you don't feel like doing something you know is helpful in the long run?

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Sunday ROW80 check-in time.  I'm feeling so cozy and laid back today, I hope I can type a whole check-in!  I love weekends like this.

I'm writing to you from my recliner--that's the height of a loungy Sunday to me.
I'm writing to you from my recliner--that's the height of a loungy Sunday to me.

I'm feeling relaxed and rested right now.  It's very nice to not feel stressed and anxious.  I was starting to feel like that was all there was going to be from now on; I'm very happy to have been wrong.

I don't have too much to report for my check-in.  I spent some time over the past several days doing character studies, trying to get a handle on my uncooperative main character.  I watched episodes of the X-Files, Haven, and Castle to refresh myself on three of my favorite female characters.  I have a partially reworked list of stories in the series, and I'm doing some journaling from Evie's (my MC) point-of-view.  Now to get back to the actual writing.  Goal between now and Wednesday--rewrite "Crush," which I keep putting off because I don't feel like I know Evie well enough to get her details in there.  But I need to do it anyhow and see what comes out.

I've also been painting in my art journal and reworked and restarted my exercise plan and have done a little bit of Creative Practice, so those goals are doing well.  I checked in on assigned blogs but didn't get to more than that this time, so I need to get back on track with that.

I still need to work on being more regular in my writing, so that's going to be my big focus in the coming week--asking and answering the question How can I show up more regularly for my writing?

What about you?  What do you need to give extra attention to this week?  Have a good one!

 

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9

Another kind of quick ROW80 check-in.  I feel like a few ideas have fallen into place in the past couple of days, and I am starting to feel all of the things I want to do coming together to make some sort of whole system.

Writing Time Card 1
I made myself a time card based on the idea I got from Freshcutroses.

This week so far: a little bit of writing but mostly reading and critiquing for my writing group; a new exercise plan that adds some light cardio to my yoga work (still need to get back to regular exercising, but the change in my routine should help with that); a nifty new way to keep track of my writing goals and get stickers for my troubles; some painting; checking in on blogs most days (this is slowly starting to become a habit--making it a daily practice was a good idea).

For Sunday: rewrite the beginning of my current short story; exercise twice; do at least one thing to start clearing out and organizing the area I want to turn into a work space at home

I wanted to talk a little bit about being in an in-person writing group again.  Tonight will be my third meeting, and just this week I am finally starting to feel like this is part of my normal world instead of this huge new thing that I need to find space for.  I expect that now that it's feeling more normal and not something I stress over and feel uncomfortable about fitting in, I will start to see some benefits to having to show up every-other-week with writing in hand.

That's it for today.  On my way out the door to feed kitties and self and head to my writers group.

 

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4

Checking in with my ROW80 peeps.  A few things to report, but it's still been pretty quiet around here.  Mostly I am realizing that I need to give myself a blank slate, reset, restart my goals, acknowledge that I have slipped back into procrastination (why, oh why is it so hard to stop?!), forgive and move on.

Chalkboard

 

  • Fiction writing–at least two sentences, at least four times a week--didn't write much at all this week, although I did get to the end (I think--I may add another ending scene after I discuss with my writing group) of the first draft of my short story. I realized that I've complained off and on about not having a comfortable space to write in, and yet I'm not doing anything about it.  This week, I want to make a real effort to figure out a good writing space for myself. I want to do more character work for my MC in these interconnected short stories.  I'm stumbling in a lot of places because I don't know her well enough to know what should happen next.I'm also taking an idea from Freshcutroses and making a writing time card with rewards set up for every ten hours of writing time I put in.  I'm so excited about this idea!  I'm pretty sure I've talked before about how much I love stickers, so putting a sticker down for every hour I write plus getting rewards for writing--that sounds like a giant win to me!
  • ROW80–check in on my assigned sponsor blog numbers and as many more blogs as I can after each check-in--did this, although I missed a couple of days while I wasn't feeling well.  I like checking in on some blogs every day.  It makes it much easier to remember to do it.
  • Creative+Practice–at least five days a week--I've been missing days on this, but I've set up my next notebook (I only had one page left in the old one), and that seems to have reinspired me.
  • Art Journaling–something each week, what or how much doesn’t matter as long as I do a little bit--I'm still enthralled and spending lots of time painting, although this week I did push myself to step away and do other things.
  • Yoga practice–continuing three days a week--Can we just decide to not talk about it? 😀  Tomorrow is a new day and the start of a new week, though.  Time to get back to it.
  • Walking–I want to add in a short walk, maybe less than 10 minutes, once a week--Ditto on let's not talk about it!

Between my coaching training and these ROW80 check-ins, I certainly do get a lot of self-examination in.  But now I'm feeling the need to be more active, to figure out a way to get myself to do things that will help me make regular progress.  I'm going to work on figuring out how a life of fitting in my goals regularly and more smoothly would look, and then I'm going to use my training (I'm going to coach myself!) to actually make it so.

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1

It's been a sluggish first half of the week, so there's not much to say for my ROW80 check-in, but I consider doing these to be part of my creative practice, so I'm showing up anyhow.

I am feeling quiet like the water
I am feeling quiet like the water

I've been under the weather this week.  Not sick enough to just lie down and get rid of it, but not feeling well enough to do much of anything.  So I've been doing not much of anything at all and feeling unhappy about it.  I've been meandering through my days, playing too many Facebook games, checking a few blogs, painting.  I have returned to being more regular with my creative practice journal, so that's good, and I got a few sentences down on my story.

Between now and Sunday, I will have a finished draft of this story, and I will have a better writing area set up in the living room, someplace where I can have my notebooks out and visible to remind me that I mean to be writing.  But that will all start tomorrow.  For now I am going to bed very early, and I'm going to try to sleep off this low-grade crud.

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6

It's Sunday ROW80 check-in time.  It's been a good, creative week.

On my table this week
On my table this week
  • Fiction writing–at least two sentences, at least four times a week--Yep.  Very small amounts of writing, but it's starting to gel.  This week, I am going to give myself nice, big chunks of writing time Tuesday afternoon and Thursday evening.  I'm putting it on my calendar, because I need to remind myself that this is really important to me.
  • ROW80–check in on my assigned sponsor blog numbers and as many more blogs as I can after each check-in--Making a point to check two blogs a day really made this easier.  Except that I didn't do any yesterday or today.  I realized I need to make this a weekday goal, because I don't spend much time on the computer on the weekends.
  • Creative+Practice–at least five days a week--I missed a couple of days this week, but it was because I was working on other creative projects so I feel like this was still a success.
  • Art Journaling–something each week, what or how much doesn’t matter as long as I do a little bit--I've been doing a lot of this lately.  The work feels very deep and rich and meaninful right now, and I am feeling really in love with this part of my creative life.
  • Yoga practice–continuing three days a week--I did it twice, so I guess I'll give myself a C+.
  • Walking–I want to add in a short walk, maybe less than 10 minutes, once a week--I went to an outdoor shopping area with a friend yesterday an we parked far enough away to let us get in a little walk outside in the beautiful weather.  Still no walk with the camera, though.

It's been a good week.  I'm looking forward to my planned longer writing sessions this coming week.  I want to do some deeper character work tomorrow to get ready for Tuesday.  I think some of the stumbles with the story I'm working on are because I don't really know my main character.  Hopefully Wednesday I'll be able to report that I know her much better.

 

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6

Sometimes you're fumbling along in life, doing things as they need doing, trying to get your bearings but not really sure exactly where you are or where you're headed.  Hoping it's at least near the right direction.  I've been feeling like that a lot lately (don't we all hit those phases?).  But I am starting to see a glimmer of things coming together, making sense, heading somewhere.  I feel like my life is very vaguely starting to have a rhythm and flow.  Off in the distance, I think I see something cohesive, something rich and full building.

A Matter of Perspective courtesy of heretakis licensed via Creative Commons
A Matter of Perspective courtesy of heretakis licensed via Creative Commons

Here's my ROW80 check-in.  Still working on figuring out how everything meshes together to create a whole.

  • Fiction writing–at least two sentences, at least four times a week:  I've been writing.  More than two sentences at a time, but I am still not hitting a consistent schedule.  I am thinking I will pick certain days when writing will be my priority, and I will put it on my Google calendar so I get reminders.  I need to get a more consistent schedule so that I can start fitting in editing and other work for my writing group.
  • ROW80–check in on my assigned sponsor blog numbers and as many more blogs as I can after each check-in:  I did this.  Still had WordPress problems, but I got around it by signing in with Facebook instead.  I still want to check in on more blogs.  I think I will make a goal of two blogs each weekday even after I've checked in on my assigned blogs.
  • Creative+Practice–at least five days a week:  Still doing this.  The class has ended, and I am very proud to report that I stuck with it for the entire eight weeks.  This is huge as I have signed up for several classes and have fallen behind on everything.  I also think this regular practice is helping me make progress in a lot of areas, including with my writing.  I've been writing more since starting this class than I was before.  I often use the Creative Practice as a warm-up to writing at least two sentences, and this has really been working when I let it.
  • Art journaling–something each week, what or how much doesn’t matter as long as I do a little bit: Doing a lot of this right now.  I'm really enjoying it and finding that it is helping me relax and acts a little bit like meditation.  I'm kind of obsessed with doing it right now, which has meant that I'm not giving my writing as much time as I mean to, but I am loving getting my hands into paint and ink and glue and just making layers of color.  So relaxing.  Now to find the art/writing balance.
  • #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):  I am taking out this goal until my schedule is smoother and I think I will actually manage to fit it in.  This won't be appearing in the list after today, at least for a while.
  • Yoga practice–continuing three days a week:  Yes-ish.  I missed a couple of days last week but did a short practice over the weekend and was back to it on Monday.  Today is a really busy day, so I am making tomorrow a yoga day instead.  But I really  need this regular practice for my body to have less pain and more mobility.  You would think those things would be so motivating that I would never miss a session, but it doesn't seem to be going that way.  But, I will keep moving forward.
  • Walking–I want to add in a short walk, maybe less than 10 minutes, once a week:  I will do this on the weekend.  I think I may take this one off the Wednesday check-in list and only put it up here on Sundays since my intended walks will happen either on Saturdays or Sundays.

I am feeling a vision slowly building of how all of the parts of my life can flow together.  I really like it and hope that it gets clearer soon so I can share it.  But for now, there's progress, and this is good.

 

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2

Guess what?  Exactly.  It's ROW80 check-in time.  It's another light check-in for me.  I am still working to find my balance.  Lately I've been putting in a lot of time on visual arts, and getting other things done hasn't been going as well as I'd like.

Balance courtesy of Rekyt licensed via Creative Commons
Balance courtesy of Rekyt licensed via Creative Commons

I also wanted to write more here tonight, but I'm being plagued by computer problems.  I guess I'll just aim for a longer check-in on Wednesday.  Here's my week since last Wednesday:

  • Fiction writing–at least two sentences, at least four times a week--I got more writing in, but I'm still being inconsistent.  And I just realized as I was writing this that I haven't been keeping my notebook sitting out where I can see it.  Those weeks where I was writing every day, my notebook got pulled out of my bag and put onto my table every night when I walked in from work.  Then I started using my table for art, and the writing notebook started staying in my bag, and now I'm not writing much.  I will start pulling the notebook out and putting it on the table on the other side of my chair and see if that helps.
  • ROW80–check in on my assigned sponsor blog numbers and as many more blogs as I can after each check-in--I tried.  I'm not sure if the problem was my computer or something with WordPress, but several blogs I tried to check on gave me a "can't post this comment" error, and they were all ones with WordPress logins.
  • Creative+Practice–at least five days a week--Yes.  I'm starting to do more freewriting (Natalie Goldberg style) in this, and I'm liking that a lot.  I really think freewriting helps my outlook in general as well as being useful for my writing.
  • Inner Excavation–something each week, what or how much doesn’t matter as long as I do a little bit--Still haven't gotten back to this because I've been focused on the new Book of Days class I'm in.  But as I get my rhythm in the BoD class the two will integrate, so I know I'll be back to this.  Both of these are about digging deep and doing a lot of self-examination, so once I get my feet under me they will mesh beautifully.  I am thinking of changing this goal to "art journaling work" or something like that, too, since I am doing that, I'm just not doing the IE work specifically.
  • #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)--Not this week.  I think I am going to change this goal to "when I can fit it in" and not try to get to it every week, at least until I have a better schedule figured out.
  • Yoga practice–continuing three days a week--One out of three.  I've let myself get really focused on other things, and I've been letting my yoga time slip away.
  • Walking–I want to add in a short walk, maybe less than 10 minutes, once a week--Yes, a little bit of walking while out and about doing errands yesterday.  Still no walk to the park to take pictures, though.

So that's me right now.  How's everything on your side of the world?  I hope the busy summer is treating you well and letting you fit in the things you want to do.  But if you haven't been getting to some things don't worry--there's always time for another start.

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