Today I'm doing a ROW80 check-in and a little bit of Wishcasting, too.  The two seem to be walking hand-in-hand today, so it seemed right to do both.

Time is our currency for our creative dreams

This week, Jamie Ridler asks, "How do you wish to spend your days?"  If money weren't a consideration I would spend my days reading and writing, taking classes, making art, knitting, lounging with my cats.  If money is back in the mix, then I would add in teaching others what I've learned and helping them find their dreams.

I want to remember that this is what I'm aiming at and that I can bring parts of this dream into my regular life even now, even though I have a day job.  I can put all of these things in my life right now, but I need to remember that I want to do it.

That brings me to my ROW80 check-in. I am feeling a lot more focused about my writing.  A few things have been coming together for me over the past week or so, and I have realized that while I have a lot of things I want to do and accomplish right now the main thing I want to give my attention to is my writing.  My heart tells me this is where to turn my focus no matter what my head says, and I am going to do what I teach my students and clients--I am going to follow my intuition.

Once I acknowledged that what I really want is to give my writing my fullest, best effort and once I decided that I am going to go with that desire, my attitude shifted.  I am more focused on my writing.  I am not constantly hopping from one thing to another.  I'm not even mooning and pouting over all of the cool classes that are always being touted and that I don't have money for because now, even when the classes look especially good, there's a quiet little voice in my head that says, "Yes, that looks good, but it would take away from the writing."  I hear that voice, and suddenly I don't feel bad that I "can't" take all the classes I want.  Suddenly I am feeling good about choosing my writing over everything else.

Between now and Sunday I'm going to try to finish my read-through of my WIP so far.  I say "try" because it is a little over 50,000 words, and I do have other things that I have to do between now and Sunday, so it may be a little out of reach.  But I'm betting I can get close to finishing.

I'm going to set aside making any plot notes or any of that right now--thinking about doing that while doing the read-through has been stalling me.  So for now I'm just going to read--my story and a book on plotting I picked up.  Next week I can get down to the notes and plotting, after I remind myself what I've already written.

Small steps.  It's what I teach.  Now it's time to practice it myself.



It was 1992.  I was back in school getting a post-grad teaching certification and taking my first steps from being a storyteller and occasional poet to being a writer.  I started taking some workshops.  And I bought some books.  And one of those books is still with me.  It's right here next to me as I type because I think it's time for a re-read.

Basics 1
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg

Re-reading this (and probably Wild Mind after) seems like the perfect accompaniment to this round of ROW80.  Taking my goals back to the basics, simplifying, just focusing on the process of writing practice is what these books are all about. These books are where I first learned this stuff!  It feels really good to be returning to this starting point.

I've been doing some very short journaling, mostly on the back of my collage cards, and it feels good to be connecting to my world with my words again.  I know I'm on the right track for me, and I think that's a pretty good check-in for right now.


This week, Jamie asks, "What do you wish to believe in?"  Here's a little bit of freewriting to answer that:

Fairy 4

I wish to believe in magic.  In fairies and miracles and bright, shining amazement floating in glittery bubbles of fairy dust.  I wish to believe that there are secrets to the Universe, things I can catch glimpses of if I open myself up and look in the right directions.  I wish to believe that I have magic inside me that I can bring out and share with the world if I keep trying.  I wish to believe that there are ghosts and aliens and Bigfoot and wild, unknown things out there and that maybe I can see some of it while I'm here.  I'm like Fox Mulder on the X-Files--I want to believe.



A favorite picture I have used before; it just says "welcome" to me.
A favorite picture I have used before; it just says "welcome" to me.

Today I am going back to Jamie Ridler's Wishcasting Wednesday.  I couldn't resist her question: What do you wish to welcome in?  I love this question.  It feels warm and inviting and expansive, and it reminds me that it is better to welcome in what you want to have in your life than to try to push away the things you don't want.

So what do I want?  I want to move through my life with grace and courage.  I want to do things as they need doing so they don't pile up in my mind, weighing me down and stressing me out and holding me back from what I really want to be doing.  I feel like there might be a word for this, but I can't think of what it is right now.

I welcome in calmness and grace and courage and moving forward.  Welcome to my world, all of you!


ROW80And now a quick ROW80 check-in since Sunday got away from me. This week, I have been giving myself permission to step away from pretty much everything.  There's a lot of stressful stuff happening right now, but it should be mostly wrapped up after this weekend.  Until I am done with it I am mostly focusing on each moment, asking myself "what will help me feel calm and grounded right now?" and then doing that if I can.

I have been making some collages for The Right-Brain Business Plan which feels fun and light-hearted and is actually moving me forward on my coaching goals.  I have been reading and doing a little journaling but haven't done any writing practice.  So I haven't been completely stagnant, I am just taking it easy.

The combination of still being tired and run-down from being sick and a lot of stressors added into my life over the past 10 days means I have to gather my energy and hunker down a bit, but I know it's only temporary so I'm actually feeling pretty good about having the insight to know that I need to take things slowly and actually doing it.

Between now and Sunday I have several things that need to be done so I'm not sure it's time to set any writing goals for the rest of the week.  I do want to do more journaling because that's a very helpful process.  Other than that, there's so much else that has to happen that I don't want to plan for things that probably won't happen.  On Sunday, I am hoping I will be at a point where I can get back to some writing goals.  See you back here then.




Today is Wishcasting Wednesday as well as the final ROW80 check-in for this round and this year.  I'm going to start with wishes and then do the wrap-up.

Winter in the Park

First Wishcasting:

Jamie asks "What is your winter wish?"

Time.  Space around me. Room to breathe and think and dream.  Stillness and rejuvenation.

In July, I took a vacation, the first real vacation I've taken in years.  I spent five days walking a little and sitting on the beach and in the motel room reading.  I very purposefully avoided filling my days with tours and sightseeing and other touristy tidbits.  I very purposefully rested and revitalized myself, and it was wonderful.  I came home feeling as if I had actually been on a vacation.  I was rested and relaxed.  That has worn off now.

I wish to bring into my world some way of getting that rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated just-vacationed feeling on a regular basis so I can avoid hitting times like the one I'm in now where I feel anxious and sad and overwhelmed and ready to explode at any moment over ordinary daily tasks and happenings.  I don't know exactly how to get that vacation feel regularly, but I know this is something important to figure out.


I am noticing a trend here.  I start strong and then taper off in the last few weeks of a round.  This is something to address in the coming year, I think.  Overall, I feel like I've learned so much about what sort of writer I am and what my process is over the last year of participating in ROW80.  I'm looking forward to next year, more rounds, more insight and more and better writing.  I do need to notice when I need time off and just adjust my goals to allow for that, though, because part of my troubles right now are coming from having set goals for the last few weeks of the round, goals that are really hard to fit in with holiday busy-ness, and not managing to meet them.  I should have just said that my goal for December was going to be to rest and get ready for the new year, but ah well.  I hope I remember this next year!

Meanwhile, in MuseCraft™ land, I am getting ready to launch a monthly teleconference called Muse Moon.  And we're getting ready to do our first Swords for Scribes workshop in January.  And I've set up my first coaching offerings which will also be starting in January.  So life is moving, things are flowing.  And I am going to rest as much as I can the rest of this month with plans of coming back to ROW80 and my writing renewed and energetic and excited again in January.