Tuesday, December 11, 2012

56th ROW80 Check-In


A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
I'm doing things quite differently this round.  Since I joined mid Round 2 this year I have been using a blog-within-a-blog format for these check-in posts with updates stacked atop previous updates and commentary added under each goals section including a string of Ns and Ys for the five time investment goals.  This got quite unwieldy by mid round.

So now I've created a Google Doc Spreadsheet to keep track of the Ns and Ys and have set up a ROW80 page to feature the goals sans commentary.  These check-in posts will now contain only the commentary relating to the previous half week, a screenshot of the relevant lines on the spreadsheet and link to the spreadsheet and goals page.  And as of October 23 the READ CRAFT reading lists.


READ CRAFT:

Currently Reading

What to Do When There's Too Much to Do by Laura Stack (Part of my attempt to organize my life around my priorities. So part of my ROW80 reading list)
Hooked: Write Fiction That Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets Go by Les Edgerton
Write Good or Die! edited by Scott Nicholson (a collection of essays by inde authors.  many of them self-published)  
The Act of Creation by Arthur Koestler
What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Muller
Trust the Process: An Artist's Guide to Letting Go by Shaun McNiff


Recently Read:

A Cheap and Easy Guide to Self-publishing eBooks by Tom Hua read this online
Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Leher
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg  Just finished this last month and wrote an overview of it for that next check-in along with my musings on how to apply what I learned..  This is where I've been getting the most help with learning how to recognize a habit, determine if it is desirable and if so maximize it but if not change it.


In a recent Check-In I implemented a NEW GOAL:  before heading to bed, close all aps but the one I've chosen for free writing and when the time slated for that is up segue directly to working with the fiction files.

I established it after digesting the info in Duhigg's The Power of Habit and have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. I had nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns until the last week of NaNo and altho FREEWRITE holds steady I've let FICTION FILES slide.  I gave myself permission to take a post NaNo break to catch up on the many things that got neglected during NaNo.  I will get back on track tho maybe not daily until after Christmas since that Secret Santa crochet project is scarily behind.

See my musings in this check-in post about my several encounters recently with the principle that clarity isn't arrived at through thought alone but via action--engagement in the non-abstract realm with the minutia, manipulation of the materials, or in other words 'just doing it' and how I'm attempting to apply it to my stalled out stories.



Note:  I began prepping this before midnight Tuesday night and was just about to publish in the wee hours of Wednesday when we lost Internet and did not get it back until nearly midnight Thursday.  And then of course my netbook decided it had ten thousand more important things to do with the bandwidth and the RAM than blogging--updates and scheduled downloads. Response time to every click is measured in multiples of 5 seconds and often takes more than five of those to open a new page, tab or window.  Arrrg.  More lessons in adjusting goals I suppose.

The crocheted crafter's tote which is my Secret Santa project continues to take the bulk of my time and attention.  I am so far behind.  And after redoing the time calculations on Sunday I discovered it was worse than I thought and possibly just not doable without a major readjustment of the design.

Added to that I've also been unable to get the thread I need to finish the Mobius strip that was to form the bottom/sides/strap.  It was also the time calculations for the Mobius strip that I'd gotten wrong and discovered on Sunday that I'd halved one of the variables that when corrected took my hours per day from 8 to 12.  Like I said probably not doable.  Plus we left it too late to go after the rest of the thread.  My husband has taken buses after work and walked in icy rain only to find the store does not have any in stock.

I've come up with several alternatives to having that Twig bamboo thread to finish the Mobius.  One still involves completing the Mobius as planned but substituting Mushroom in a wide center stripe and switching to three chain mesh which covers ground faster.  But as painful as it is to give up the concept of the Mobius strip it is probably best to switch to making a plain rectangle bottom and conventional strap.  Either using a different thread like dark brown cotton instead of bamboo or using the four balls of Twig bamboo, including that already invested in the Mobius strip.

So what has this to do with ROW80?

Well superficially it is one of those life things that has forced some reassessment of the goals, adjustment of expectation and so forth.

Plus this entire project which I designed from scratch and have been making it up as I go has, fiction writing, been an exercise in adjusting goals, reassessing, willingness to undo the unsatisfactory work, flexibility on vision, seeing new possibilities only after getting started on the plan or after finding a part of the plan unworkable or not as lovely as it had been in my imagination.

Also since joining ROW80 in April and creating the goal for DAYDREAM STORY I have gravitated to doing so while crocheting.  It has become so coupled in my mind my psyche itches for the one the second I turn my attention to the other.

This past two weeks tho I've also added writing craft podcasts to the mix and have listened to over 100 hours worth of them while crocheting.  One of those has been The First Million Words podcast for which I've listened to  their first 30. All there is to date.This podcast is produced in the garage of one of the pair of aspiring writers who seek out and interview published authors on the writing life and craft.  They also have several minutes of silly (occasionally PG-13) bantering between themselves as they share where their own writing attempts have taken them since the last podcast.

I've also listened to all of the available episodes of Writing Excuses available in the itunes store but it looks like there might be more over on their site.

I'm now listening to the archive of I Should Be Writing which currently goes back as far as January 2011 in the itunes store.  I think I just entered March.  I understand you can get several years further back by contributing to the support of the podcast at the site.

I highly recommend all three of these for info, morale and entertainment


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