Tuesday, October 16, 2012

40th 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.

View the spreadsheet Google Doc directly
View the goals list

Still nothing but Ns for the writing goals.

I listed the life events that have been a factor since this round started in the last check-in post, noting that I'm having no problem keeping up the non-writing goals but have nothing but Ns to show for the two time investment writing goals, FREEWRITE and FICTION FILES.  I forgot to include with the Ns the prep work on the short story target for epublishing.  The detailed explanation for each of these goals is in the goals list on the ROW80 page  lined in the screenshot caption above.

I decided as I prepped Sunday's check-in that I would be focusing my attention on why I'm having so much trouble getting back those writing habits specifically.  I acknowledge there is a lot of resistance which I've discussed during previous rounds and don't feel the need to rehash now because there was originally resistance with all of these goals and I managed to beat the resistance for even the writing goals last August and garnered a long string of Ys for them by the end of Round 3.

So that leaves something to do with structure of my days.  The other goals have been woven in while the writing goals have not.  I can see why the other's are working but have yet to figure out how to create a similar situation for the writing itself.

MOVE works because I've learned to notice when I'm getting stiff or feeling lethargic and I get up and so something active for several minutes.  I never just stand still watching the microwave work or waiting on water to boil.  If I don't have dishes to load in the dishwasher or put away I will pace or swing my arms or lift canned soup like weights or use the stretchy bands etc.

DAYDREAM STORYWORLD works because I do that while crocheting.

READ CRAFT works because I've got the relevant links bookmarked and the relevant ebooks bookmarked in the various ereaders (all on the netbook btw) and I've learned to turn to one of them when I'm waiting on a download or a slow loading page.

I can see right now, having written that out, why the writing isn't working and can't work in the same way.  I don't like being interrupted when writing so I would not naturally gravitate to a writing task to fill an otherwise idle five minutes.  I've got it in my head I need a CHUNK of time that is DEVOTED to writing.  That holds true for blog posts tho and I've not missed a day since April 6, 2007.

OK that's a little misleading because I don't always write posts (especially book reviews but some other types as well) on the same day they are posted.  I don't always write them at the same time of day either.  For example I might post Tuesday's at 11pm and Wednesday's at 3am and then Thursday's again at near midnight.  Or maybe in one six hour period between 9pm and 3am post twice and schedule one to three for later posting or begin work on drafts for upcoming.  Thus there are times when I am free of the need to work on a post for two or three or four days straight.

But typically that post related writing is being done after 8pm and before 4am.  And that is because that is the biggest chunk of time free of the fear of interruptions.  After my husband goes to bed and before I head there myself or at least before he gets up.  Of course that is all going to change when I get to my Mom's for November and have to fit my schedule around my family's there.  Primarily I can't expect to stay up until dawn.

So whatever I figure out has to work both here and there or else I need to figure it out separately for here and there.

In light of that I'm reviewing my notes from reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg which is one of the books I've been reading for ROW80 and the one which taught me how to weave a habit into the tapestry of the other habits that create our days.  I may have to return to the beginning and reread the chapters dealing with individuals and the neurology of habits as the section I'm in now is dealing with habits in organizations.

I can see though, having just reread what I wrote about my blog posting habits thinking maybe it was mostly irrelevant for this and should be cut out or cut back, that I have one possible partial solution.  When I free up those 8pm to 4am hours by creating multiple posts in a single night, I should use some of that freed up time for writing fiction not watching netflix, podcasts, chatting on fb, reading or crocheting.  After all it is already designated writing time.

In fact I should make the multiple posting in one session itself a habit so that I can count on having several days in a row free of the obligation every week.

2 tell me a story:

Laura 10/17/2012 4:35 AM  

Well done on the spreadsheet. What a great idea.
Good luck for the coming week. x

Anonymous,  10/19/2012 2:20 AM  

Wow! I had never thought of using a spreadsheet like that. Great idea! Stay with it and I hope it pays off great dividends for you in the long run.

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