Tuesday, October 30, 2012

44th 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.


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

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 Tuesday and wrote an overview of it for the last 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.

View the spreadsheet Google Doc directly
View the goals list
Last 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 have followed through all three days. See the nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns?

It is a struggle against temptation.  Especially with the Sandy news coverage calling to me. The urge to check for an email from my husband.  But I resisted and I got my fifteen minutes of free write and thirty minutes of fiction file fiddling three days running.

It feels weird.  Uncomfortable.  Annoying.  I feel a blade of defiance nudging at the edges of my determination.  It would not take much at this point to push me back into my comfort zone but I hang on to the vision of a new comfort zone.

As described in my overview of Duhigg's Power of Habit and in the last check-in, I think I identified the keystone habit that once created or changed will ripple its effects across the habit tapestry of my days.  That was the tendency for my choice of activity on my netbook each day to be determined by what I started doing the first time I lifted the lid and that was determined by what tabs, windows and applications I'd left open when I closed the lid to go to bed.

I took advantage of the fact that I've just been jerked out of my normal environment by this out of town trip and four week visit at my Mom's which should make it easier to force a new practice onto my days since everything is topsy turvey and all of the familiar cues are missing.

Tomorrow at midnight NaNo begins.  This will be my ninth NaNo but only the second time that I'm not holed up in my room with the whole world shut out for all but Thanksgiving Day.  That was the year my Dad died in 2005 which was my second NaNo but the first one I started on November 1.  I had been at my parents since September and didn't get home until the first of December.  That was the last time I had to try it while having as ROW80 puts it, a life that gets in the way.  My first 'win' was in 2006 and every year since.  But the only way I'm going to 'win' NaNo this year is if I've learned my ROW80 lessons well enough to work writing around serious life commitments as I'm spending this month at my Mom's to be at my sister's service and my help will be frequently needed and not always planned ahead.

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