Saturday, November 03, 2012

45th 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 last week 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.

View the spreadsheet Google Doc directly
View the goals list

Last week or Check-In before last 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 for a whole week now. See the nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns?

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

Speaking of topsy turvey.  I took a header over the dishwasher door on Halloween eve just two hours before NaNo  started for me.  Face planted on the floor on the far side of the dishwasher door. Split lip, bruised cheekbone, whiplash.  Also sore right arm and ribcage from having my arm trapped under my ribs.  Nothing broken.  Had a bad headache for an hour or two.  Thought I would have a black eye but so far no.

It was tempting to wait until the next afternoon to start NaNoing but I'd have been very disappointed in myself.  Instead I decided to spend the first hour of NaNo describing the fall, its aftereffects and the physical sensations of the injuries in expectation that I will have occasion to give something of that to one of my characters--a fall, a fight, a sport's incident, a car or bike accident, domestic abuse--before the month is out and now I have fresh observations of something that one sincerely hopes is a rare event.

This is my first NaNo since joining ROW80 and only the second for which I have to work it around a month of serious commitments.  The other did not result in a 'win' but every one since has.  So I prepared myself emotionally for this one to fall short but it seems that my ROW80 related work establishing habits has paid off and its feels doable today.  I have got my quota three days running and I seldom get them consistently in the first two weeks leaving me with double quotas or better in the final ten days or so.

1 tell me a story:

Jae 11/05/2012 8:58 AM  

Yikes. Sorry you took such a nasty spill!

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