Wednesday, November 14, 2012

48th 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 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


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 have followed through since the Sunday before November 1st now. See the nice new strings of Ys in the two relevant columns?

It has been 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 2.5 weeks running.  And some days feel easier but some are still a fight.

It feels weird.  Uncomfortable.  Annoying. Like an ill-made jacket worn backwards.  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.

It does seem to be easier now than it was just half a week ago tho.

As described in my overview of Duhigg's Power of Habit and in last Wednesday's 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.

If the above paragraphs look familiar to return visitor's it is because I've only changed the time references in them from the last three check-ins.  It is all still the most relevant thing going on with my goals and probably will remains so until this new goal becomes a worn inn habit.  I hope by the end of the month...

Meanwhile I credit all of this--ROW80 and reading The Power of Habit and implementing this new goal with making possible what happened last Friday as related in that post  --impromptu writing in a public place which has always been impossible for me.  If all else had remained the same I might have made that initial observation and possibly a handful more but I very much doubt it wold have gone any further if I'd not already been practicing and I owe this to ROW80 and The Power of Habit which I'd probably not been reading if not for ROW80.


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