Saturday, January 12, 2013

60th ROW80 Check-In

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 4 2012

The writing challenge that knows you have a life
My goals are all time investment and are detailed on the  ROW80 page   I keep track of the time invested with a Google Doc spreadsheet linked on the goals page and also in each check-in along with a screenshot of the most recent days.

These check-in posts will contain any commentary I have about encounters with the goals since the previous check-in and any relevant links.

Below the commentary is my current reading list for the READ CRAFT goal.

The last two weeks have been a bit chaotic with the packing for a six week stay at my Mom's in Longview WA and the travel and the settling in and the visiting.  It was a struggle to maintain the time investment but I managed tho at the bare minimum.

January for me has always been about taking stock and new beginnings.  I've never been much for the whole resolution thing but I've always targeted something I wanted to change or to put on my mental radar for the year.  This year--my first January in ROW80--I've decided I want to consciously cause more spillover from what ROW80 has taught me about goals and habits into the other areas of my life and I did make what I called a RESOLVE on New Year's Day to finish more projects than I start.

Whether it's reading, writing, fiber arts, house work, self-care, blogging or what have you I have a bad habit of leaving projects unfinished. My files both e and tree are swamped with them.  My To Do lists are swamped with them.  My closets, drawers and shelves are swamped with them.  My brain is swamped with them.

Yet there are times, like yesterday, when I latch onto some 'task' and won't quit until it is finished even for food or sleep.  That can be something productive like a fiction or fiber art WIP, reading a book, deep cleaning the kitchen, cleaning out my email inbox or e-file organizing but more often it will be something silly like a Spider Solitaire game that has me stumped or watching an entire season of a TV drama on NetFlix or, like yesterday, untangling a snarl of thread.

In last night's post, I'm so Knotty, I related how I spent nearly 12 hours untangling the long strings with beaded ends of eight bookmarks and lamenting over what I could have accomplished with that time and wondering why I have such a hard time applying that same persistence to things that matter.

Today I continued to muse on the theme and decided to purposely latch onto a project I started earlier this week with the same attitude I had for that silly snarl--a spreadsheet for the ARCs I'm committed to reviewing--and worked on it for several hours.  I'd divided up that spreadsheet by sources of the books and today I completed the section for NetGalley ebooks.

I'd embedded the spreadsheet in my Master Task List tho it had been months since I'd used the MTL faithfully so after I finished that task I decided it was time I returned to using it.  I'd created the MTL several years ago on the principles of The Sidetracked Home Executives but constantly lapsed using it and then in late 2011 returned to it while reading Dave Allen's Getting Things Done and was adapting it for his principles tho keeping the SHE organization.  I've never stuck to it long enough to get it completely operational and it's been nearly a year since the last time I tried to implement it.  Today I started working with it again, mostly getting re-oriented.

Master Task List in WhizFolder

My Master Task List is a WhizFolder file that gives me the ability to split a document up into sections and navigate it via a hierarchical tree.  The sections are called topics and can be moved around in the tree, linked to each other, color coded, and key word managed among other nifty things.  The topics are written and edited in RTF and will accommodate links to files and aps on the computer as well as web pages so I can collect all the relevant links to a project or task right there in the topic that describes the task.  I can break projects down into sub-tasks with each sub aka child topic having its own topic window.

Last spring after starting ROW80 I started to implement the ROW80 goals into the Master Task List but never finished that task before I lapsed using the MTL entirely again.

BTW the FICTION FILES time investment goal refers to the WhizFolder files for my WIP as I've done all my writing and note taking in Whiz for over 7 years now.  I only use the full spectrum word processor when I need to turn a document into a formal final draft for printing or submission.  Such occasions have been rare but I'm hoping this year will see the need for them proliferate.


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 I left this book at home so I can't continue until I return in mid February but I don't want to remove it so I'll just use strikethru for now.

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.

2 tell me a story:

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