Tuesday, February 05, 2013

67th 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.

Still holding steady on all fronts and still at the bare minimum except for READ CRAFT and DAYDREAM STORY. Still making more room for fiction reading by keeping post prep down to an average of an hour.  Most days still under an hour.

And still I'm not writing new fiction scenes.  I'm blaming it on this extended visit at my Mom's where my priorities are with what I came for--socializing with family and helping my sister.  But there is always going to be something and last November I spend more than half of NaNo here and managed to win in spite of it.

In July and August it was the heatwaves.  In December it was burnout from NaNo and all those hours in the futile attempt to finish a crocheted gift in time for  Christmas--still unfinished as are so many of my stories and probably for the same reason. The tendency to design huge complex projects and underestimate the amount of time and energy it will take to finish them and then burn out on them and start something new instead of finishing.

Per my New Year Resolve I've been more frugal about starting new things and working at finishing things already begun especially books and small crochet projects even as I plug away daily on the still unfinished crafter's tote that was my sister-in-law's Christmas.  I have a grand-niece and a grand-nephew due in June and have been itching to start the baby afghans for them and won't let myself until I've finished the tote.  And that means those afghans will be taking up the same amount of my time once I begin them as this overdue Christmas gift has been taking since before Thanksgiving and one or both of them are likely to be late as well.

I can already see it.  I'll be using those baby afghans as my excuse through the spring and then the Mother's day May/June visit at my Mom's and then the heatwave that always hits the Rogue Valley in August...

My sister asked me this evening if there isn't an element of self-sabotage in the way I accumulate all these projects. Whether it is in the number of small ones or the size and complextiy of the big ones it seems obvious to her that it isn't possible to succeed.  And why, she wonders, tho I claim that fiction writing is my passion do I so seldom devote the same time and energy to my stories as I do to crochet projects, ARCs, blogging, library books, ebook library manipulation....

I wonder too.


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  Net Galley a NF that purports to answer many puzzles in the Austen novels. Since this discusses writing and techniques of fiction
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.
Jung and the Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols Since I'm reading this for an understanding of character type and the language of symbol understood by our unconscious as well as research for a character who is a Tarot reader
13 Ways of Looking at a Novel by Jane Smiley  This was one of the 24 items I checked out of the Longview library on my sister's card last Thursday.
The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick.  Found this while spelunking the stacks looking for the Smiley book.  Who knew.  Dick was a mystic.  I've only read one of his novels and a few short stories but now I've got to try to find and read everything!
Mystery and Manners by Flannery O'Connor  This is a reread for me and has had significant impact on the development of my storyworld in the early months of its inception.  My Friday post was about my current encounter with it after checking it out of the Longview library again for the first time in over a decade.

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 fall and wrote an overview of it for that 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:

Eden Mabee 2/08/2013 8:30 AM  

There may be an element of self-sabotage. I do the same thing. Also (and I don't say this to sound mean, especially since I ask myself the same question daily), is it possible that you're less drawn to the goal of being a writer than the goal of having written? That is, the image of a writer...

I have to ask myself this on a daily basis. I love to draw, take photographs, write, but as soon as the pressure to create something that I might have to show the rest of the world appears, I can't do it. Yet, as my husband has pointed out, these hobbies take a lot of time and mental energy. If I'm not sharing them with the world, I'm also not sharing myself with those who love me...

You may want to do this: Ask yourself "What do I get out of writing?"; "What do I want to be doing in five years?"; "What do I have to give the world?"

Stuff like that. Ask your sister to help you find other questions, maybe even ask her to help remind you... She sounds like she might be willing to help.

Lee McAulay 2/10/2013 9:35 AM  

However much we want to do certain things, often we end up avoiding them. I think procrastination is a form of impatience. Having a huge list of things to do can lead to overwhelm, and avoidance.
I see you have a big reading list already so I'd rather not add to it (much!) but I recommend Stephen Pressfield on Resistance - his blog is over at http://www.stevenpressfield.com/.
Sometimes the hardest part is choosing what you are going to focus on (to the detriment of the rest). Hope you have a good ROW80!
Good luck,

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