Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Forays in Fiction: Spring Challenges

hello mai purritteez
see my 1st caption of this pic here
with my poem Prioritizing Agony
both with the same theme as this post

There are four challenges I'm joining this spring.  That I know about so far.

It is not the first time for any of them.  I always seem to go into them with sparkling expectations and excitement but by the 1/4 mark I can already see I'm not going to meet my goals then the remainder of the challenge is tainted by demoralization, stress, and desperation.

And at the end, in spite of all that I did accomplish that would not have gotten done without the challenge and community support, I come away with a pervasive sense of failure.  Not just failure to meet my goals but personal failure as in Looser or Fool, Clown or Fraud.

So this spring, in the spirit of the time-management coaching goals my husband has in mind, I am running my goal concepts past him to get his observations, suggestions and explanations of what makes a reachable goal and how each of my concepts would impact both the goals weeks, months or years out and the already in place goals for the foundation of self-care we are working to put into place to support the other goals, dreams and aspirations.

It is very important that I don't sabotage what we have already got in place or set myself up for another experience of failure.  Thus it is better to keep the stated goal a reachable challenge--doable but only by pushing myself a bit.

UPDATE: I added Bloggiesta Saturday morning because I found out it was currently in session this weekend only after I'd posted.

March 27-30
Bloggiesta -- The Blog Improvement Fiesta  SPRING 2014: March 27-30

I found out just before midnight last night (Friday) that Bloggiesta was on this weekend and I'd already missed two days.  The last one I participated in was fall of 2012 because I keep missing them by a few days to a month, learning about them by stumbling upon someone's Bloggiesta posts after it was all over.

I need to find a way for the information to reliably reach me ahead of the fiesta.  Now that Bloggiesta has its own hub blog maybe it also has a newsletter or subscribe to post form?  [DONE]

I almost decided to let it go but I'd been needing a Bloggiesta for the impetus and info it provides along with the community support and the sense of accountability provided by publishing the 2DO list.

I had to wait until I was able to consult my time management coach (aka my husband) before I could publish a 2DO list though as I'm utterly convinced that I could not make a list that would not sabotage the success we built up this past week. See final paragraph of the top section.

During this morning's (Saturday) vid chat Ed immediately saw the importance for me to participate.  He said it was analogous to a college course or seminar in blog management and would tie me into a community with the management expertise in an area he was not up to speed on but that was essential to my aspirations to self-publish and freelance among other online biz concepts I have.

So after conferring with me on the most urgent tasks he helped me create this list:


  • Update Friday's Spring Challenge post to include Bloggiesta
  • Sign up on Bloggiesta blog
  • Finish the structural rewrite and fine edit of the draft for Saturday's post which was promised in Tuesday's post for Wednesday and then postponed because I mismanaged my time Wednesday
  • Post Saturday's post, I Tried it My Way and link it on the fb fan page and twitter. Share fan page post with fb ROW80 Group (those whom I made the promise to on Tuesday)
  • Subscribe to Bloggiesta post via email. (yeah. I just added that. It was not on my radar when discussing with Ed this morning)


  • Prep and post the Sunday Serenity post.  Link on the fb fan page and twitter. 
  • Prep Monday's IMWAYR? post and schedule it to go live after midnight
  • Clean up the Joy Renee on the Web section removing defunct links and adding new
  • Clean up social media section and add links to SM I signed up for after the last time this was done..  Most urgent is to get small discrete buttons for a more professional look. I would like that section to take up no more screen real estate than a credit card
  • Clean out old and defunct buttons and banners in the challenges section of the sidebar and replace with current ones.  The five in this post at minimum
  • Break my lurking habit and interact socially in the Bloggiesta community by commenting, asking a question, do a mini-challenge, or participate in the twitter conversation
  • Update Camp NaNo profile to reflect the goals for April Camp

Wrap up:  I didn't get the sidebar work done, nor the mini-challenge and socializing,, nor Monday's post to give me a day out from under the pressure.  But I did spend a lot of time exploring the mini-challenges both current and archived.  I focused on organization, sidebar, social media and monetizing.  I don't think I'll wait for the next Bloggiesta to continue reading and then applying what I learn. I may even add blog management goals to my ROW80 for the next two rounds at least.

Camp NaNo --  Kickoff at midnight (12:00:01) April 1st.  That's Monday night folks!

This is different from the November NaNo in which the majority of participants comply with the original challenge of a 50K novel in 30 days.  For the NaNo camps you can choose your own writing project in any category or genre.  And establish your own word count and/or other measurable goal(s).

My original idea was to
  • Create a backlog of 15 book reviews ready for posting from the many I have in progress or from other books I've already read.
  • Rewrite and edit my 6000 word short story Blow Me a Candy Kiss
  • Complete all the writing exercises for my AWAI  copywriting course

I'd only got as far as listing the first one when Ed said he needed to think about it overnight.  Two days later he said 7 reviews was a reachable goal.  It took a detailed explanation of his logic before I agreed.  Its not that I couldn't do more just that I shouldn't state more as the goal so that I would get the rush of success when I achieved it and again for every extra one.

But then I told him that I had also been thinking about a structural rewrite and fine edit of Candy Kiss.  Which would entail two to three passes through the 6000 words and likely a bit of expansion up to an additional 2-4K.

That's when he said Drop the reviews and do that!

I was reluctant and it took a lengthy explanation of his reasoning before I agreed.  The most salient point he had was that I had set as my first goal in my first round of ROW80  Spring of 2012 to get Candy Kiss prepped for a self-pub experiment and not only is it still not done, it is a pivotal task in the establishment of my dream of self-publishing my writing.

He would like to see me actually publish it by the end of the month as he believes it is important for me to get the ice broken on that and realizes that the hardest part of that challenge is the emotional work I'd have to be doing as I write and edit in order to be ready to take the plunge when the time comes.

No, I didn't even bother to share my intent to add the AWAI exercises.  I dropped the idea as his reasoning on the others was convincing and I could see it ruled out adding anything else as his estimate on the time investment required for the Candy Kiss project was well above 30 hours.  I would guess 20-30 hours per pass through the manuscript.

A Round of Words in 80 Days
Round 2 2014

The writing challenge that
 knows you have a life

ROW80 --  A Round of Words in 80 Days -- The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have a Life

Altho this is modeled after the November NaNo it is four rounds a year of 80 days each with brief hiatuses between.

It's about flexibility and learning to adjust goals as needed.  You can work on any kind of writing project or multiple projects but your goals must be defined such that they are measurable.

Since I knew how crazy word count often makes me I started off in April 2012 to use time investment goals and as of January this year I use a Google Doc spreadsheet to keep track and then share both a screenshot and a link to the chart itself in check-ins.

My goals for round 2 this year will combine the goal of regaining the ground I lost as reflected in the spreadsheet in March by the end of April with the goals for Camp NaNo in April and JuNoWriMo in June along with the Time Management, Self-Management and Project Management goals Ed is coaching me on which are all designed to support my writing and entrepreneurial goals.

Add caption
Dewey's Read-a-Thon -- 24 hours of reading, sharing, mini-challenges, prizes, cheerleading, bloging, social networking...

There are no goals for this one other than to enjoy it and go with the flow. It will depend on my mood when the time comes what the ratio between reading and the other possible activities will be

I used to pride myself on my ability to stay awake the full 24 but that is no longer a given.  Unless I have had a solid week of good sleep (7.5+ per night) I shouldn't even try.  But even then I would have to do it without fudging on my med schedule which is tricky with the bedtime Trazadone which I'm rarely able to resist more than an hour.

JuNoWriMo 2012
JuNoWriMo -- Begins June 1.  It's a little more flexible than NaNoWriMo which encourages you to start with a fresh story and write a 50K novel as it allows for continuing with a WIP while counting only the words produced in June.

I thought I remembered that it didn't have to be a novel or even fiction but I can't find that mentioned on the site today.

I was hoping to transfer my Book Review Backlog concept to JuNo but if that isn't possible I'll save it for July Camp NaNo and choose among:

  • put another short story through the rewrite and edit wringer
  • wander around my fiction files adding words to character sketches, character monologues, scenes, back story and NaNo messes drafts
  • select a previous NaNo mess draft and do a structural rewrite aka clean up the NaNo mess
  • select a previous NaNo mess draft that is likely to need another 40K to complete and start working where I left off at the end of its NaNo
  • start a fresh novel from the long list of story seeds I have backloged

1 tell me a story:

Kristen 3/30/2014 6:33 AM  

Lots of great events going on! You just reminded me of the 24 hour readathon. I cannot wait! Gluck on all your bloggiesta goals!

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